Redburn His First Voyage Author:Herman Melville Based on Herman Melville's first voyage to England as a sailor, REDBURN holds vital clues to Melville as a man and artist. The realities of that voyage are transmuted into fiction in this early novel; and the fiction takes on remarkable symbolic import and intensity . . . So, early in his career, Melville approached the great themes of Moby-Dick... more » and some of the manner of its art.« less
Herman Mellville publically stated this book was written merely to supply him with money foe his tobacco habit. I think that was a bit of depression talking on his part. While it is not quite Moby Dick, it does show the beginings of that classic nautical tale that Mellville is admired for. I would recommend this to those who liked Moby Dick and appreciate Mellville's work. It gives another chace for those who thought Moby Dick was a bit too long winded. This is a lot shorted and compactly written. There are patches of beatifully written prose here also. The reader should be prepared for scenes with racial stereotypes here. This is simply a refection of the times and a recognition that slavery was still in force when this work was created. It should be noted that the blacks depicted here are free and not slaves. They are masters of their own fate. Mellville should be given credit for this, especially given the fact that it was written before the civil war. It also paints a realistic picture of an occupation where free blacks were often given the mutual respect of their fellow sailors. This was not the case on land. So give Mellville credit for that.