Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick

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Unfortunately, Philbrick’s own efforts at admiration more often than not undermine themselves on the level of plain bad writing that strives to be witty and wise aphorism.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Moby-Dick is perhaps the greatest of the Great American Novels, yet its length and esoteric subject matter create an aura of difficulty that too often keeps readers at bay. Fortunately, one unabashed fan wants passionately to give Melville's masterpiece the broad contemporary audience it deserves. In his National Book Award- winning bestseller, In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick captivatingly unpacked the story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex, the real-life incident that inspired Melville to write Moby- Dick. Now, he sets his sights on the fiction itself, offering a cabin master's tour of a spellbinding novel rich with adventure and history. Philbrick skillfully navigates Melville's world and illuminates the book's humor and unforgettable characters-finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. A perfect match between author and subject, Why Read Moby-Dick? gives us a renewed appreciation of both Melville and the proud seaman's town of Nantucket that Philbrick himself calls home. Like Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, this remarkable little book will start conversations, inspire arguments, and, best of all, bring a new wave of readers to a classic tale waiting to be discovered anew.
 

About Nathaniel Philbrick

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NATHANIEL PHILBRICK is the bestselling author of Mayflower, In the Heart of the Sea, and Sea of Glory. He lives in Nantucket.
 
Published October 20, 2011 by Penguin Books. 145 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Why Read Moby-Dick?
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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Randy Boyagoda on Oct 28 2011

Unfortunately, Philbrick’s own efforts at admiration more often than not undermine themselves on the level of plain bad writing that strives to be witty and wise aphorism.

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