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Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Herman Melville
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale
Book genre:
Adventure fiction, Novel, Epic
First Published:
October 18, 1851
Original language:

What's the book "Moby-Dick" about?

It tells the story of Ishmael, a sailor, who joins the whaling ship Pequod, commanded by the obsessed Captain Ahab. Ahab's sole purpose is to seek revenge on the massive white sperm whale, Moby Dick, who had previously bitten off Ahab's leg at the knee during a whaling voyage.

The novel delves into various themes such as obsession, revenge, fate, the nature of good and evil, and the power of nature. It also serves as a meditation on the human condition and the complexities of existence.

Throughout the narrative, Ishmael provides detailed descriptions of life aboard a whaling ship, the process of whaling, and the different characters encountered on their journey. The pursuit of Moby Dick drives the crew into increasingly perilous situations, ultimately leading to a dramatic and tragic climax. "Moby-Dick" is considered one of the greatest American novels and a masterpiece of world literature.

Listen to an excerpt from the book "Moby-Dick"

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this book available for free?

Yes, this book is in the public domain and can be accessed without any restrictions or royalties. The copyright term has expired. In most countries, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years. Therefore, books published before the date of 1924 are generally in the public domain in the US if the copyright was not renewed.

How to download this book for free?

You can download this book for free, for example, on the Gutenberg Project website. This version is available to download and read in various ebook formats, including PDF, epub, TXT and others.

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