Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick - Library Of America

This book honestly would have garnered four stars from me had it not been for the interminable pages upon pages of nitty-gritty description of the whaling process (ambergris and whatnot). Otherwise, Melville is a writer of striking, gorgeous prose, a great creator of characters, with a wonderful sense of humor. And the story is, of course, by now an emblematic one.