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Extended Audio Sample Moby Dick Audiobook, by Herman Melville Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.74268041237113 out of 53.74268041237113 out of 53.74268041237113 out of 53.74268041237113 out of 53.74268041237113 out of 5 3.74 (97 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Herman Melville Narrator: Norman Dietz Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN: 9781400186013
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This classic story of high adventure, manic obsession, and metaphysical speculation was Herman Melville’s masterpiece.

On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakable thirst for vengeance. Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member Ishmael, Moby Dick is the tale of the hunt for the elusive, omnipotent, and ultimately mystifying white whale—Moby Dick.

On its surface, Moby Dick is a vivid documentary of life aboard a nineteenth-century whaler, a virtual encyclopedia of whales and whaling, replete with facts, legends, and trivia that Herman Melville had gleaned from personal experience and scores of sources. But as the quest for the whale becomes increasingly perilous, the tale works on allegorical levels, likening the whale to human greed, moral consequence, good, evil, and life itself. Who is good? The great white whale who, like nature, asks nothing but to be left in peace? Or the bold Ahab who, like scientists, explorers, and philosophers, fearlessly probes the mysteries of the universe? Who is evil? The ferocious, man-killing sea monster? Or the revenge-obsessed madman who ignores his own better nature in his quest to kill the beast?

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Stephan | 2/20/2014

    " Didn't quite understand the obsession with the white whale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 2/19/2014

    " I had to read this book in high school in 1964 and hated it. About 20 years later I read it again and was captured by it. I think it took me that long recognize the beauty of the language and the descriptive clarity. I still think we could do without the whale anatomy chapters though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Thomas | 2/19/2014

    " I'm not sure who could or would ever rate this book at less than five stars. I mean, seriously, come on people. Get your priorities straight. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trevor Shane | 2/19/2014

    " I even liked the boring parts... :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/18/2014

    " IF YOU START, MAKE A COMMITMENT TO KEEP GOING; I'D SKIP THE WHALE PROCESSING SECTION; WELL WORTH WHILE TO FINISH. READ IT DURING COLLEGE.COULDN'T READ IN HIGH SCHOOL BUT COLLEGE WAS A GOOD TIME TO READ MELVILLE. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karen Katz | 2/18/2014

    " Can't seem to finish this one entirely, even after it being a required reading for two different classes....oops. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Shapiro | 2/17/2014

    " I finally read this book this summer. It was on my "bucket list" of books to read. I loved it. I think it's a book that people of the 21st century should read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Justin | 2/16/2014

    " it teachs us leadership can really determine the outcome of a voyage. it also teaches about the job of whaling. narrator is a nut, pov is all over the place, but it really is a beautiful American story. Just read this for book club and enjoyed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ariane | 2/14/2014

    " Fortunately, my teacher told me to skip the whaling chapters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn Taylor | 2/14/2014

    " Definitely not overrated. It took me 42 years, but worth it. So worth it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg Powelson | 2/12/2014

    " It was a good story but you can take out about 400 pages of this book and still have the good story intact. I imagine Herman Melville was an egotistical asshole who was unwilling to depart any word he dared to put on paper or he had a crappy editor. It's hard to believe this is a classic. There are some very good parts but they don't make up for the prolific piles of crap that surround them. It seems some people have mistaken a mad mans ranting for poetic genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Justin Rose | 2/11/2014

    " Unmatched in creating scenes that reflect the stories time and culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Ballard | 2/8/2014

    " My favorite. If you don't like it I don't like you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shauna | 2/7/2014

    " I'm still digesting, but my immediate reaction: some of the most beautiful, moving language interspersed with long passages meant to test your dedication as a reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessie | 2/6/2014

    " Reading this book was like reading beautiful, odd, funny, poignant letters from my awesome fisherman boyfriend. I loved every minute of it, and I'm sure I will read it again and again. I never would have imagined even liking this book, but it is now one of my all time favorites. Ishmael is my ultimate fisherman fantasy (I'm sorry George Clooney circa The Perfect Storm, you are still runner up). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gerard Milewski | 2/5/2014

    " The chapters that featured the actual pursuit of the whale were fantastic, but they were greatly outnumbered by the chapters that explained the intricate, intimate details of whales, ships, harpoons, and every other aspect of whaling. Plowing through those dry chapters to get to the action is just too little reward for the effort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kinosfronimos | 2/2/2014

    " What an incredible book. A very dense read in parts, but well worth it for the majesty of the art of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lorelle | 2/1/2014

    " I read this book to my kids like five times when they were little. They loved the story and so do I. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne Freeman | 1/23/2014

    " You love it or hate it. I loved it. Symbolism playground. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colin Priest | 1/21/2014

    " I kind of thought that Moby Dick would be a dry serious tale of obsession given all the right minded sober praise that it has received over the years. Still I found myself swept up in this brilliantly oddball tale that had me burst out laughing on more than one occasion. The Captain...the captain well it was great to finally meet him when he did appear still I couldn't help thinking that, although a brilliantly portrayed character with a literary brogue to die for, he played a surprisingly sparse (although clearly central) role in this tale....just me? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 1/18/2014

    " A killer. Read it on Mykonos in Greece in the winter. Perhaps one of the greatest books of all time, but it it wasn't for Ishmael and Quequog, I never would have made it through Ahab's unhealthy obsessions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matthew Leroy | 1/17/2014

    " I had heard this book was a classic and turned to it excited. I assumed it would be a dense read because of what I had heard. It was dense, but the plot is not overly complicated in anyway. There are asides of a philosophical nature, which I enjoyed (determinism). The reason I rate this book so lowly though is that there are also many many many asides about nautical things. It sort of ruins the flow of the story. Still, glad I can say I have read it, but besides bragging rights I see little value in reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen | 1/17/2014

    " A little bit too much about whales but apart from that, one of the best books I've ever read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katrina | 1/14/2014

    " To my horror I could only get halfway through this before giving up and watching the film :0) Not that it's not brilliant (blatantly, it is) but I just struggled to get into it - for shame!! Oh and then I did read the ending which was different to the film ending... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Martina | 1/12/2014

    " I would not wish this on my worst enemy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brett Shriver | 1/8/2014

    " I rarely read a classic and finish with "I don't get it". But I did with this one. Lots of facts about whaling though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liz Long | 1/5/2014

    " I know - it's a classic. I hated it. It bored me. I finally had to force myself to finish before I could read anything else. My desire to read ANYTHING else was the only reason I got through it all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naureen Mahmood | 1/4/2014

    " Oh god, when will it end? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Z | 1/2/2014

    " Like a whaling encyclopedia with a plot. And yet fairly entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kevin | 12/17/2013

    " Had to "reel" this one in. Glad I did. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnathan Whiting | 12/5/2013

    " One of the greatest works of English literature I've ever come across. Pure genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg Mook | 12/4/2013

    " This was one of the most difficult reads I've ever done. I give it 5 stars because its a masterpiece. I didn't enjoy it always, but wow. It's heavy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Long Williams | 11/18/2013

    " Good story that diverges to semi-documentary narrative. Not sure if the part about whale anatomy was necessary. Cannot understand mythical literary status. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Mello | 11/14/2013

    " 5 Stars if only for the sake of it's extensive lexicon! Still working my way through, thesaurus in hand! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cameron Ocean | 10/22/2013

    " This is a great American Literary Classic. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dave | 9/17/2013

    " Great for time travelers wishing to become whalers in the 1800's "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Anne Bergmann | 9/14/2013

    " Ugh! I just don't give a flying fart about Ahab and his whale. I really don't. I am so glad to be rid of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/1/2013

    " A killer. Read it on Mykonos in Greece in the winter. Perhaps one of the greatest books of all time, but it it wasn't for Ishmael and Quequog, I never would have made it through Ahab's unhealthy obsessions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen Novak | 8/20/2013

    " This book was a little bit of torture. Melville is a master at revealing the human condition. Well written, but too many descriptions of whales, at times read like non fiction. Glad I read it, but glad it's over too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 7/14/2013

    " Everyone should read this book. The themes are as large as its size, and will always stay with you. Though definitely a challenge to read, it is truly a masterpiece that you will not regret picking up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenn Bruce | 7/7/2013

    " Just remember it was long. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jo | 7/1/2013

    " I never actually finished it. The most tedious and boring book I've ever tried to read. I gave it a valiant effort, but in the end, it was not worth it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Whitney Mitchell | 5/24/2013

    " Horrible, horrible book about whaling. There might be a plot in there somewhere. Maybe one day I'll be adult enough to come back and appreciate whatever it is that made Picard like this book so much. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jared | 4/2/2013

    " Meh... I'm not going to waste a lot of time with a long review simply because I didn't really like it. The story itself had so much potential, but it fell short. There was too much "information" in the text. It made it hard to work with. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bakhtiar Kasi | 1/16/2013

    " "There is magic in it." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richert | 1/7/2013

    " Once you get used to the (colloquial) language Melville uses, the read is engrossing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micah Nathan | 1/5/2013

    " Some classics should be removed from life support and allowed to wither. Not this one. Required reading. Skip the middle parts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carina | 12/31/2012

    " I found my desert island book. Finished today after three and a half months of steady reading, and I'm ready to start back at page one. Loved every page. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle | 12/22/2012

    " Required read in high school "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Audrey | 10/31/2012

    " "the wild watery loneliness of his life" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Gorski | 10/18/2012

    " A re-read for me after many years. While a classic because of its truncated nature for me it is a near miss to be called one of the great books. It is a book that needs to be swollowed in separate segments as the parts are better than the sum of the whole. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Declan Mcdermott | 8/22/2012

    " If you don't get excited and want to go challenge some unfathomable being to a duel when reading this, there's something wrong with you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaime Lara | 8/3/2012

    " Melville is an absolute genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Railroad_Ross | 7/21/2012

    " Not the first time I've read this book. It was required reading in school. But it's the first time I've read it for pleasure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chas Bayfield | 3/17/2012

    " Well, everyone has a favourite book and this is mine. From the first 'call me Ishmael' it drags the reader into it and doesn't let go. I skimmed over some of the natural history but the scale and style was almost Biblical. properly awesome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lacey Renee | 3/6/2012

    " One of the best and most well written pieces of literature. My favorite author. Relate fare to much to Ismael. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela Sikorski | 2/2/2012

    " One of the very first books I ever read and is still in my mind and made a book reader out of me "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Wolfe | 1/11/2012

    " This is the foundation stone of American literature. A cautionary story of where American monomania and obsession can take take us all. Written in language so evocative and lyrical that it begs to read out loud. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micah Nathan | 12/15/2011

    " Some classics should be removed from life support and allowed to wither. Not this one. Required reading. Skip the middle parts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael Tomlin | 11/19/2011

    " I know its a classic but I found it incredibly boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Johnson | 8/20/2011

    " The writing was good but there was just too much of it. It felt like the author was one of those people at a party who really drag their stories out; thinking they're been dramatic and entertaining but they're just being boring. This definitely wasn't a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra | 7/29/2011

    " Hardest book I've ever read. Apparently full of endless deep meaning. Mr. Orehotsky! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Heather | 7/7/2011

    " Wow, tough book to finish but thoroughly worth it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sophie Tallis | 6/6/2011

    " One man fighting his demons. A stunning multi-layered book into the dark heart of obsession, self-destruction and the perils of the ego! Still as powerful today as when I first read it as a child. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 6/1/2011

    " one of my favourite classics and possibly the biggest book ive ever read, when i was younger it seemed MASSIVE but as an adult i welcomed the challenge, it is a beautifully told story that will always remain timeless to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Qing | 5/31/2011

    " Masterpiece. Difficult to read... and I'm sure there are much more to be undiscovered "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steve | 5/30/2011

    " Oh - My - Gosh. I don't think I could finish the Cliff Notes version of this thing today. I read it in college and haven't looked back. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 5/29/2011

    " Moby Dick contains some of the best writing you'll ever read, a good adventure story, and some excruciatingly long passages on whaling and whale biology. I don't think I can adequately "review" it by saying anything further. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ken | 5/29/2011

    " An excellent graphic novel version of my favorite book of all time. I particularly liked the way Starbuck (the most interesting character, I think) was portrayed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri | 5/27/2011

    " Merritt and I took about a year and a half to read this. She got more out of it than I thought she would (cuz she's a smart cookie!). I enjoyed it more reading it with her than I would have if I had just read straight through. Love the conversations we had about it!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisa | 5/24/2011

    " Not only did I enjoy the story, but I learned a lot about whales. Whaling is such a big part of our history and this helped me to understand what exactly it all entailed and why it was such an important industry. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Guy | 5/23/2011

    " Not sure I can make it through this one . . . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/22/2011

    " The "War & Peace" or "Les Misérables" of whaling; unfortunately I think his execution meandered and failed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/22/2011

    " Wow. Best book I've ever read, no shit and much to my surprise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shane | 5/21/2011

    " Frank Muller is a superb audio book reader. An epic reader for an epic story "

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About the Author
Author Herman Melville

Herman Melville (1819–1891) was born in New York City. Family hardships forced him to leave school for various occupations, including shipping as a cabin boy to Liverpool in 1839—a voyage that sparked his love for the sea. A shrewd social critic and philosopher in his fiction, he is considered an outstanding writer of the sea and a great stylist who mastered both realistic narrative and a rich, rhythmical prose. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumously published novella Billy Budd.

About the Narrator

Norman Dietz is a writer, voice-over artist, and audiobook narrator. He has won six Earphones Awards and was named one of the fifty “Best Voices of the Century” by AudioFile magazine. He and his late wife Sandra transformed an abandoned ice-cream parlor into a playhouse, which served “the world’s best hot fudge sundaes” before and after performances. The founder of Theatre in the Works, he lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.