Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Moby-Dick is a novel written in 1851 by Herman Melville.
Initially it received mixed reviews, and was a commercial failure. About 3,200 copies of the book were sold during the author's life. It was out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891.
A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissance, its reputation as a "Great American Novel" was established only in the 20th century, after the centennial of its author's birth.
William Faulkner said he wished he had written the book himself.
Its opening sentence, "Call me Ishmael", is among world literature's most famous.
Herman Melville began writing Moby-Dick in February 1850, and finished 18 months later, a year longer than he had anticipated. Melville drew on his experience as a common sailor from 1841 to 1844, including several years on whalers, and on wide reading in whaling literature.