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Editorial Reviews

Typee is Herman Melville's first book, a predecessor to Moby Dick, and, in fact, is inspired by the author's own exploration of the Marquesas Islands. Tired of being at sea for many months, the narrator and his friend flee their cargo ship at the first spotting of land. Luckily, they have chosen a beautiful island in the Maquesas, but unluckily, the locals might be cannibals. Audio performer John L. Chatty luxuriates in Melville's elaborate descriptions of the rich setting, from the detailed accounts of the voluptuous Marquesan girls to the imagery of the ship's licentious crew. Chatty's pacing is leisurely and his articulation is excellent, although at moments his voice could use more varied inflection. Overall, adventure fans will find Typee a thrilling audiobook.
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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in Britain under the title, Narrative of a Four Months Residence among the Natives of a Valley of the Marquesas Islands, and therefore posing as non-fiction, Typee was Melville's first novel. It was published in 1846, five years before Moby Dick, and was the most popular of the author'sworks during his lifetime. The book is an idyll of four months among primitive South Sea islanders. However, the books also shocked its original audience with a truthful account of Polynesian tribal life, including their very liberal sexual practices. Typee won Melville great fame during his life and remains a favorite today.
(P)1984 Jimcin Recordings
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kenneth on 05-09-09

Both an Adventure and a Lecture

I agree with a previous reviewer's comment that the reader is a little monotonous in his reading voice. It is a bluff male voice such as might be suitable for a sailor, but it lacks range. This problem is perhaps made worse by the fact that Melville launches into some heavily discursive passages in which he berates the unfortunate effects of the so-called "civilized" Europeans on the South Sea natives. These comments were a much-needed corrective at the time of the book's original publication, but they have the effect of taking the reader out of the novel. Typee is really only an adventure novel in the first section and briefly again at the end. In the middle is a long section describing the lifestyle of the Polynesians prior to being heavily impacted by European visitors. It is an idyllic life in which little work is required and the natives, who are feared as barbarous and violent, prove to be mostly benign and hospitable. I wouldn't rate this book as being on par with Moby Dick because the themes are so bluntly stated, as though the narrator had decided to step out of the narrative in order to deliver a lecture. Yet it was fascinating in what it depicts and is still a worthwhile listen.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Robin in Alaska on 07-15-13

Pitifully monotone narrator.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Anyone with a bad case of insomnia.

Would you recommend Typee to your friends? Why or why not?

No, .kg with this narrator, although I like Melville.

What didn’t you like about John L. Chatty’s performance?

It was devoid of any Passion and completely monotone.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?


Any additional comments?

It needs another narrator who will do it justice.

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