Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Melville’s Moby-Dick

[Ed. note: The following citations come from one-star Amazon reviews of Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick. To be very clear, I think Moby-Dick is fantasticbut I also enjoy seeing what people compelled to write negative reviews of the book on Amazon had to say. What follows are selections of one-star Amazon reviews; I’ve preserved the reviewers’ unique styles of punctuation and spelling. See also: on Joyce’s Ulysses and Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress].


I bought this book for a friend in jail. Alas, he was unable to read it because the font was too small.

First of all, classiflying it as fiction is a mistake. Probably a good 60% of the book is non-fiction – chapter after chapter dedicated to every imaginable detail of the biology of the whale and every imaginable nuance of whaling.

Ray Bradbury, who wrote the screenplay for this novel, (a la Gregory Peck) couldn’t even finish the damn thing!

Moby Dick, was a horrible waiste of time. Along with its wordy paragraphs, it also talked about uninteresting issues. It is also to long, and you don’t hear of them encountering the whale until the end of the book.

I am quite the fan of stories which involve man eating sea creatures, such as Jaws. Moby Dick is nothing compared to such classics, I fear.

Moby Ick’s more like it.

It made for a smashing movie.

Throughout the book, you may read one chapter with some action only to be followed by 5 or 6 chapters of tangents that are not necessary to understand the story.

Honestly, Over 400 pages devoted to killing a whale because it ate your hand? Come on.

Those chapters about Ishmael sleeping with whatever his name was and Ishamel had such a good time with the other guy’s arm over him and leg over him that he didn’t know if he was straight or gay any more.

What is the whales motivation? You dont know.

I have seen better writing in a Hallmark card! Boring! Give me a good ole copy of Elvis and Me! A true story that really tugs at your heart strings! I sleep with that one under my pillow! Keep Moby Dick away from my bed!

i personally didn’t enjoy the philosophical or deep side of the book, i have read much much better books in that regard.

It is 540somepages of boring whaling details.

I think if you made it into a short comic strip, you would have liked it.

There is no suspense, and I find the idea of people hunting whales offensive. Offensive with a capital O.

No wonder Melville flopped as a writter.

OMG, this is tedious and torture to read.

If you like a story with nonessential information and an author that is entirely to verbose, then this book is for you.

I love literatur just as much as the next guy but we must face it 100 years or so ago American literature was reall weak and lagging from the rest of the world, perhaps now they’re starting to catch up with writers like Ann Rice and them.

It is hard to read. like work. Doubt he could get published today.

I HATE this book. Why? It’s BORING!

The only people who like this book are english teachers who derive a feeling of moral superiority from forcing others to read this incredibly bad novel.

If you want to read lots of meaningless whale trivia read the book.

Boy gets whale. Boy loses whale. Boy gets whale. Spawns yawns.


  1. DoingDewey · February 27, 2013

    Hahaha, those are just the funniest reactions. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Tim · February 27, 2013

    I love stories of man eating sea creatures, particularly ones set in a fish restaurant.


  3. randomkhaos · February 27, 2013

    This blogger should be on Fox News.


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  5. Suelinhess · February 27, 2013

    This is HILARIOUS!


  6. Larkin Callaghan · February 27, 2013

    This is amazing.


  7. Chris · February 27, 2013

    A real shame about Ahab’s hand….


  8. Pingback: from biblioklept: one star Amazon reviews of Moby-Dick | remaking moby-dick
  9. Eric · February 27, 2013

    I must admit, I did skip part of the 40 page dissertation on the color white. That part was a little dry.


  10. Pingback: Selections From One-Star Amazon Reviews Of Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick’ -
  11. anotsustark · February 27, 2013

    Fish eats my hand, me and said fish are going to have “unfinished buisness.” Maybe you should stick to pop-up books.


    • Biblioklept · February 27, 2013

      There’s actually a *fantastic* pop-up book version of Moby-Dick by Sam Ita.


  12. Pingback: Selections from One-Star Amazon Reviews of Melville’s Moby-Dick | The Passive Voice | Writers, Writing, Self-Publishing, Disruptive Innovation and the Universe
  13. anotsustark · February 27, 2013

    They should put a section in book stores for those people responsible for posts like this. “Filly-Stines” in bright colorful letters. Stock it with Cliff Notes and Goosebumps. A Mountain Dew vending machine would see a lot of buisness in that aisle.


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  15. Ruven Schwartz · February 27, 2013

    “Ann Rice and them.” Enough said.


  16. Max Headroom · February 27, 2013

    Those comments prove that you can’t appreciate a book without studying the history, society and philosophical trends of the period it was written in.
    “Doubt he could get published today” they say. And it’s completely true.


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  19. Otis Axel · February 27, 2013

    Reblogged this on Pug Butts and commented:
    “Honestly, Over 400 pages devoted to killing a whale because it ate your hand? Come on.”


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