The narrator of this story is Ishmael, an outcast from society. While he never really explains much of his own personal circumstances, “Moby Dick” begins with Ishmael taking to the sea in the hopes of changing his life. He signs on board a Nantucket whaler called the Pequod, which is run by an iron-fisted tyrant named Captain Ahab. Once on the open seas, it becomes apparent to the crew that this sailing is not driven by the huge profits that come from harvesting whale oil, but rather so that their driven Captain can seek revenge on the whale that disfigured him. The Pequod’s crew travels the high seas, searching for any sign of that cursed white whale…Moby Dick!
I’ve read “Moby Dick” several times in my life, and it’s important to know that there are many different versions of this book. The original text by Mr. Melville is 600 pages long and steeped in detail—it’s still a fantastic read today, although younger readers might be perfectly happy with an abridged version or even an Illustrated Classics format. Whatever version you choose, be sure to add “Moby Dick” to your reading bucket list. Adventure awaits you on the high seas!