Moby Dick (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Herman Melville


Read by William Hootkins


‘Call me Ishmael’ Thus starts the greatest American novel. Melville said himself that he wanted to write ‘a mighty book about a mighty theme’ and so he did. It is a story of one man’s obsessive revenge-journey against the white whale, Moby Dick, who injured him in an earlier meeting. Woven into the story of the last journey of the Pequod is a mesh of philosophy, rumination, religion, history and a mass of information about whaling through the ages. This epic story, here presented in unabridged form, receives an equally epic reading from the outstanding American actor William Hootkins.

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  • Running Time: 24 h 50 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-962-954-557-4
    Cat. no.:NAX35812
    Download size:362 MB
    Released:July 2005
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

William Hootkins, like a skilled conductor, creates a charmed reading that explodes with a symphony of contrasts. Oh, it starts easily enough with a certain playfulness of tone – Ishmael’s surprise at Queequeg and the frothy bluster of Captains Peleg and Bildad. But the reader soon plunges into deeper seas. The almost childish voice of Ishmael, as if on a skylark, alternates with the later excitement of the chase. The enthusiastic study of the parts of the whale contrasts with the darker innuendos on God; the colorful excitability of Stubb butts up against the diabolic indifference of Ahab’s Fedallah. Overall, the mad ruminations of Ahab himself, initially undervoiced, like a recurrent theme, build to a mounting crescendo. Hootkins, exercising perfect control, orchestrates all these voices into the symphonic whole that is Melville’s dark masterpiece.

P.E.F., AudioFile

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