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May 19, Ammar rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in The plot attracts your attention from the very beginning till the last page. The turmoil of the human soul and the effect of love on it is a mystery, and Mark is trying to solve the mystery of love and how it affects the tender soul of Melville and produce Moby Dick and how Hawthorne was a catalyst. A catalyst that motivated Melville to dive into his soul and cause pain to everyone around him so he can find some form of salvation in the wilderness of the Berkshires.
One of the best historical no The plot attracts your attention from the very beginning till the last page. One of the best historical novels I have read in the last few years. And I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a love story and ponder some questions about souls and hearts. Jan 17, Krista Regester rated it liked it.
Never in a million years did I think that something would make me want to pick up Moby Dick again, but alas I was wrong. This complicated love story of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne will definitely make you think. Although for me, there was too much talking and not enough kissing. What struck me in particular is how funny The Whale: A Love Story is; Beauregard has a fine sense of the absurd, propelled in part by the mammoth intellects he is depicting here.
Both authors were at their creative peaks when they met though, and Beauregard raises fascinating questions about the link between creativity and passion, and how The Muse for one can be a devil for another. Or an albatross around the neck. He also delves deep into the subtext of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale , and gives fascinating insight into this multifaceted masterpiece.
And then there is unrequited love.
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Beauregard tackles the issue of the attraction between the two authors with boldness and delicacy. There is no undue sentiment here or melodrama, which only serves to heighten the emotional impact. Exquisitely rendered, and a privilege to read. View 2 comments. May 26, Isabella rated it it was amazing. I became aware of this novel about a month ago while perusing the internet for content analyzing the complex relationship between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
For years now I have been intrigued by the two author's passion and regard for each other. There is absolutely no doubt that Herman Melville was madly in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne and that Hawthorne loved Melville in his o I became aware of this novel about a month ago while perusing the internet for content analyzing the complex relationship between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
There is absolutely no doubt that Herman Melville was madly in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne and that Hawthorne loved Melville in his own right; but the question I have been turning over in my brain all these years is whether Hawthorne ended their attachment because he strictly loved Melville in a platonic sense, or if he ended it because he felt a desire and passion towards Melville that society and his own conscience would not allow him to act upon? Mark Beauregard has not only answered this question, but he has convinced me wholeheartedly that the latter must be the truth.
Beauregard brought these historical literary figures who lived and died many years ago back to life within the book's pages, crafting an equally beautiful and heart-wrenching narrative of love, friendship, and obsession that grasps the reader and refuses to let go even after the final page has been turned. Beauregard depicts two of the greatest writer's to come out of the flourishing 19th century literary scene in the most vulnerable and human way, as if he has peered into the past and witnessed the innermost characteristics of their souls.
Beauregard stayed as true to historical fact as he could with the information that has been preserved, and he filled in missing details in the most alluring and wonderful way. The romance between the two men was brilliantly crafted and deeply moving, and the rest of the novel's characters were so well written and added so much depth to the story.
Not only should fans of Melville and Hawthorne like myself read this book, but anybody in general who loves a good story. May 24, James rated it did not like it.
Big Mistake. While Shelden researched and basically proved that Melville was involved with a married woman neighbor during his Berkshire experience, this is a fictional account of Herman Melville's passion for Nathaniel Hawthorne, which is used as his inspiration for his monomaniacal goal in writing his whaling epic. This is monotonous, redundant, and ridiculous. The author wants us to believe that Melville wanted just more than friendship from the neighboring fellow author and obsessed on it endlessly.
The reader is plunged into the fevered mind of Melville and we learn a lot about how much he was mesmerized by Hawthorne's beautiful golden brown hair. This goes on forever and is buffeted by inane letters they wrote to each other. It is filled with philosophical speeches and discussions of Puritan attitudes, adultery, love for the same sex, and makes Melville out to be a nut job and resemble a self involved smitten high school girl. Having been acquainted with the historical figures and others in the world of Melville at this time by reading the previous book it was frustrating to see how the assessment and characterization of the same were opposite to real history or just did not exist in this fictional telling.
Melville obviously had a great affection for his friend, which is proven through their real written communication, but this fanciful droning story is to be avoided. Nicole You know, after reading quite a bit of Hawthorne's American Notebooks and some excerpts of letters to and from Melville, I found the premise here a li You know, after reading quite a bit of Hawthorne's American Notebooks and some excerpts of letters to and from Melville, I found the premise here a little difficult to buy, despite my feeling that Melville's passions were a little much for Hawthorne, who stuck me as an uber-introvert, utterly devoted to his wife and children.
I'll take a peek, but you've convinced me it's not purchase-worthy. Thank you. Q2 Thanks for recommending a better one! Aug 23, PM. Jeffrey Powanda Isn't it possible that if you read Beauregard's book first, you'd now have a similar strong resistance to Sheldon's book? Jun 28, Ericka Seidemann rated it it was amazing Shelves: whaling. During this time, Melville was pursued by creditors and lived off of loans from his father-in-law. His writings yield lackluster profits, and he struggled financially. He met Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic and was instantly captivated, falling in love that spiraled into obsession.
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Melville craved a life beyond his grasp - fame as a novelist, a house far beyond his means, a desire for an unavailable lover. Beauregard suggests his desperation is paralleled in the story of Moby Dick. Ahab is chasing an unattainable goal for revenge; but, as Hawthorne explains in a letter to Melville, this lust for revenge is not for the loss of his leg, but for the loss of his heart. The Whale: A Love Story blends historical accuracy and speculation of the level of admiration between these two literary icons.
The fiery urgency of Melville and the agonizing denial by Hawthorne makes for a tale of woeful desperation. This book humanizes the authors who were writing at the dawn of American literature. It made me view Moby Dick with a new perspective and understand the honesty and manic intensity behind the pursuit of the whale. Highly recommended.
Aug 02, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Everything I could ever have hoped for or wanted from a love story between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville. Repressed puritan moral restraint. Obsessive passion without dramatic action. So much love.
This is first romance novel that I fully loved. And a great palate cleanser between heavier works.
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This book made me want to read Hawthorne and Melville's entire works in full searching it for any hint that the theory of this book could be true. If the premise of a romantic relationship betw Everything I could ever have hoped for or wanted from a love story between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.
If the premise of a romantic relationship between these two literary giants appeals to you at all, I can promise you that this book does not fail to deliver. It is everything you could hope for and you should definitely read it. Jan 06, Kirsten T rated it it was ok. I found this torture to read, though I appreciate the author's attention to historical detail.
I didn't care for Melville as a character or narrator. I also didn't buy this as a legitimate interpretation of Melville and Hawthorne's letters, and I was very willing to be convinced. Three stars because it's probably just a matter of taste. It's no Morrissey's Autobiography, but it's not great either.
May 27, D. Mark Beauregard has written a delicious book of all the anticipations and exigencies of love. Never has so many legs brushing in carriages been so thrilling. The Whale: A Love Story is tale of metaphysical attraction so overpowering that it leaves in its wake, a path of destruction as it wantonly destroys the lives all around it.
Wait, didn't Melville write a book about that, something about a fish maybe? And while we can quibble about the details because the historical record is already quicksa Mark Beauregard has written a delicious book of all the anticipations and exigencies of love. And while we can quibble about the details because the historical record is already quicksand, there is enough in the whisper and trace to fuel this story. A story that has waited a long time to be told so thoroughly. But how sadly fortunate American literature has been to profit by these unrequited loves which were redirected to the page.
Excerpt from my blog. Jun 23, Hannah rated it really liked it. This was something of an unexpected treat. I usually enjoy books about writing or writers so I went into it with a pretty positive attitude, but I wound up liking it more than I thought I would. The writing sparkled, especially in dialog, and reality notwithstanding the picture of Melville as obsessive, lovesick, consumed by his own quest for a white whale - Hawthorne as well as the completion of his novel - was expertly drawn.
Earlier this year, I enjoyed an author taking two famous authors and writing their stories side by side. So, when I was introduced to this book not only telling of two famous American author stories, but showing their friendship, their work, and a little something more, I was all in. It read like a love story tucked inside a historical fiction. I've read books by both authors: Moby Dick by Herman Melville, House of Seven G Earlier this year, I enjoyed an author taking two famous authors and writing their stories side by side.
I liked their writing and was eager to learn more about the men behind the books. I was all kinds of curious about the suggestion that they were gay and had a love affair. I was open to not only buying in to even a whiff of it, but enjoying it even if it was just a very loose fictional story.
Unfortunately, I got lost in the writing style and couldn't really like the Melville portrayed in this books to be fair, he was something of a romanticist in real life or get on board with the romance. He says and does idiotish things and being inside his head was torturous or mind-numbing in turn for me. It wasn't all a slog.
Excursion to the Whales in Patagonia
I did enjoy the letters and I felt the author got the details of the time period down. Melville drove me nuts the way he got himself into trouble with his family, with entanglements, and all bumbling over his crush on Hawthorne, his muse. I liked the friendship between Hawthorne and Melville. I got a better feel for both men which is what I wanted. I think I would recommend this for historical fiction fans who are open to broader interpretations of the characters and don't mind an awkward romance at the heart of the story. My thanks to Penguin-Random House for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Feb 18, William Kuhn rated it it was amazing. I cannot speak highly enough of this book. He manages to make me want to go read Melville and Hawthorne in the original now. Hats off to Mark Beauregard. Jul 12, Paula Cappa rated it really liked it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love biographical fiction and this one belongs at the top of the list. Beauregard writes an insightful tale about Herman Melville's most intimate thoughts concerning Melville's attraction to Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The physical attraction hinges on their mutual creativity as writers, their philosophies, and deep friendship. Hawthorne fans should not miss this book. Probably not a good idea to read these books back to back as I did. Because now I'm left with thinking that Melville was madly in love with Morewood, married to Lizzie and having children with her, and desiring a homosexual affair with Hawthorne who seemed to influence Melville in his writing of Moby Dick as well, especially since he dedicated his sea epic to Hawthorne. This is an audacious novel.
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Aug 08, Leah Angstman rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-this , fiction-worth-your-time. This is a wonderful chucklefest of literary delight. The author has created the often-questioned, often-implied romance between Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville in exquisite detail, and I just grinned and grinned all the way through. It's touching, sad, happy, funny, surprising Feb 20, Mary McBride rated it really liked it. This was so much more than I had anticipated.
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I thought it was great and the writing was mesmerizing. Amazing to think that a classic such as Moby Dick never received literary accolades when it was published. Jul 03, Kristi rated it it was ok. I don't know. I wanted to love this. I didn't really love it. It's fine. Jun 19, Leslie rated it it was ok. Apr 21, Alice, as in Wonderland rated it it was ok.
My main quibbles with the book lie heavily in what I like in media as a person. Though I'm not directly opposed to romance and quite like romantic plotlines in books, there's a heavy difference between a book featuring romance and a book ABOUT a romance and it's the latter that I've had long standing problems with.
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