This nineteenth-century classic is at once a thrilling
adventure, a timeless allegory, and “the greatest of American
novels” (The Atlantic Monthly).
Despite strange warnings, Ishmael, a young schoolteacher from
Manhattan, signs up for a voyage aboard the Pequod, a
whaling ship departing from New Bedford, Massachusetts. While on
shore, he strikes up a friendship with Queequeg, a tattooed South
Seas cannibal. The unlikely friends are hired for the journey—only
to discover their commander will be Captain Ahab, a brooding,
one-legged, tyrannical old man fixated on avenging Moby Dick, the
great white whale who crippled him.
Along with the rest of the crew, including unforgettable characters
like the intellectual first mate Starbuck who risks standing up to
Ahab, cheerful second mate Stubb, and African harpooner Daggoo,
Ishmael sets out for a hair-raising adventure laden with danger and
nameless horrors. As they dare to challenge God’s most dreaded
creation and nature’s indifference to human survival, their fate
lies with their monomaniacal captain, whose obsession can only lead
Considered a masterpiece of American literature, Moby
Dick—from its famous first line, “Call me Ishmael,” to its
dramatic climax—has fascinated generations of readers.