Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Typee” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,017 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
Melville's hero Tommo and his friend Toby jump ship hoping to find paradise, but what they find instead is a band of cannibals who are filled with sensuality but lack respect for life. Based on Melville's first book and his most popular during his lifetime.
Published December 12th 1986 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 1846)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Typee, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Typee

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
Mar 31, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“Yet, after all, insensible as he is to a thousand wants, and removed from harassing cares, my not the savage be the happier man..?”
― Herman Melville, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life


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 duri
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
A terrific adventure story (based on a real-life experience) interspersed with commentary about the daily life and habits of the people of the Typee Valley in the Marquesas Islands. There are lengthy descriptions of food and cooking methods, housing, clothing, personal hygiene and grooming, rituals, sleeping habits, language, relationships. It might be considered a bit pedantic at times, but I listened in small daily doses for several weeks and found it exciting, educational, and amusing. Libriv ...more
Ian Laird
Feb 15, 2016 Ian Laird rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: c19-classics, fiction
Revision 16/2/16: I found a subversive quote and made stylistic edits.

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 her 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 thi
Jan 18, 2009 Susanna rated it it was amazing  ·  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

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
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.
César Lasso
I wasted my time hundreds of years ago reading this one. The idea was - Melville enjoys his time hanging around on a canoe on an idyllic island... Very cosy, very pretty.
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
Jun 27, 2008 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 26, 2015 Lydia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book quite a few years ago, after reading another book that was a fictionalised story of Herman Melville's life. (I should find that book and review it!)

This book is a fictionalised account of what happened to the author himself when he was stranded on a Polynesian island. I found the book interesting, but I think it's a certain type of book for a certain kind of person. Melville can be quite dry, and he goes into great detail about the lives of the people he ends up living with.

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
Nov 06, 2008 Marcus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Brian Bess
Sep 17, 2012 Brian Bess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 16, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Μια πολύ ωραία και ενδιαφέρουσα ιστορία, με την υπέροχη γραφή του Herman Melville, που εν μέρη επιτίθεται στον καπιταλισμό.
Πόλυ όμορφες περιγραφές τοπίων αλλά και της ζωής των ιθαγενών της πολυνησίας, αν και ο συγγραφέας δεν αφήνει τίποτα που να μην το αναλύσει στο έπακρο. Κάτι σε στυλ ντοκιμαντέρ δηλαδη.
Mar 06, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This is the first Melville book I have read. I’ve seen plenty of reviews of “Moby Dick” and they tended to scare me off of Melville – most of the whaler reviews implied reading the book was a lot of work, and I was looking for something enjoyable. I’m glad I took a flyer on “Typee”. This was a pleasant book, very much of the period, relatively short and fast-paced. It seems to be a story based on fact, maybe loosely based on fact. One of the hardest things for me to believe is that within a few ...more
Ted Prokash
Holy Crap. This was nothing short of a monumental effort of will and persistence. Finishing this book, I mean. I was disappointed when, a couple years ago, I finally read Moby Dick. Where I expected an engrossing narrative, I found a disjointed compilation of scenes, reflections and digressions in marine biology. Typee, then, Melville's first stab at the long form, constitutes a sort of inverse extrapolation. If you will.

Don't get me wrong, there's great stuff here. Big Herm's observations of n
Greg Brozeit
Melvilles’s first, somewhat autobiographical, novel is part adventure story, part ethnography and mostly meandering. The adventure begins when the first-person narrator, Tom (or Tommo as he is known by his later captors) and his crewmate Toby decide to run away from the ship they have been on docks at the French Polynesian island of Nukuheva (Nuku Hiva). The island, dominated by a large mountain which divides in relatively inaccessible valleys, is the home to three tribes, one of which, the Type ...more
Ahmed Gohary
هذا التقييم للنسخة المترجمة من دكتور أحمد خالد

الكتاب جيد والقصة بها بعض المعلومات الجيدة لكن كأغلب سلسلة رويات عالمية للجيب تشعر بأنها مترجمة بدون اعتناء مع وجود فقرات تشعر انها مترجمة ترجمة حرفية مما قد يفقد القصة بعض من بريقها

وهذا شيء طبيعي جدا لأن الدكتور يترجم هذة الأعمال لتشجيع الشباب علي قراءة الأدب العالمي وليس الاكتفاء بهذة السلسلة

الرواية تتحدث عن عالم القبائل البدائية والرحلات البحرية قديما التي قد تستغرق اعواما لصيد بعض الحيتان أو اكتشاف جزر جديدة

سأحاول أجد ترجمة للنص الكامل حتي يكون
Oct 22, 2015 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horny-white-men
I'm going to give this 4 stars, but I can't justify doing so without pointing out how conflicted I am. The side of me that thinks of literature as art absolutely loved Typee. Melville has some excellent prose, filled with long sentences and introspection. Tommo was the prototype for the unreliable narrators that would characterize Melville's later work. And his world-building is excellent, by employing elements of fantasy like culture structuring, this seems to gain validity in its form shifting ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Feb 27, 2014 Mitchell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 20, 2012 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2009 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
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
Jan 04, 2010 Randy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2016 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually give this 2.5 stars. I had to read this for my American Literature course. Some parts dragged and if I had to read the word 'verdant' one more time, I might have thrown this book across the room. Over all though the story was interesting and it had its moments of excitement so it wasn't the most boring of reads. I kind of liked Melville's style more than I expected to, so I was pleasantly surprised by that.
فاطمة الابراهيم
لم أعد أشعر بالشغف وذاك السحر بالتجرد من عالم الواقع إلى الأدب ، أذكر قرأت ذات مره إحدى روايات ستيفن كينج والغيبوبة كذلك لروبن كوك وغيرها من الروايات المترجمة من ضمن سلسلة الروايات العالمية ، ولا أدري أين العيب مِنَ من ؟

هل لأني تقدمت في القراءة عن الأربعة عشر سنة الماضيه ، أم أن الترجمة تغيرت عما كانت عليه من قبل ؟

لا أظن الرواية سيئة وإلا لما لاقت نجاحاً في ذلك الوقت ، كما أن الراوي ليس من الصنف الذي يستهان بقلمه خاصة وأن روايته كانت عن تجربته الشخصية .
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What happened to all the women? 3 8 May 12, 2015 09:28PM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick--Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life 1 7 Sep 18, 2012 05:37AM  
  • Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres
  • Six Months in the Sandwich Islands: Among Hawaii's Palm Groves, Coral Reefs and Volcanoes
  • The Devil Drives: A Life of Sir Richard Burton
  • In the South Seas
  • The Blithedale Romance
  • The Loss of the Ship Essex Sunk By a Whale
  • Letters from an American Farmer and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century Ameri
  • A Tramp Abroad
  • Original Letters from India
  • Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour
  • Pitcairn's Island (The Bounty Trilogy, #3)
  • American Indian Fairy Tales
  • History of My Life, Volumes 3 & 4
  • Hope Leslie: or, Early Times in the Massachusetts
  • Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings
  • The Pilot: A Tale of the Sea
  • Youth / Heart of Darkness / The End of the Tether
  • The History of Pendennis: His Fortunes And Misfortunes, His Friends And His Greatest Enemy
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...

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.” 5 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..?” 3 likes
More quotes…