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Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life

3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  2,527 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Typee is a fast-moving adventure tale, an autobiographical account of the author's Polynesian stay, an examination of the nature of good and evil, and a frank exploration of sensuality and exotic ritual.
Paperback, 327 pages
Published May 30th 1972 by Penguin Classics (first published 1846)
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Herman Melville's first book Typee is a blend of creative memoir, cultural commentary, and good story telling. Melville recounts and elaborates on his experiences among the Typee cannibals on the French Polynesian island of Nuku Hiva (Marquesas Islands) in 1842. Typee ended up being Meville's best-selling book during his lifetime, no doubt due to both his skill as a writer mated with his romantic story of life among Polynesian savages.

The book flows nicely and balances between the chasms of cul
This is the story Herman Melville was meant to tell. I hated Billy Budd; I liked Moby Dick a lot; I loved Typee.

Not coincidentally, Melville wrote this before he had met Nathaniel Hawthorne; and everything else he ever wrote after. I think Hawthorne ruined Melville as a writer.

This book feels real. Melville writes what he knows - there's no stilted 'humorous' overwrought dialogue. There's no pedagogic symbolism. There's no melodrama. There's just the story of a guy running away from a nasty sea

أستهل مراجعتي باعتراف مضحك ... لقد قررت يوما ما ألا أقرأ رواية موبي ديك أبدا أبدا بسبب عقدة نفسية تكونت لدي من حلقة كارتون
Tom & Jerry
Dicky Moe
وهذا هو الرابط للحلقة

وعلمت من خلال كتاب ثلاثة قرون من الأدب أن هيرمان ملفيل هو كاتبها ولحسن الحظ أن النص الذي جاء في الكتاب المذكور كان قصة بارتلبي نساخ العقود أو بارتلبي النساخ بترجمة ممتازة وعلمت من خلال الكتاب أيضا عن هذه الرواية - محل المراجعة - التي هي عبارة عن أحداث حقيقية كان المؤلف هو البطل فيه
Jan 18, 2009 Susanna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like to read about cannibals and first contact
Don't read this book if you want to lie around and dream of coconuts and natives and bare-breasted maidens. Unlike those after him (like London, Twain, and Stevenson), Melville plays with the instability of western illusions about foreign places and people. You'll have to read this between the lines, of course. This edition is awesome; the editor Sanborn is a bad-ass Melville scholar who wrote THE best book on cannibalism in the South Pacific (trust me, I've done my research!). The supplementary ...more
J.M. Hushour
It ain't no Moby Dick but it does feature cannibalism and polyandry, two of the greatest things ever conceived of by mankind.
Melville's first novel is his barely fictionalized account of his escape from a shitty employer on a whaling ship and how he ended up living amongst the Typee in the Marquesas Islands around the time the French took control. Like Dick, Typee has a lot of sections of fact which round out the narrative part of the story and which feed off of the narrator's desires and fears.
Eddie Watkins
I liked this book. I didn't love it, I just kind of liked it. Not to say that it is not a good book because it is, it's just that I only kind of liked it. I mean, Mr. Herman's a great writer and all, and so this book has great writing in it, but it's just that maybe there just wasn't enough of a story in it to make it a book that I would love, however great the writing. Great writing is no doubt great, but a novel's a novel and not just great writing. A great novel, a novel that I would love, is ...more
Listened to this recently in audio version from LibriVox ( A vividly told and well-observed first-person account of Melville's time among a preindustrial South Sea islander society that had minimal contact with the West. Part polemic, part adventure story, part amateur ethnography. The book that made Melville famous, before he blew his reputation on "Moby Dick." I was disappointed to learn later that much of it was made up.
Markus Molina
Moby Dick is my favorite book of all time, and it's not even close. I figured if Typee was half as good, I'd have another book to love. It isn't half as good. It contains a lot of the dryness and descriptions of Moby Dick with none of the passion and deeper meaning. My rating is probably too low for what it is, which is a semi-autobiographical journey log, but for what I wanted, it did not deliver. Many of the chapters, Melville just breaks down the culture of the Typee people, and while I assum ...more
Ryan Lawson
Two weeks on this book! Aye, reader, as I breathe, two weeks with no other manuscript in sight; chasing after its ending under the hefty pressure of its lines, and thrown on the swells of the author’s long-winded thoughts—the pages within, the chapters all around, and not one other thing!

Of course, it wasn’t all that bad; but my botched attempt at mimicking the Melvillian voice is an adverse effect that lingers after reading his first novel, Typee. And, what a first novel it is. After having spe
Brian Bess
There is little evidence while reading Typee that its author would in only five years produce a major work of world literature such as Moby-Dick. There is the common fact that both of them are seagoing narratives that present much factual information delivered primarily to assure the reader of their authenticity as well as the proof that their author really does know something of the subject matter of which he is writing. Beyond that, however, they bear completely different intentions.

Accepted l
The first novel by the famed author of Moby-Dick, Typee walks a fine line between fact and fiction. The author relates it as a true account of the several months he spent living amongst natives of the South Pacific; whether this is true or not is a matter of contention, and something that lingered in my mind throughout the book.

After six months at sea, the horrors of which are described in a very strong opening chapter, Melville's whaling vessel puts into the Marquesas Islands in Polynesia to re
If hoping for swash and rollick - look elsewhere. Vitriol for missionaries and the Hawaiian Islands? Aplenty. Coming from the Jack London/Joseph Conrad/R.L.Stevenson fan club this seemed lacklustre - and what's with this partly-true, partly made-up business?? If he was marooned on a cannibal island, why not just tell that as it happened? Not exciting enough, fine, but make the *fiction* story exciting then, for Pete's sake!! (I've always avoided "Moby Dick", and feel quite justified after this.) ...more
If the thought of reading Hermann Melville makes you sweat, especially that dictionary-sized novel of his, "Moby Dick", give "Typee", his first novel a try. If there is only one novel you want to read by Melville, this is a good bet. This is a very exciting and charming account of the time he jumped ship in the Marquesas and spent quality time with the Polynesians there.Having been to Tahiti and other islands of French Polynesia, I found this novel captivating for capturing the feel of the volca ...more
A kind of adolescent "Moby-Dick", "Typee" skims the surface of what that great American novel explores and employs thoroughly: namely, delightfully sophisticated prose (minus the dozen or so historical, literary, and mythological allusions per page), the shaking of the average Westerner's moral-philosophical framework, and a kind of investigative research into an increasingly mysterious and complex subject. The subject here is certainly not whales or whale-hunting (although he briefly refers to ...more
My interest, in going chronologically through Melville's early works, is in watching the growth of the craftsman. The first two, Typee and Omoo, are both semi-biographical travelogues and adventure chronicles that detail the exotic locales of the South Pacific islands. Even at the time of publication, their content would have been sensational, but hardly groundbreaking.

In Typee, the narrator jumps ship and finds himself living as a captive among a native island tribe (the Typee), who may or may
Patrick Roesle
During Melville's own lifetime, his first novel was considered his best.

He was a young man who had an incredible experience -- actually living for several months as a captive of a Polynesian cannibal tribe -- and wrote a book about it. It was a popular and critical success, earning the praise of Hawthorne, Emerson, and Whitman.

Melville's editors knew the market well enough to ask him to dumb it down a bit, and they encouraged him against his natural inclination to digress and ramble.

"Whatever ha
Brent Pickett
Less a novel than a semi-fictionalized travelogue, Typee tells of Melville's time as the semi-captive of a native tribe in the South Pacific. It is by turns humorous, moralistic, and pastoral, but it is consistently well-written.
عادية جدا
شبه قصص المغامرات اللي بتتعمل كارتون
i underlined so much, scrawled so many "whoa"s and "WHAT"s in the margins of this book that I wonder what mean part of me originally awarded it only three stars. probably I was cranky that I have no paper to write, no American Romanticism/post-colonial unit to teach. but who am i kidding? chapter 11 is composed entirely of descriptions of Typee clothing (as it were)! i did enjoy this novel...especially while reading sentences like these:

"I can only describe it as a hash of soaked bread and bits
I read Typee to get a sense of Melville, as the pre-Moby-Dick popular author. From all of the reviews that made it out to be an immature, facile romp in the South Seas, nothing like the grand epic-about-everything that Moby-Dick is, I was surprised to find that Typee had quite a bit in common with Melville's later work.

Like Ishmael, the narrator Tommo is primarily a somewhat-innocent watcher, reflecting upon his surroundings and touching, in a detached way, on his own forming relationships.

Tyler Jones
As a young sailor, Herman Melville abandoned his ship in the Marquesas and lived for awhile among natives who had a reputation for being fierce warriors and cannibals. This book, Melville's first, is a fictionalized retelling of that experience. It was an instant success and gained it author much fame and a little fortune. At the time it was considered quite sensational, but many twitter-brained 21st century readers seem to find it slow. Ah, well.

The most interesting part of the book is the narr
Jordyn Brown
I read this book for my college literature class, and although we had to fly through it, I have to say I REALLY enjoyed this story.

The story is seen through the eyes of the narrator, Tommo (who I believe is supposed to parallel Melville since this is somewhat of a travel narrative of Melville's experiences as compared to a novel.) Tommo is a part of a whaling ship that has been out to sea for about 6 months when they finally dock at the Nukaheva islands and Tommo decides instead of going throug
A good example of some fine yet oft-neglected Melville. Here, his storytelling is equally competent and fluid, but there is much less metaphysics and moralizing to wade through compared to Moby Dick (which, I assume, will be most readers' point of reference). Points off for the anthropological bent, whose condescending comparison of "civilized man" and "heathen man" will strike most modern readers as absurd.
شيماء فؤاد
ما جذبنى أكثر للرواية هى انها تجربة حقيقية لهيرمان ميلفل
وصفه للمناظر الطبيعية شوقنى كثيرا كدت أجن لأراها
و لكن طبعا دون أصدقائنا آكلى لحوم البشر
احساس الرعب و الحيرة التى عايشها الكاتب
ان يشعر انه فى خطر دائم و متى سيكون هو الوليمة القادمة

و رؤية ميلفل حقا تحترم
آكلى لحوم البشر على قدر بشاعة ذلك
و لكن ما يرتكبه الانسان باسم الحضارة اكثر بشاعة
ما فعله الرجل الأبيض بالهنود الحمر و البولينزيون
كيف بنيت الحضارة
على ابادة جماعية لقبائل و اعراق كاملة
و بعد ذلك يتحدثون عن الوحشية

و يقول ميلفل ليست الفضي
Exquisite! I wonder how often Melville thought of sweet Fayaway, or the final kindness of Marheyo, or the general carefree paradise of Typee when he was in his later life, obscure and forgotten, working a bleak office job in Manhattan.
"Typee" really speaks to how different the reading public's tastes were when it was written. The beginning and end of the story read as a classic adventure narrative, but the middle chapters are overwhelmingly anthropological and academic in their description of the minutiae of the Typee culture. It speaks to the interests of the reading public regarding exotic cultures, not to mention the attention spans they possessed. Such extensive descriptions did not prevent the book from being Melville's ...more
Matthew Balliro
"There is this fire-lighting scene in Typee..." -Dr. James Wallace

"That is quite a scene." -me

"Yes...yes it is." -J.W.
Space Thefinalfrontier
He made me feel like I was there. - Because he lived it.
Melville's first book is a narrative of the four months he allegedly spent on one of the islands of the Marquesas in the South Pacific. It turns out he spent only three weeks on the island, so it is as much a novel as it is a memoir.

Unhappy with the way sailors were treated by the tyrannical captain of a whaler he served on, Melville and a shipmate, Toby, sneaked away from the ship, believing whatever dangers they might face from the island natives could not be worse than cruelties they suffere
Ian Laird
Typee is a fascinating and surprising account of South Sea islander life in the mid-nineteenth century.

The story starts as an adventure tale with young sailors Tommo and Toby jumping ship as the whaler Dolly replenishes supplies in the Marquesas Islands. The runaways flee through the jungle, into the hands of the Typee, the most dreaded of the warring cannibal tribes whose enemies the Happars live in the next valley.

At this point the story changes into an account of life with the Typees. Tommo (
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What happened to all the women? 2 5 Sep 18, 2014 04:28AM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick--Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life 1 7 Sep 18, 2012 05:37AM  
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Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for ...more
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Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Bartleby, the Scrivener Billy Budd, Sailor Benito Cereno Billy Budd and Other Stories

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