Omoo

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1765-5
Publication Date
November 1999
Series
Page Count
316 pages
Trim Size
5 1/2 x 8 1/2
ISBN
0-8101-1765-7

Omoo

A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas, Volume Two
Heman Melville

Melville's second book, Omoo, begins where his first book, Typee, left off. As the author said, "It embraces adventures in the South Seas (of a totally different character from 'Typee') and includes an eventful cruise in an English Colonial Whaleman (a Sydney Ship) and a comical residence on the island of Tahiti." The popular success of his first novel encouraged Melville to write a sequel, hoping it would be "a fitting successor." Typee describes Polynesian life in its "primitive" state, while Omoo represents it as affected by non-native influences.



Whitman praised its "good-natured style." But many reviewers doubted Melville's veracity, and some objected to his "raciness" and "indecencies." Some also denounced his criticism of missionary endeavors, for his attacks on missionaries were more polemical than those undertaken in the earlier book. Omoo, however, influenced later visitors to Tahiti such as Pierre Loti, Henry Adams, John La Farge, and Jack London; it was the book that sent Robert Louis Stevenson to the South Seas.


About the Author

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), and after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.

Reviews