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Moby Dick

Narrated by: B. J. Harrison
Length: 24 hrs and 3 mins
4.9 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the dark depths of the bottomless sea dwells a white demon, taking shape as the Leviathan known as Moby Dick. One year ago, the malefic brute crunched off the leg of the ungodly Captain Ahab, who now swears revenge. So runs the epic tale of Moby Dick, the supernal work of Herman Melville. In this unabridged production, you will walk with the young sailor Ishmael through the fires of life on a whaling vessel. Each character is brought to life by the narration of B.J. Harrison, who also turns Melville’s sometimes over-potent expository information into an easily digestible treat.

Public Domain (P)2013 B.J. Harrison

What listeners say about Moby Dick

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Immersive

Moby Dick immerses you in a world that no longer exists. It lets you experience this half made world with beauty, fear, immediacy, and a visceral surrounding of the sights and smells of a world inhabited by monsters and cannibals, taking with yourself a somehow very relatable view of the characters that you live amongst, with all of their decisions, fears, longings. It's as informative as an encyclopaedia.

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  • Wes Luebbert
  • 13-12-2015

Excellent, with one caveat.

I highly recommend getting an abridged version if you are a casual listener just looking for an exciting story; with entire chapters dedicated to a singular description the story can quickly lose its flow. Mr. Harrison does and excellent job in narration and bringing the different characters' personality into each voice performance.

5 people found this helpful

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  • JAY
  • 19-05-2016

more than I expected<br />

I've always wanted to Read Moby Dick but I procrastinated. this audio version was excellent and very well performed I would recommend it to anyone looking to finally listen to Moby Dick.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ardent Reader
  • 19-04-2016

Thar she blows!

If you could sum up Moby Dick in three words, what would they be?

Great American Classic! B.J. Harrison's reading is amazing. He uses a different voice for each character, infusing the characters with their own personalities, thus bringing them to life. He has an incredible vocal range from highest tenor to lowest bass.

Ishmael, clearly learned, but an outsider, tells the story of Ahab and his desire to wreak vengeance on the white whale that bit off his leg, thus "dismasting" him. Ishmael explores obsession, madness, violence, love and prejudice by making astute observations on the social mores of the times, which are surprisingly relevant today.

One passage that particularly struck me was when Ishmael sees, for the first time, the tatooed countenance of one of his shipmates, Quequeg, a South Seas native, and immediately deems him a savage. However, Ismael quickly realizes that in most ways, Quequeg is more civilized than many of his peers, and acknowledges his error by saying, "Ignorance is the parent of fear." Ismael and Quequeg become fast friends.

Some reviewers have been upset by the detailed descriptions of the killing and processing of the whales. While I'm an animal anti-abuse advocate, I feel that those passages are integral to the existentialist nature of the book. I thoroughly encourage you to listen to this unabridged, rather than an unabridged, edition. I can't imagine that the cutting of any passages would do anything other than alter the deeper meaning of the book. It may take a little time to get used to the Victorian syntax, but the crafting of the sentences and sentiments is well worth the effort.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MARK
  • 23-09-2014

Can't argue with a classic

What made the experience of listening to Moby Dick the most enjoyable?

I've wanted to read this book in its entirety for years but couldn't commit the time. Listening to it however is a breeze.

What other book might you compare Moby Dick to and why?

Any of the big classics of the 19th century by the likes of: Dickens, Poe, Austen, Twain, etc.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to mention

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to mention

Any additional comments?

This book is packed with significance and multiple layers. Everyone knows that. But what I didn't know is that it's actually a very easy read, full of light and humorous moments and fantastic adventure. Can't speak for the multiple other narrators whose versions are also available on Audible, but this reader, BJ Harrison, is terrific. Here's another thing: I just finished Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" Stylistically speaking, I'm sure she was influenced by Moby Dick.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Davidkproctor
  • 05-10-2015

A classic

I understand now why this book is considered a classic. I feel that I should have read this earlier. I feel fortunate that I read it now. They're making a movie, I hope they don't screw it up.

2 people found this helpful

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  • CmH - HB, CA
  • 27-07-2015

Tough to get started. Glad I stuck with it.

Would you listen to Moby Dick again? Why?

Difficult to get used to the 19th c. language. I'd like to do a little research on nautical terms of the period and have another do.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The particulars of whaling were brutal. The book goes into great detail. Very disturbing withh our 21st c.view of the great mammals. It's important to keep the 19th c whalers' perspective in mind.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ed m
  • 01-09-2020

Outstanding performance by the reader BJ Harrison,.

The narrator’s performance made the book. He did so many voices so well. Outstanding. Recommend this highly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Emilio Nicoli
  • 03-05-2020

I love the English accent!

I evaluated a number versions of Moby Dick before picking this one. One concern I had was that although Melville was an American author, his speech would have most certainly been English. However, many of the orators of this work have contemporary American accents. This to me was not befitting this spectacular book of the time. Consider for ones that Ahab’s speech is all Shakespearean; this is a travesty if uttered with an American accent. No, I say! This book can only be read with an English accent as this orator does so eloquently. Thank you, I say!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-02-2019

Classic

Moby Dick is a pretty good story but just a heads up Melville loves to go on these really long monologues and asides. Still, very good story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • yanjeliz perez
  • 01-08-2018

I LOVE THIS BOOK!!

This was a great read. I am going to go back and read it again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • L. Dane
  • 17-12-2019

Ridiculous, hilarious and wise

All aspects of Moby Dick are brilliant. The author's factual (if occasionally unreliable) narration of the minutiae details of the whaling industry are strangely engrossing and often amusing, the author's asides are witty and often contain a pearl of wisdom, the characters of Ahab, Quequeg, Starbuck and Stubb are brilliant in their own way, and the small percentage of the book devoted to real action is electrifying.

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  • Roly
  • 06-05-2017

Epic Tale

Melville is an astounding author and the story is an awesome one; of great drama and Shakespearean intensity. Melville's knowledge and experience is broad with biblical classical and scientific references. You need to be a little patient as he can be wordy but the story is gripping, with great characterisations and stunning soliloquies. The narration of this edition is authentic and compelling and I highly recommend this experience.