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Download Billy Budd Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Billy Budd, by Herman Melville Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (6,996 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Herman Melville Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Billy Budd, an orphaned, illegitimate child suffused with innocence, openness, and natural charisma, has been impressed into service aboard the HMS Bellipotent. He is adored by the crew but for unexplained reasons arouses the antagonism of the ship’s master-at-arms, John Claggart, who falsely accuses Billy of conspiracy to mutiny. Set in 1797, Billy Budd exploits the tension of this period during the war between England and France to create a tale of satanic treachery, tragedy, and great pathos that explores human relationships and the inherently ambiguous nature of man-made justice.

Melville’s stories are masterpieces to be appreciated on more than one level. They are rich with symbolism and spiritual depth and show the timeless poetic power of Melville’s writing as he consciously uses the disguise of allegory in various ways and to various ends.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Billy Budd has excited the most admiration and commentary of any work by Melville except Moby-Dick. It has the translucence and the loose weave of last works. A lifetime sifts into it. Whenever Melville ventures onto shipboard, the reader feels the deck beneath his feet.”

    John Updike

  • “Reaches straight back into the universal, to a blackness and sadness so trancending our own that they are undistinguishable from glory.”

    E. M. Forster

  • “No library, public or private, that professes to represent English literature should be without it.”

    John St. Loe Strachey

  • “In this last of Melville’s works, published posthumously, the author dramatized the clash between natural goodness and innocence as personified by Billy Budd and unprovoked evil as embodied in Claggart.”

    Masterpieces of World Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Clif Smith | 2/19/2014

    " There is so much to this short work that I could go on for days talking about it. Great story, characters, symbolism, theme, etc. One of the best I have ever used in the classroom. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Lady Danielle aka The Book Huntress | 2/16/2014

    " I like the Christ metaphor, but I found this one dry and hard to read. I had to force myself to get it read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by L.R. Green | 2/3/2014

    " It's so confusing and hard to understand! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Kaley | 1/30/2014

    " Worst fucking novella ever. Fuck you, Melville. "

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