This book may seem rather boring to some, and hence the low rating. I am facinated with Tahitian culture, and have been ever since I have seen the paintings Gauguin completed there. This is an old culture that many people in the Modern World have difficulty relating to, but I find fascinating. If you find the culture interesting you may also want to read Gauguin's 'Noa Noa'. The writing is excellent and you get a good feel for the islands and the Tahitian culture. The contrast with Western culture was what no doubt fascinated Melville.