Billy Budd

  • by Herman Melville
  • Narrated by Michael Lackey
  • 3 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1797, young Billy Budd is impressed into naval service. It is a perilous time for a British Royal Navy still reeling from mutinies and marauding French ships. When Billy is forcibly transferred to HMS Bellipotent, he evokes the wrath of John Claggart, the ship's master-at-arms. Claggart falsely accuses Billy of conspiracy to mutiny, a charge that will have a profound effect on the fates of both seamen.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

H2O here isn't wide, but deep w/ strong currents

Reading 'Billy Budd' left me thinking of David Foster Wallace and his unfinished novel The Pale King. Both are unfinished literary works that -- despite their roughness (and yes incompleteness) -- seem to suggest or hint that if given time/space/temperament, etc., Melville and Wallace could have produced works equalling their respective magna opera. Both are full of a confident stillness that hint at a genius between the words and a soul and art floating just under the text.

Is Billy Budd a greater work than Moby-Dick? Pshaw! Of course not, because perfection. But it shows that that damn book about an enigmatic, amelanist whale was not a fluke. Billy Budd's simplicity and shortness is deceptive -- the water here isn't wide, but it is deep with strong currents.

At the end of reading this I was left with a dreamy visual of a giant wave which looks destined to break in a tremendous fashion against the ship I am sitting in. At the very last moment, however, the swell rolls under my lonely craft. While the ship survives, there is that one full-stop second; that heavy moment as the wave passes UNDER the portside where your bodymindandsoul recognizes the strength of the ocean and the power of that one beautiful wave that barely missed destroying you.
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- Darwin8u


Hated this book from start to finish. Sure glad we weren't assigned Moby Dick. the performance was adequate. So many hours I can't get back.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-15-2013
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC