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Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (Penguin Classics) · Herman Melville The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (Penguin Classics).
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I was nearly as surprised by its narrative potency as by the fact that my dad had known what I might like.

In recent years, the Kindle, Nook, and others have been rightly hailed for their function and utility, their ease of use and simplicity of acquisition. These reasons are universal and specific to no one. The bond that books helped my father and I establish, however, was ours and ours alone.

And that bond was so personal, so giving, that I wish I could somehow thank those books for everything that they did. There is little warmth in them; beyond the files stored within, there is no you or me. Some inscrutable logic tells me that if I were to abandon books, I would abandon my dad. Why do some of us stick with old things as the rest of the world hums by?

  • A Teachers Way Out (Part 7).
  • A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas.
  • Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (Penguin Classics).
  • Omoo by Herman Melville |

Toward the end of his life, John Updike was fond of musing about how little the world would note his passing. Attendees wanted to know if Updike did the dishes at home, whether he liked Sinatra, if he was handy around the house.

During the testimony of family and friends, Updike held up pretty well. Then of course there were the conference papers, all intended to continue the critical discussion that will be so important to sustaining the Updike reputation long-term. In one of his last interviews, in October , Updike cited the curious case of Emily Dickinson, who was not well known upon her death and who required the help of critics decades down the road to lift her to her current place in the canon. His obituary in in the New York Times looked, in its entirety, like this: Herman Melville died yesterday at his residence, East 26th Street, this city, or heart disease, aged seventy-two.

Herman Melville was born in New York City in When his father died, he was forced to leave school and find work. After passing through some minor clerical jobs, the eighteen-year-old young man shipped out to sea, first on… More about Herman Melville. Fiction Classics Literary Fiction Travel: From the Trade Paperback edition. Also by Herman Melville. See all books by Herman Melville. One is Melville's humor. The other is Melville's prophetic outlook. He seems more like us, more at home in our liberal, tolerant, 21st century Obama democracy, than he does in his own era.

This comes across when he laments the decimation of the Tahitian people from , at the time of Cook to barely 9, people in ; deplores the introduction of western commerce which left the Polynesians with nothing to do; and regrets the effort to civilize and christianize the natives which brought about "ignorance, hypocrisy and hatred of other faiths.

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I'll end with a digression. At times I felt insulted by the editor. Editors have to decide who is my audience?

It would seem natural to believe that anyone bothering to read this book is culturally literate and is more likely to read literature than adventure tales. I would bet we're reading this book because we like Melville. As a result she wastes a good deal of ink correcting Melville's spelling, and needlessly explaining obvious things like what are casks, harpooners and pearl-oysters, where are Palermo and Cape Horn, who were Napoleon and Lord Nelson, and that Taurus is a constellation. It would have been better if she had followed the example of Beaver in Penguin's excellent edition of Moby Dick: One year after Melville struck gold with 'Typee', his first novel and a colorful account of life in the Polynesian islands, the new writer published 'Omoo'.

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Melville's success with 'Typee', while not stratospheric, was significant enough for his publisher to print 'Omoo' sight unseen. Unfortunately, 'Omoo' is a prime example of the dreaded sophmore slump so feared by artists. The main issue is 'Omoo' lacks the unifying theme of Melville's captivity on a tropical island that gave 'Typee' a core.

On top of that, the tales or yarns, depending on how much truth you believe are in these pseudo-autobiographical novels Melville relates this time out are not nearly as interesting as those found in 'Typee'. I was pretty bored with 'Omoo' for many of its pages. Melville's writing is just as crisp and immediate as it was in 'Typee', but this book centers more around Melville's wanderings in Tahiti than it does on Polynesian life. Other sailors and colonial towns are really at the forefront of this book.

There's more commentary on the missionary movement which is interesting from a cultural standpoint but it just doesn't come alive. There are some interesting elements that surface from time to time, but the overall travelogue feel of this book - which 'Typee' largely managed to avoid - means Melville can't develop any of them. A Polynesian joins Melville on a ship as they leave the Marquesas, and his homesickness is touching. However, the character just vanishes at some point, and I don't even remember where or why.

Another example is the author's meeting with Pomaree, the Queen of Tahiti. There's a big build up to this meeting, but the pay-off is a drab let-down. Most modern readers should probably read 'Typee' and skip 'Omoo'. All prices in US Dollars. Summary Product Description Melville's continuing adventures in the South Seas-now for the first time in Penguin Classics Following the commercial and critical success of Typee, Herman Melville continued his series of South Sea adventure-romances with Omoo.

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