Moby Dick Herman Melville Audiobook Review

Do some books ever strike you as unconquerable – daunting because of their size and significance in literary culture? For me, that book is Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I’d always thought of it as big, long and scary. Never mind all the penis-related things I’ve heard about it and about it being this whole great big metaphor for manhood. Yet, when I was deciding on books to put on my Fill In The Gaps listMoby Dick was one of the very first books I thought to add.

Moby Dick Herman Melville Cover

This is my FAVORITE cover of all the ones I found.

Friends, the best way for me to conquer this beast was via audio. As I listened, I felt unencumbered by trying to figure out the symbolism or the pronunciations, instead I just let myself slip into the narration. Moby Dick has one of the most iconic opening lines EVER – ‘Call me Ishmael’ and, y’all, the writing only gets BETTER. Seriously, I loved Melville’s way of describing things, of describing a certain frustration that seeps into your bones so all you can do to fix it is head for parts unknown, for the sea. I will say that the bits on whaling, the technical parts are kind of boring but if you are ever playing trivia and you get asked a question about whaling, you will probably win.

As for plot, I will give you a barebones version. There is this guy named Ishmael who gets a job on Captain Ahab’s boat. Ahab is dead set on killing this whale named Moby-Dick. You guys he is named Moby Dick because he is a total dick. He like, ate Ahab’s leg. So of course, the Captain wants revenge and I don’t really blame him. And basically the book is them going through the ocean looking for the whale, like they go up to a ship that was just whaling and Ahab is like you boys see the white whale? Yep. And that friends, is my lazy gist.

I am glad I read Moby Dick. First off, now I have bragging rights and can join the cultural conversation. Second, the writing is truly wonderful. I am honestly not shocked at all that this book is a classic. Third, the audiobook that I consumed was narrated by the late Frank Muller who is more than capable and did grizzled whaler quite well. The audio is 21 hours and 20 minutes, produced by Recorded Books and TOTALLY worth a listen, if your aim is to get into the classics and be entertained by them.

Disclosure: Purchased on sale at Audible for $4.95

Other reviews of Moby Dick by Herman Melville:

A Literary Odyssey – “It seems as if he agonized over each sentence, each word, to get it just right

The Blue Bookcase – “This was not the adventure story I always thought it would be

Also The Blue Bookcase provides a great LIST OF TIPS FOR READING MOBY DICK

FYI — you can totally download and read Moby Dick for free because it’s in the public domain.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I’m so proud of you for getting through Moby Dick! I’ve always been too scared to try.

    If I was picking teams for a trivia game, you’re totally my first draft pick.

  2. YAY!

    I had a little paperback version I read as a middle school nerdling, but I lost it.
    Time to get it on le kindle and reread it as an adult!

  3. This one is definitely on my classics TBR list. I’m tackling Les Mis and Anna Karenina right now but I think you’ve inspired me to try this one next! 😉

  4. I totally know what you mean about this book being intimidating. Honestly, whenever I think about it, the Jaws theme song starts playing in my head (for more than one reason, of course). 🙂 I love some of Melville’s short stories, and I’ve always wanted to read Moby Dick, but it’s SUCH a commitment, you know? Oh well. I’m hoping to be able to read it before I have to take my comps at the end of my Masters degree. Kudos for reading it, and I’m glad you liked it! I might have to steal your audio strategy…

  5. I’ve never read Moby Dick because I was so intimidated by it. But it sounds like the story’s pretty good, plus it is a classic after all!

  6. One day I will have to read this book. But not today. XD

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: