Sunday, December 12, 2010

Review: Moby Dick

Moby Dick Readable Classic by Herman Melville and Wayne Josephson

Publication Date: February 2010
Publisher: Readable Classics
Genre: Classic
ISBN-13: 9780615349039
ISBN: 061534903X

(Received for review from the author)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Books-A-Million, IndieBound

If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:

Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books or
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library

Author's Website:
Excerpt: Click HERE!

What are Readable Classics?

Readable Classics gently edits the works of great literature, retaining their essence, spirit, and original voice, making them more enjoyable and less frustrating for modern readers.

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

In Moby Dick, Herman Melville's 1851 masterpiece, Ishmael, a crewman aboard the whaling ship Pequod, narrates Captain Ahab's obsessive, doomed quest to destroy the great white whale that took his leg.

a tremendously ambitious novel, Moby Dick became the first great American epic and myth, a tale of life at sea and the conflict between man and his fate. Brilliant, humorous, and bleak, Melville espouses his philosophy of life, death, religion, and moral values.


I have always loved to read the classics. I started with the required reading in high school and went on to read classics just because I liked them and probably because I thought it made me feel more well read. I think it's important for young people growing up nowadays to be exposed to the classics and find an appreciation for great literary works, but sometimes that's a difficult task. Most teenagers would rather watch a movie re-make or buy the Cliff Notes than try to slog through a classic, with it's outdated language and hard to understand writing style.

That's where Wayne Josephson comes in. He has a created a series of books called the readable classics, where he takes great literary masterpieces like Moby Dick and edits them to make them easier to understand for not only young readers but adults alike who find the classics daunting. Josephson doesn't change the stories some of us have come to know and love, he only enhances them. Using modern language and a very light touch. The books retain the same magic and wonderful characters they have always had. The same dialogues and the same settings. Just some minor updates which will give these classics a brand new audience. I believe these books would work well in the classroom as well.

Moby Dick is a story about obsession and what it can do to a life. Captain Ahab spent his life, and everything he had trying to take down the great white whale who maimed him. Revenge was always foremost in his mind and it literally destroyed him. Narrated by a crewman, Ishmael, we see the great toll the search for Moby Dick has on the captain. Herman Melville's great classic is filled with themes from religion to values and back again. This is also a great adventure story about life on the open sea, and what it takes to make it on a whaling boat. It is definitely a book that young readers will enjoy!

I believe that Wayne Josephson has not only given Moby Dick a fresh modern update on the language, but he has also given it a new audience. Some adults still don't read the classics because they find them daunting, but they don't have to anymore. These great readable classics will appeal to young and old readers alike. I especially recommend these for readers who have been given these books as required reading. Don't miss out by watching the movie or getting the study notes, this is a great book! Try the readable classic you may find you really enjoy it...

Moby Dick Readable Classic is available NOW from your favorite bookseller!

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!