"The epic tale of Captain Ahab's hunt for the white whale Moby-Dick, the white whale: emblem of nature yet unnaturally pale, tender and violent, god and demon, an enigma to which Ahab is bound by ropes of vengeful obsession. The Pequod: whaler out of Nantucket, with its polyglot world crew bound upon a voyage for spermwhale, a ship of the damned driven by its ungodly captain to the edge of the void. Ishmael: named for a Biblical outcast, narrator, masthead philosopher, sole survivor. Published in 1851, Moby-Dick represents a high point in American literature and has the drive and intensity of the greatest modern novels. The most comprehensive paperback edition available, with introduction, text summary, selected criticism and chronology of Melville's life and times"