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  • Published: 1 February 1998
  • ISBN: 9780553213119
  • Imprint: Bantam Dell
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • RRP: $9.99

Moby-Dick

or, The Whale




Herman Meville's profound and timeless inquiry into one man's obsession, in a gorgeous new clothbound edition

No American masterpiece casts quite as awesome a shadow as Melville's monumental MOBY DICK. Mad Captain Ahab's quest for the White Whale is a timeless epic- a stirring tragedy of vengeance and obsession, a searing parable about humanity lost in a universe of moral ambiguity. It is the greatest sea story ever told. Far ahead of its own time, MOBY DICK was largely misunderstood and unappreciated by Melville's contemporaries. Today, however, it is indisputably a classic. As D.H. Lawrence wrote, MOBY DICK "commands a stillness in the soul, an awe... [It is] one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world."

  • Published: 1 February 1998
  • ISBN: 9780553213119
  • Imprint: Bantam Dell
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • RRP: $9.99

About the author

Herman Melville

Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.

Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

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