Set in the paradise of a South Sea island, Typee is a combination of fact and fiction.

Set in the paradise of a South Sea island, Typee is a combination of fact and fiction.


by Herman Melville

A genuine Barnacle Crucial Edition, definitive and uncensored. Barnacle Crucial Editions aims to take classics off the shelf and put them back in readers' hands. New editions featuring supplemental material from experts and fans help highlight the importance of each work, while new and creative designs help make them accessible to more than just the academic reader.

Almost from the time of its publication in 1846, Melville's first book, based on his own travels in the South Seas, has been recognized as a classic in the literature of travel and adventure. Although initially rejected as too fantastic to be true, Typee was immensely popular and regarded in Melville's lifetime as his best work. It established his reputation as the literary discoverer of the South Seas and inspired the likes of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Two common sailors jump ship and are held in benign captivity by Polynesian natives. Through the narrator's eyes we see a literate (if romanticized) portrait of the people and their culture presented in vivid, even scientific, detail. Melville's racy style and irreverence toward Christian missionaries caused a scandal, and critics denounced the narrator's suggestion that the native life might be superior to that of modern civilization. An adventure story above all, albeit one with a philosophical bent with evil and mystery lurking beneath the idyllic setting, Typee is a combination of elements that even early in Melville's career hinted at the towering ambition he would fulfill with Moby-Dick.

Now with a foreword by Jonathan Evison and introduction by Hershel Parker.

Rare Bird Books, A Barnacle Book
Paperback, 2013: 978-0-9854902-1-8
US $18.00 | Fiction

Herman Melville (1819–1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick.

Jonathan Evison is the author of the critically acclaimed novels All About Lulu and West of Here. He is the recipient of the Washington State Book Award and the Richard Buckley Fellowship from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.

Hershel Parker is co-editor of the landmark Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick (1967 and 2001) and Associate General Editor of The Writings of Herman Melville. His two-volume biography of Melville was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and won the highest award from the Association of American Publishers.