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

Read Book* *Different edition

Moby-Dick

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  432,272 ratings  ·  12,818 reviews
You can find the redesigned cover of this edition here.

Evoking Melville s fascination with the fluidity of categories like savagery and civilization, the image of Tupai Cupa fittingly introduces "Before Moby-Dick: International Controversy over Melville," a new section that documents the ferocity of religions, political, and sexual hostility toward Melville in reaction to
...more
Paperback, Norton Critical Edition, 752 pages
Published July 27th 1999 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1851)
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 Moby-Dick, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joshua Downes Can't help but chuckle at all the people claiming to have read it 'over a weekend'

BS!!!

It took me a month and that was with the audiobook as well as…more
Can't help but chuckle at all the people claiming to have read it 'over a weekend'

BS!!!

It took me a month and that was with the audiobook as well as print.(less)
Karysa Bendele The "whiteness" of the whale is meant to represent the terrifying "nothingness" that creeps up upon everyone at some point. This is an example of…moreThe "whiteness" of the whale is meant to represent the terrifying "nothingness" that creeps up upon everyone at some point. This is an example of existentialism because Ahab is desperate to find God and prove to himself that life isn't just a practical joke on us all and that suffering isn't meaningless. When Ahab talks about "pushing through the mask" its really just his way of saying he wants to conquer Moby-Dick, conquer the "nothingness," and discover if God is real and whether or not he is good. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Jason
“Where the White Whale, yo?”

Ah, my first DBR. And possibly my last, as this could be a complete shit show. Approaching a review of Moby-Dick in a state of sobriety just wasn’t cutting it, though. So let’s raise our glasses to Option B, yeah?

I fucking love this book. It took me eight hundred years to read it, but it was so, so worth it. Melville’s writing is impeccable. The parallels he draws, even when he’s seemingly pulling them out of his ass, which I swear to God he’s doing, because who can f
...more
Matt
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People I despise
Shelves: classic-novels
LISA: Dad, you can't take revenge on an animal. That's the whole point of Moby Dick.
HOMER: Oh Lisa, the point of Moby Dick is 'be yourself.'
-- The Simpsons, Season 15, Episode 5, “The Fat and the Furriest”

There, there. Stop your crying. You didn’t like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick? You didn't even finish it? I’m here to tell you, that’s okay. You’re still a good person. You will still be invited to Thanksgiving dinner. You won’t be arrested, incarcerated, or exiled. You will not be shunned (exce
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
I re-read Moby-Dick following my research trips to the whaling museums of New Bedford and Nantucket whaling museums. The particular edition I read from University of California Press is HIGHLY recommended as the typeface is extremely agreeable to the eyes and the illustrations are subtle and instructive without ever interfering or drawing attention away from the story. Perhaps that’s where the latent interest grew deep in my soul as regards the whaling museums and since life offered me recently ...more
Jamie
Aug 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So, Herman Melville's Moby Dick is supposed by many to be the greatest Engligh-language novel ever written, especially among those written in the Romantic tradition. Meh.

It's not that I don't get that there's a TON of complexity, subtlety, and depth to this book about a mad captain's quest for revenge against a great white whale. And on the surface it's even a pretty darn good adventure story. And, honestly, Melville's prose is flowing, elegant, and as beautiful as any writing can possibly be. I
...more
karen
Apr 08, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: littry-fiction
i tried.

Both ends of the line are exposed; the lower end terminating in an eye-splice or loop coming up from the bottom against the side of the tub, and hanging over its edge completely disengaged from everything. This arrangement of the lower end is necessary on two accounts. First: In order to facilitate the fastening to it of an additional line from a neighboring boat, in case the stricken whale should sound so deep as to threaten to carry off the entire line originally attached to the harpoo
...more
Bookdragon Sean
I hate this book so much. It is impossible to ignore the literary merit of this work though; it is, after all, a piece of innovative literature. Melville broke narrative expectations when he shed the narrator Ishmael and burst through with his infinite knowledge of all things whale. It was most creative, but then he pounded the reader with his knowledge of the whaling industry that could, quite literally, fill several textbooks. This made the book so incredibly dull. I’m not being naïve towards ...more
David
Jan 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There once was a grouchy alpha whale named Moby Dick who -- rather than being agreeably shorn of his blubber and having lumpy sperm scooped out of his cranium like cottage cheese -- chose life. Unlike so many shiftless, layabout sea mammals of his generation, Moby Dick did not go gentle into that good night. This whale, in short, was not a back-of-the-bus rider. He assailed a shallow, consumerist society, which objectified him only as lamp oil or corset ribbing, with the persuasive argument of h ...more
Esteban del Mal
Everyone eventually comes across the White Whale in one form or another. The trick is to not keep its attention for too long.

*****

Avast! Dost thee have a five spot thou can see thyself parting ways with?

No?

Jibberjab up the wigwam! Cuisinart the poopdeck!

What's that ye say? Thou canst not make heads nor tails of what I sayeth?

Here then. Let me take this pipe outta my mouth and stop menacing you with this harpoon. Better? Good.

Huh? No, no! Ho-ho! I wasn't asking for money! I was asking if you've
...more
Nataliya
I was that precocious brat who first read the whale-esque sized Moby-Dick at the age of nine. Why? I had my reasons, and they were twofold:
(1) I was in the middle of my "I love Jacques Cousteau!" phase, and this book had a picture of a whale on the cover.
(2) It was on the bookshelf juuuuust above my reach, and so obviously it was good because it was clearly meant to be not for little kids, and that made my little but bloated ego very happy.
So, in retrospect, were War and Peace and Le Père Gori
...more
Fernando
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“¿Y si Ahab abandona de súbito la búsqueda? Es probable que la pierna inexistente le duela para toda la vida."

"Moby Dick" fue, es y será mi libro preferido de toda la vida. Esta es en realidad la tercera vez que lo leo dado que la magia que se desprende de sus páginas me hechiza sin soltarme. Más allá de que en la cima de mis escritores preferidos se yergue solitariamente y sin competencia mi admiradísimo Franz Kafka y que le sigue muy de cerca Fiódor Dostoievski, quien me enseño muchas maneras
...more
Lyn
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Call me Ishmael.”

– OK, even those who have not read Melville’s words, know about this iconic beginning. Why Ishmael? Why not.

“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure. Consider also the devilish brilliance and beauty of many of its most remorseless tribes, as the dainty embellished shape of many species of sharks. Consider, once more, the universal cannibalis
...more
Nayra.Hassan
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, revenge
قد تعتبره دكتاتورا غبيا استعبدته فكرة واحدة للنهاية
او تعتبره مجرد "غلبان"آخر فاقد الإيمان و الرضا
انه كابتن ايهاب العنيد البائس ...مرهوب الجانب ذو الساق الواحدة
..الذي وهب حياته لقتل الحوت الأبيض العظيم الذي افقده ساقه

هى قصه أخرى عن المصير الذي تدخره لنا الأقدار🔚
..و عن الرضا بالمكتوب
تحثنا موبي ديك على توسعة افقنا و النظر للامور بعين "الاخر" ..إنها قصة أخرى عن الفهم الذي يأتي بعد فوات الأوان. .

عن العمر الذي يضيع في سبيل رغبات و هواجس هامشية⏳
..تلتهم أيامنا و تلقي بنا سجناء في جب الحقد و البؤس و
...more
Matt

So... I just finished it a couple of days ago and pretty much everything else pales in comparison.

About three hundred pages in, it was already in my top ten favorite novels of all time, and it didn't disappoint (much)as I continued reading. I actually deliberately drew out getting to the ending so I could savor the last few hundred pages or so. Damn. What a doozy.

What can really be said about this book which hasn't been said before?

A couple of major points that bear mentioning...

* It's dense.
...more
J.G. Keely
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1819 in Manhattan, a strange trial was commencing. A merchant of that great city had been found in possession of barrels of spermacetti, the fine-quality oil which may be obtained from the head of the Sperm Whale. When an inspector demanded he pay the proper taxes on his goods, the merchant, who apparently made a hobby of science, declared that he had no fish product in his possession, and so the tax did not apply. He was duly arrested and, contending the charges, a trial was begun to determi ...more
Stephen
This was the first CLASSIC I ever read strictly for pleasure...

And I really, really enjoyed it...for the most part (see below).

While recognizing its hallowed place among the canon of world literature, I was still surprised, pleasantly so, at how captivated I became with the novel from the very beginning. Instantly, I loved the character of Ishmael and was amused by his unconventional introduction in the novel. Forced for economic reasons to share a room at in inn with a complete stranger, descr
...more
Candi
"Aye, aye! And I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! To chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out." - Captain Ahab

Stripped of its multitude of digressions, Moby-Dick is at heart a fantastic adventure and literary treasure brimming with symbolism and some of the most colorful and me
...more
Barry Pierce
OH MY HOLY MOTHER FUCK. This novel, this FUCKING novel. Phenomenal. Astounding. Groundbreaking. One of the greatest novels ever written. Yeah there's like 200 pages of whale anatomy and the history of whales in literature and whales in art and whale classification and I LOVED EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT. So it's five-stars. Yes, five-stars. A five-star rating here is as rare as seeing the White Whale itself! READ THIS RIGHT FUCKING NOW. NOW. NOW. NOW.
Agnieszka

Ishmael,
as now we finally got to know each other I allowed myself to scribble some words to you. At first, I wanted to thank you for your fascinating report from your voyage. I had heard, always from second hand, many accounts about that what happened to you and your companions. Some claimed that it was stupidity and unbelievable bravado to chase after that Moby Dick. Others maintained that it was manful adventure and any landlubber would never be able to understand that. Anyway, I’m glad that I
...more
Ahmad  Ebaid
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أدب, فلسفة
موبي ديك أو الحوت الأبيض, رائعة الكاتب الأمريكي هيرمان ميلفيل

description

"هل الحوت يفكر؟ هل لديه خطة!!"

يقول السيد ميكافيللي في كتاب الأمير بأن الرجل لا ينتقم إذا ظلمه ذو بأس شديد, ويخبرنا علماء الحيوان الآن بأن القرود والذئاب والحيوانات الأخرى, عندما تدخل في قتال مع أعضاء من نفس النوع تقاتل بكل شراسة, ولكنها عندما تشرف على الهزيمة تخنع وتنحني أمام الفائز الذي يتقبل انسحاب الطرف الآخر. وبهذه الآلية يحافظ النوع الواحد على أفراده. ويبدو أن البشر ورثوا هذه الآلية أو القانون أيضاً.

ولكن هناك بعض البشر يستخدمون س
...more
Ahmed
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
في مرّة سألوا هيتشكوك عن الفرق بين المفاجأة والإثارة؟ فرد عليهم قائلًا: إن المفاجأة هي اتنين قاعدين في مكان وتقع عليهم قنبلة، والإثارة هي إن نفس الاتنين قاعدين في نفس المكان وتحتهم قنبلة زمنية وبتعدّ قدامك. الفكرة كلها إن المتعة بتكون موجودة حتى في الحاجات اللي انت متوقعها أو عندك خلفية عنها، يعني أكيد انت عارف إن( موبي ديك )ودا حوت، وبيطارده (آخاب أو إيهاب) واللي الفوا بينهم مصطلح مشهور(إيهاب وحوته)، لكن رغم معرفتك بكل دا إلا إنك بترتبط بالرواية ارتباط غريب على مدار كل صفحة منها.

كموسوعية عمل مث
...more
Luffy
Jun 14, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is there a polite version of saying 'I hope you're roasting in hell since you died Herman Melville!'? If there's not, there should be...Screw you, Melville.

Once on Imdb (books section), I saw some yahoo saying to a naysayer of Moby Dick "It's your loss". The naysayer replied sarcastically. "My loss? On no. What will my boss and my wife and friends think of me when I tell them I gave Moby Dick 1 star?". That's my feeling as well.

This book is only for the pedants, the elite of snootiness, many of
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
896. Moby-Dick = The Whale, Herman Melville
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is a novel by American writer Herman Melville, published in 1851 during the period of the American Renaissance. Sailor Ishmael tells the story of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the white whale that on the previous whaling voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. The novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, but during the 20th ce
...more
Daniel Clausen
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chapter 1. Call Me Daniel

Call me Daniel. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little money in my bank account, and nothing particular to interest me in the world of mortals, I thought I would pick up a classic book and see a little bit of the literary world. It is a habit I have of chasing away adulthood and the drudgery of office life. Whenever I find myself involuntarily thinking about ditching town or becoming a beach bum; whenever the temptation to live in a Winnebago by th
...more
Brad
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A public house in Pittsfield, Mass. Two men are at the bar: the bearded man stands, the mustachioed man sits. They take a drink of ale and the bearded man speaks.

Melville: I'm doing it. I've decided.

Hawthorne: Doing what?

Melville: Writing my sodomy book.

Hawthorne: Herman...

Melville: Nathaniel...

Hawthorne: It is unwise.

Melville: Well...it's about sodomites more than sodomy.

Hawthorne: Why would you do this?

Melville: Sodomy exists, Nathaniel, and someone needs to write about it. It might as well
...more
Forrest
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wanna know a secret? Lean over here and I’ll tell you: This is the first time I’ve read Moby Dick. No lie. 43 years old, never read it. That assignment in high school? Skipped it. Faked the report. Thank you, Cliff Notes. By that, I mean the guy named Cliff in my English class. He owed me a favor. A whale of a favor . . . And college? Bachelor’s degree in Humanities – I had to have read Moby Dick, right? Wrong. Just snippets. Excerpts. Then, feeling the guilt of being an educated American who ha ...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
There's an old 1950s science fiction story in which aliens have taken over Earth and now wish to learn everything about the human race. But they can't tell what's important and what's trivial, yet. So to be on the safe side, they employ people to read every single book ever published and summarise its main points. And the story is a day in the life of one of these readers. And he's got Moby Dick. And what he writes on the file index card is :

Nineteenth century knowledge about cetaceans, particul
...more
Chloe
I have to admit to a long-standing curiosity about Moby-Dick (not least of which is why the albino whale’s name is hyphenated in the title but just plain Moby Dick in the text itself). I read and loved a Reader’s Digest condensed version (gasps of dismay echo across the Metaverse at this news) of this book around second grade and have always wondered what the arbiters of taste at Reader’s Digest decided to leave on the cutting room floor. Could it have been an illicit love scene between Ishmael ...more
da AL
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-literary
the best opening line ever! & hey, one can always skip some of the whale pages...
Szplug
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fuck me with a mincing knife such that I shit banana splits, but is this the most lushly, gorgeously written sea-skein of supernal and scotopic skaldic skill ever set to run before the trade winds for a voyage of six hundred and twenty-five pearlescent pages? Could aught be a more ariose attar of tars in cetological skin, a testimonial to the Old Testament wherein the primal and subcutaneous have pride of place and the canvas of the watery sprawl infinitely spread about the buffeted body shivers ...more
Whitney Atkinson
4.5 stars

I definitely would not have read this had it not been for class, but I'm so glad I did. As often as it goes off on tangents about whaling and details I don't care about, somehow those chapters are short enough to not lose my attention entirely, and they always rounded back to a relevant point that made them integral to the story rather than background information. I think Ishmael and Ahab are two tremendously developed characters. I'm eager to delve into my research on this book because
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
PewDiePie's Liter...: Moby Dick - Herman Melville 3 29 Dec 12, 2018 01:44AM  
What makes Moby-Dick so great? 411 2225 Nov 12, 2018 06:36AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Connect editions 3 14 Aug 21, 2018 08:04AM  
  • Remembrance of Things Past: Volume I - Swann's Way & Within a Budding Grove
  • Germinal (Les Rougon-Macquart, #13)
  • Life on the Mississippi
  • The Oresteia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides
  • The Deerslayer (The Leatherstocking Tales, #1)
  • Lord Jim
  • Absalom, Absalom!
  • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • Finnegans Wake
  • Gargantua and Pantagruel
  • Bleak House
  • The Good Soldier
  • Nightmare Abbey
  • The Red and the Black
  • Gravity's Rainbow
  • The Dream of the Red Chamber
  • The Riddle of the Sands
2,401 followers
There is more than one author with this name

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 d
...more
“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” 2292 likes
“Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian.” 633 likes
More quotes…