Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) is the author of many books and essays, including Herman Melville (Penguin Lives), American Fictions, and Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature.
Gr 5-9-In this beautifully designed adaptation of the classic novel, Needle sticks largely to Melville's original wording, but leaves out lengthy passages on whaling and the day-to-day workings of a seafaring voyage. New passages are delineated with an italicized font, and the tale flows fairly seamlessly between the original text and Needle's interspersed summaries and commentary. Although this is technically an abridgement, the length and complexity of Melville's text plus Needle's commentary direct it to an intermediate audience. Handsome pencil, ink, and watercolor illustrations on nearly every spread evoke the vastness and unfathomable mystery of the sea, varying from black and white to full color. A glossary and cross-section of a whaling ship assist in understanding the tale. This version of the story is for readers who want to read Moby-Dick, with its intriguing characters and thrilling adventure, but are perhaps not ready for the full-length tale.-Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library, IL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Responsive to the shaping forces of his age as only men of passionate imagination are, even Melville can hardly have been fully aware of how symbolical an American hero he had fashioned in Ahab." --F. O. Matthiessen "From the Trade Paperback edition."