Ahab’s Return by Jeffrey Ford

Ahab’s Return by Jeffrey Ford is an unusual and intriguing book. The book focuses on the two iconic figures in Moby Dick – Captain Ahab and Ishmael, ok mainly Ahab.

Ford creatively furthers their story in the setting of 1853 New York. He takes an angle that I would not have expected – continuing the life of Captain Ahab (remember he was dragged to his death by a harpoon line attached to Moby Dick) and his quest to find his family after his long odyssey in the Pacific. Ahab meets up with George Harrow, a reporter for a rag newspaper, and the two try to find Ahab’s lost family.

The book is part mystery (finding Ahab’s family) and part fantasy (the mythical characters). The mythical characters and the settings are intriguing. I have never been a big fantasy reader, but this one kept me interested throughout because of the strong plot and engaging characters.

A good read for fantasy and mystery readers alike.


Ahab's Return Book Cover Ahab's Return
Jeffrey Ford
William Morrow
August 28, 2018

A bold and intriguing fabulist novel that reimagines two of the most legendary characters in American literature—Captain Ahab and Ishmael of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick—from the critically acclaimed Edgar and World Fantasy award-winning author of The Girl in the Glass and The Shadow Year. At the end of a long journey, Captain Ahab returns to the mainland to confront the true author of the novel Moby-Dick, his former shipmate, Ishmael. For Ahab was not pulled into the ocean’s depths by a harpoon line, and the greatly exaggerated rumors of his untimely death have caused him grievous harm—after hearing about Ahab’s demise, his wife and child left Nantucket for New York, and now Ahab is on a desperate quest to find them. Ahab’s pursuit leads him to The Gorgon’s Mirror, the sensationalist tabloid newspaper that employed Ishmael as a copy editor while he wrote the harrowing story of the ill-fated Pequod. In the penny press’s office, Ahab meets George Harrow, who makes a deal with the captain: the newspaperman will help Ahab navigate the city in exchange for the exclusive story of his salvation from the mouth of the great white whale. But their investigation—like Ahab’s own story—will take unexpected, dangerous, and ultimately tragic turns. Told with wisdom, suspense, a modicum of dry humor and horror, and a vigorous stretching of the truth, Ahab’s Return charts an inventive and intriguing voyage involving one of the most memorable characters in classic literature, and pays homage to one of the greatest novels ever written.

About the author

Jeff Grim

Jeff Grim has been a reader all of his life. He has had a particular interest in military history, any war at any time. His fascination with military history has brought him to an interest in historical fiction where the history comes alive with fictitious heroes and villains. Recently, Jeff has become interested in historical mysteries set in various time periods.

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