Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  2,193 ratings  ·  181 reviews

This is the first edition of Typee to place its most riveting features—the highly charged and complicated accounts of sexuality, tattooing, cannibalism, and taboo—in a broad historical context. Twelve rich selections from the writings of Melville's predecessors and contemporaries, along with eight illustrations, will help readers develop a fuller sense of where Melville's

Paperback, 418 pages
Published May 1st 1995 by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company (first published 1846)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

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 http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=flVePKLvke0

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
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...more
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
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
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...more
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...more
Listened to this recently in audio version from LibriVox (www.librivox.org). 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.
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
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....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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
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.
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.
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.
Where has this book been all my life? If only I’d been required to read this in school instead of dreary male-centric Moby Dick (get over the whale, already!), the teenaged me would have thought much better of Melville and read more of his work.

This is Melville’s first novel, told in first person in engaging and almost naïve language. It’s the semi-autobiographical tale of his adventures on Nuku Hiva, in the Marquesa Islands, in 1842. It is known that Melville and a companion sailor jumped ship...more
Herman Melville tells a somewhat autobiographical tale in this story about time spent among cannibals in the South Seas. Somewhat autobiographical because there is a lot of fictional elements to this story.

After ditching a ship run by a mad captain, our main character finds himself on an island with only one other person as they go through the jungle trying to survive on what little food they grabbed. When at last they find a tribe of the island, they are both wary and overjoyed. Because he has...more
This book made me want to take the first boat to the valley of the Typee. Unfortunately, in Melville's attempt to romanticize the people, he made things seem much better than they really were (as noted by more recent anthropologists). However, this is an entertaining collision of cultures very well written in Melville's unique style. It is well worth the read.

The question is whether the book is fact or fiction. Melville, during his life and in this book, stood by the veracity of the story. Howev...more
Melville's first book is a curious, unsatisfying, unlikely affair, which does show off Melville’s incipient facility with language and jokes and also his ability to build and maintain narrative tension; but the writing is irritatingly verbose and the whole book could be cut by a third without losing anything. Beyond that, this supposedly true narrative has been contradicted with facts that scholars have presented in the time since the book came out (facts that weren’t available to the readers in...more
At the outset, let me clarify that my three-star rating applies to both the quality of the audiobook and the quality of the underlying piece of literature. I'll address the two separately.

Librivox Audiobook

I listened to the free Librivox recording, which I downloaded on my "free audiobooks" app by Spreadsong on my iPhone. The recording was done by Michael Sherer (sp?) and was competent, if not outstanding. Michael has an excellent quality to his voice but a strange lilt to his reading that took...more
Trevor Kidd
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life is more of what Herman Melville does best. He offers an intellectually arresting argument about the nature of civilization while going into great detail about the every day life of a group of Polynesian natives in the Marquesas Islands.

Typee was Herman Melville's most popular work during his lifetime. It is a partially autobiographical account of a man's time among a secluded tribe of Polynesian natives. "Tommo" escapes from a cruelly run whale ship and finds hi...more
Okay, so I was obliged to give this a four because I enjoyed it. I can't say that everyone will share my enthusiasm. "Typee" is to bread fruit and banana leaves, and the proper way to prepare poi as "Moby Dick" is to whaling, blubber, and whale ships. No seriously. I learned more ways to cook succulent pig wrapped in banana leaves (alla Hawaiian Luau Style) from this book than from any other source that I have read. And does anyone know what a Bread Fruit Tree is? Because it certainly seems like...more
Mike Jensen
Melville’s often brilliant, sometimes dull, autobiographical novel is underread today. The story of a sailor and his friend who jump ship and find themselves amongst the cannibals (Typee) in Polynesia, the book becomes a rendering of contrasting cultures as Tom (the Melville character) struggles to observe, describe, understand, and accept the lifestyle of the tribe that takes him in. By contrast, they seem little interested in understanding him or accepting his differences, always pushing for T...more
Typee, Herman Melville’s first novel published in 1846, rocketed him into the public eye. He in fact did spend four months with the Typee people prior to the corruption of their culture by European contact. Written like a memoir, it is hard to discern what is true and what is fiction. The protagonist jumps the whaling ship that brought him to the Marquesas with his young mate Toby. They find themselves captured by a tribe living in Eden like splendor in a valley hidden from time. They are treate...more
David Powell
(Originally reviewed at Amazon.com)
Typee was the first work by Herman Melville to actually make him a known writer. It it a quasi-fictional account of his actual experience living among a group of canibals on a South Seas near-paradise. Melville's central character, Tommo, is Melville, and his experiences are broadened to four months instead of Melville's actual four weeks. Melville uses the work to comment freely on the conflict between civilization's growing encroachment upon an unspoiled par...more
I went into this not really knowing much about Melville (other than having read Moby Dick a few years ago) and really enjoyed it. Melville obviously spent quite a bit of time on the ocean and with the Typee's and his descriptions of them are fascinating. My favorite parts though were his descriptions of simple things where he plays with language - you can really tell he just loves words, for example this passage describing the flies he encountered:

"He will perch upon one of your eye-lashes, and...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick--Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life 1 6 Sep 18, 2012 05:37AM  
  • The Blithedale Romance
  • Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea
  • Sybil, or the Two Nations
  • The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes & Misfortunes, His Friends & His Greatest Enemy
  • Pitcairn's Island (The Bounty Trilogy, #3)
  • The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton
  • A Tramp Abroad
  • Mr. Midshipman Easy
  • The Pioneers
  • أسطورة الأساطير - الجزء الاول
  • The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres
  • Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
  • The Four Voyages: Being His Own Log-Book, Letters and Dispatches with Connecting Narratives
  • She and Allan
  • Far Away and Long Ago
  • Hope Leslie: or, Early Times in the Massachusetts
  • Almayer's Folly
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
More about Herman Melville...
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale Bartleby, the Scrivener Billy Budd, Sailor (Enriched Classics) Benito Cereno Billy Budd and Other Stories

Share This Book

“Strange as it may seem, there is nothing in which a young and beautiful female appears to more advantage than in the art of smoking.” 2 likes
“Yet, after all, insensible as he is to a thousand wants, and removed from harassing cares, my not the savage be the happier man..?” 1 likes
More quotes…