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The Whale: A Love Story
The Whale: A Love Story: A Novel | Mark Beauregard
59 posts | 32 read | 64 to read
A rich and captivating novel set amid the witty, high-spirited literary society of 1850s New England, offering a new window on Herman Melvilles emotionally charged relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne and how it transformed his masterpiece, Moby-Dick In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an endhis last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousins farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnicand his life turns upside down. The Whale chronicles the fervent love affair that grows out of that serendipitous afternoon. Already in debt, Melville recklessly borrows money to purchase a local farm in order to remain near Hawthorne, his newfound muse. The two develop a deep connection marked by tensions and estrangements, and feelings both shared and suppressed. Melville dedicated Moby-Dick to Hawthorne, and Mark Beauregards novel fills in the story behind that dedication with historical accuracy and exquisite emotional precision, reflecting his nuanced reading of the real letters and journals of Melville, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and others. An exuberant tale of longing and passion, The Whale captures not only a transformative relationshiplong the subject of speculationbetween two of our most enduring authors, but also their exhilarating moment in history, when a community of high-spirited and ambitious writers was creating truly American literature for the first time.
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Aimeesue
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I can confirm that this is 100% accurate. Unlike most Berkshire County weather reports. 😂😂😂

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Aimeesue
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The ebook is on sale today for $1.99. I wasn‘t going to buy it, but read the blurb and realized it‘s about the time Hawthorne and Melville spent in the Berkshires, and since that‘s where I‘m from, I kind of HAD to, right?

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crhealey
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Panpan

This is the kind of book that makes me wish I were a book quitter. It had all the right elements for me to love it-historical fiction, New England setting-but it felt very overwritten to me, like it was trying too hard to mimic the style of the authors it described. At least it was free?

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crhealey
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A perk of shopping on #SmallBusinessSaturday! An Unlikely Story was giving out FREE #blonddateswithbooks to anyone who purchased gifts or books today. I picked this blind date and received "The Whale" and am pretty excited! #HappyHolidays

tpixie 🎉🎉🎉 12mo
6 likes1 comment
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Leelee08
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A love story between Melville and Hawthorne? Yes! 50 cents from the used bookstore? Double yes!!💙🐳💙

UwannaPublishme 😁🐋👍🏻 1y
49 likes1 comment
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PlantyLibrarian
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Pickpick

I had no idea that Herman Melville & Nathaniel Hawthorne had a thing. A love thing. Possibly. This story is so well written and pulls from actual letters between the two star crossed men. At times, the desperation and despair feels a bit overwhelming and, at times, childish. But the story, it‘s reflections, and it‘s anchor in reality really took me on a ride that I didn‘t want to end.

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PlantyLibrarian
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Herman worried that he might be flattening the round earth of his imagination and sailing right off the edge.

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PlantyLibrarian
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He saw clearly, through Ahab‘s eyes, that the vengeful and capricious God of the Israelites was a deep Cosmic Shadow that Had created light only in order to see its own darkness.

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PlantyLibrarian

"Must we submit eternally to male tyranny?"

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Brooke_H
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Bailedbailed

I made it to 18%. Melville is swoony and obsessed to the point of creepiness. He also does not give one crap about his family which just made me want to read this story from poor Lizzie‘s point of view. Had to bail before I started disliking Melville IRL.

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Howardsimmons
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Bailedbailed

The whale's face says it all. One of the worst things I've ever read. Ridiculous, overwritten and not anywhere as deep as it thinks it is. Poor Melville and Hawthorne deserve better.

GhostStories And so boring 2y
8 likes1 comment
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COLearyDavidson
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Pickpick

As an American Renaissance nerd, I love this book! Great characterizations and style, and so fun to find the actual historical references interwoven deftly with the author's invention. It's the book I wish i had written!

3 likes1 stack add
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Nat_Reads
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#readinapril #readingrecap Stats: Total: 9 (weak) Favorites: Donne Poems, The Whale, and 84 Charing Cross Road

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Nat_Reads
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Pickpick

⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️❤️⭐️ I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is beautifully written, romantic, sweet, painful, and good. You do not need to be as obsessed with Moby Dick as I am to find this good for your soul.

Sydsavvy I really think you are the only other person I Know who has also read this book!! 2y
38 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Nat_Reads
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I also had to show the back: love letters. SWOON. I'm a sucker for pretty packaging.

32 likes1 stack add
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Nat_Reads
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I normally dislike hardbacks but my love for Moby Dick compelled me to pick up this treat of historical fiction about two of my literary loves: Melville and Hawthorne 💕🐳 OH I'm so excited to crack it open!

37 likes2 stack adds
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Readingrobin

Really enjoyed this one! Loved going back in history and learning more about Melville and Hawthorne.

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Sydsavvy
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"Must we submit eternally to male tyranny?"
Mark Beauregard, The Whale: A Love Story
Another strange book but well written and evidently well researched. I didn't know what I was getting with this, thought the love story would have been the whale. Clearly my lit teachers didn't point me to the world's suspicions.

31 likes1 stack add
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purdymaryk
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My dear Melville.

(And hooray for library books)

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KatyAliceReads
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As someone who wrote her MA Thesis on Hawthorne and Melville and a firm believer in the fact that their friendship wasn't strictly hetero, I was SO excited to read this.

It's disappointing on a few levels. The "love story" is so intsalove on Melville's part that it would make YA romances blush. It's ridiculous.

AND the man reading the audiobook mispronounces Sophia Hawthorne's name THE WHOLE TIME!

So-FIE-ah NOT So-FEE-ah

Nat_Reads Where did you get your little whale in the pic?! I want him! MD is one of my great loves 3y
KatyAliceReads @Nat_Reads I got it at the New Bedford Whaling Museum about 5 years ago. But I've seen similar ones in places like Hobby Lobby/Michaels type stores. 3y
22 likes2 comments
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MellieAntoinette
Whale: A Love Story | Mark Beauregard
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Pickpick

"This was farewell, and as a parting concession from the Fates, Melville would be allowed to present Hawthorne with all of his love and obsession and despair bound in leather. Hawthorne would carry away Herman‘s soul, set in type, and Herman would be left out in the Berkshires, loveless, with his botched English copies of The Whale." ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
#thewhale #markbeauregard

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MellieAntoinette
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"The desires it hadn‘t satisfied were the ones Herman and Lizzie experienced every evening at their dinner table, every night in their bed, and every day when Herman set sail across the lonely oceans of his mind, chasing unheeding phantoms across an endless horizon of empty white pages."

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MisterTrack
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Hnnnnngh... probably my most wanted book this year. The story behind Moby Dick in love notes between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. #nerdlove

Shortstack I absolutely loved this book!! 3y
5 likes1 comment
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HiddenGemBooks
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In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville finds himself hounded by creditors and afraid his writing career might be coming to an end—his last three novels have been commercial failures and the critics have turned against him. In despair, Melville takes his family for a vacation to his cousin‘s farm in the Berkshires, where he meets Nathaniel Hawthorne at a picnic—and his life turns upside down.

#TBR 😱📚

julesG That sounds very interesting. Will have to put it on my #TBR stack. I read quite a lot of and about Melville's earlier work. 3y
Novels Thanks for the review. #Melville 3y
84 likes15 stack adds2 comments
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MellieAntoinette
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"I believe the story you have here, if rightly told, would be the confrontation of an heroic personage against a single object which overpowers reason. But I am always inclined to seek the Soul inside the Machinery and the heart in the steel, as it were..."

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MellieAntoinette
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"Mortgages are the devil's own contracts and must be calculated in souls and not sovereigns, so I will certainly take care."

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MellieAntoinette
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"Destroying oneself, he thought ruefully, should always be done at a deliberate pace."

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Caralen
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DNF. I'm kinda angry about that too. I wanted to love this book, but I've been betrayed. The prose is purple (thus the purple used to outline one - of many - examples of this). It reeks strongly of RPF (real person fanfic), which is a type of fanfic I loathe. Another problem is that this is told from Melville's POV, and in this, he comes across as awful, obsessed, manipulative. Poor Hawthorne. And poor reader, bc is any of this even the truth??

10 likes1 stack add
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Susannah
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Mehso-so

The idea behind The Whale had so much potential that I have to admire Mark Beauregard for constructing a novel around it. But all its problems cannot be contained in 450 characters. I'll post a link to my Goodreads review if I can organize my thoughts coherently. In the meantime, let's appreciate the terrific book design by Christopher Silas Neal.

MrBook 😊👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 3y
17 likes1 comment
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KatyAliceReads
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I really want to be liking this more than I am...

Leelee.reads I've been waiting to get my hands on this since I first heard about it. Let us know what you think about it, if you finish it. I had high hopes! 3y
10 likes1 comment
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Susannah
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Oh lord. I am beginning to wonder if Mark Beauregard wanted to see just how ridiculous he could make his RPS and still get a major house to publish it. 😳

Shortstack But isn't the absurdity what makes this book so delightful?! 😂😂😂 3y
Susannah TBD, @Shortstack, T. B. D. 😜 3y
15 likes1 stack add2 comments
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KatyAliceReads
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Simona Very thoughtful photo....and nice😃 3y
Leelee08 😍😍😍 3y
17 likes2 comments
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KatyAliceReads
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Currently Reading...

SusanInTiburon Such a pretty photo! 3y
Leelee08 ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 3y
17 likes2 comments
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KatyAliceReads
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Pre-Birthday Book Shopping!

The Book-Buying-Ban is lifted!

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SHUPERBookLover
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Pickpick

A story of love and the devastating effects denied love can have on one person. Whenever I read books about authors who were not given there due in their own lifetimes it makes me incredibly sad. To think that Moby Dick was a commercial failure for Melville and today it is on school reading lists!

MrBook Great review! This one's on my TBR 😊👍🏻. 3y
8 likes1 comment
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WanderingBookaneer
Whale: A Love Story | Mark Beauregard
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled VERY good plan. I wish I'd read The Whale before I read Moby Dick. I think it would help me appreciate MD a lot more. 3y
quirkyreader Before I read Moby Dick I read Owen Chase's book about the whaling ship Essex and Nathaniel Philbrick's book about the same events. I'm weird in the aspect that I like to read about the actual event before reading a fictionalization version. Just like I prefer to read a biography about and author before reading their body of work. For me it gives a better perspective on the works and makes them even more enjoyable to read. 3y
WanderingBookaneer @quirkyreader : I have the Philbrick too. I might do the same. Thanks! 3y
quirkyreader I don't know if it's easy to find anymore, but I did read all of Melville's journals and diaries and it also helped with reading his body of work. 3y
28 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Pickpick

A true story of unfulfilled love. Heartbreaking and romantic. If you love Melville or Hawthorne, read this now. If you don't love Melville or Hawthorne, you will after you read this. I'll never look at Moby Dick the same way again. 🐳💔

MrBook Looking forward to this one 😊👍🏻. 3y
MrBook @BookishMarginalia 😁👏🏻👍🏻🙌🏻 #KindredSpirits 3y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @MrBook @BookishMarginalia Me three! I love those authors so this is on my TBR. ❤️📚 3y
39 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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WanderingBookaneer
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8leagueboot I am so excited for this! 3y
44 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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My fave place to read, complete with very loyal hounds. Will curl up tonight, hopefully with a good scotch and The Whale: A Love Story. #augustofpages #bookphotochallenge. (The real challenge is taking this photo without the hounds getting up to follow me)

Jenshootsweddings That absolutely would be a challenge! 🐶❤️ 3y
CherylDeFranceschi That is too cute! I can't even wrangle one kitty to stay still! 3y
Litlady Sweet fur babies. Love, love, love! 💞💜 3y
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SusanInTiburon Perfection! 3y
ScrappyMags Something about sleeping dogs... So relaxing! 3y
Shortstack Great book!! So much fun!!! 3y
54 likes7 comments
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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Gettin' started! Reading in bed while it storms outside! Kids are wondering where I am . . .

MrBook Signed! 😱😁👍🏻 3y
RealLifeReading Whale pillow case!! 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @RealLifeReading Ive been teased by a friend because these were listed online as "dorm room accessories" and Im 41 years old. But WHALE PILLOW CASES! How could I NOT?!?! 3y
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RealLifeReading What? Why do college kids get dibs on whales?? 😋 I would so buy those 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @MrBook Thanks! I was spazzing over getting a signed copy 3y
BookishMarginalia Love the pillow cases! And we bought the book yesterday 😊 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @BookishMarginalia Yay!❤️ Ive read the first chapter so far. It's clever and made me laugh. Everyone is a super genius and very snotty. Theyre lovely! 3y
Shortstack I am hardcore jealous of your signed copy. I adored this book so much! 3y
MrBook Understandable 😎👍🏻👌🏻. 3y
43 likes9 comments
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BookishMarginalia
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Ok, I'm sold. This is going home with @JaimitaPR and me.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I have it too! Starting it as soon as Im done with Homegoing. Can't wait!! 3y
BookishMarginalia @ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled.com 👍🏼 I'm curious what you'll think of it 3y
TheBookDream I was SUPER excited for this and then was really iffy on the Nook book sample so haven't bought it yet. Let us know what you think because I really did want to like it. 3y
Nat_Reads I just started it!!! 3y
69 likes7 stack adds5 comments
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OneMorePageBooks
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Melville + Hawthorne 4 Eva 😍😍😍

MrBook Added it to my TBR 😎👍🏻. 3y
19 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
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First book mail from Odyssey Books first edition club! Signed copies of first editions, y'all! Thanks for the heads up, mauveandrosysky!

mauveandrosysky Yay! So exciting! 😀 Now I just have to get around to actually reading Barkskins... 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @mauveandrosysky Me too! So daunting in size and yet so tempting 3y
Megabooks I loved Miller's Valley! Enjoy! 3y
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Shortstack I want to read this so much!!! I've become mildly obsessed with whaling though over the last year or so. 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @Shortstack Obsessed with whaling too!! So many books and whaling things in my house now! 3y
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled @Ebooksandcooks Im excited for that one as well. Need to read ALL the books RIGHT NOW 3y
42 likes1 stack add6 comments
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Ammar25
Pickpick

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.

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Ammar25

So far this novel is beautifully written and keeps you going on.