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Moby Dick
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Moby-Dick is one of our greatest and most enduring works. The physically and psychologically scarred Ahab's at-any-cost pursuit of the white whale is a riveting tale with considerable philosophical overtones. Then there is Melville's invention of the Pequod, a microcosm of humanity together with his mythopoeic vision of both the greatness and self-destructive tendencies of America. Finally, there is the intricate narrative technique itself, with the story of Ishmael, Queequeg, and Ahab constantly being interrupted for minutia about the whaling industry and numerous other subjects, often with digressions within digressions. At first, Paul Boehmer seems a tad youthful and earnest to convey this momentous yarn, but, after all, this is the story of the young and inexperienced Ishmael. In addition to avoiding an overly melodramatic voice for Ahab, Boehmer offers an exceptionally well-measured performance, alternating between the calm and the enthusiastic. An excellent production; recommended for all collections.-Michael Adams, CUNY Graduate Ctr. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Gr 6 Up-Herman Melville's classic about one man's obsession with the white whale is filled with philosophy, marine biology, history, adventure, and even humor. William Hootkins' voice is superb for the telling of this great sea story, maintaining the attention of listeners even through some of the less adventurous parts. His intonations convey Ishmael's and Captain Ahab's thoughts in a way that helps listeners understand them and their times. Ishmael becomes an actual person and the Captain's madness is real. The individual personalities of each crew member is apparent. Through Hootkins' telling, the history of whaling becomes intriguing. Students who would normally shy away from this classic will find this format enjoyable. Listeners will gain a new appreciation for and understanding of the novel and Melville's times.-Anita Lawson, Otsego High School, MI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

The great white resurfaces in this gripping, comic book-style retelling. Comic-strip veterans Schwartz and Giordano condense Melville's leviathan tale into an action-packed, 48-page adventure. Despite forgoing Melville's "Call me Ishmael" first-person narrative and sensory details, this retelling closely adheres to the original plot, including some pivotal scenes absent from Allan Drummond's spare but entertaining 1997 Moby Dick. The dense story clips along, thanks to concise but appealingly hammy storytelling and melodramatic drawings, plus multiple panels that quicken the pace. When Ishmael meets Queequeg, for instance, the author squeezes out every drop of suspense: "There in the dimly lit room looms the forbidding image of Queequeg... harpoon at the ready, poised to sink its sharp head into his shaking body!!" Giordano ratchets up the tension with a series of close-ups of Ishmael's terrified face as he awakens to the "savage" in his rented room. The brooding, dark-toned panels exude imminent danger-an ideal milieu for Captain Ahab's doomed voyage. The book also provides a brief biography of Melville, as well as facts about whaling and New Bedford, Mass., the city that commissioned this retelling in celebration of the 150th anniversary (in 2001) of Moby Dick's original publication. Ages 8-up. (Oct.)

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