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Book review: 'The Passages of H.M.'
Book review: 'The Passages of H.M.'

The Passages of H.M.A Novel of Herman MelvilleJay PariniDoubleday: 454 pp., $26.95"The time for me hasn't come yet: Some men are born posthumously," Nietzsche wrote in "Ecce Homo." It's a statement that might have provided comfort to Herman Melville, whose books — including "Moby-Dick" and his more popular early tales of seafaring adventures, "Typee" and "Omoo" — had been out of print for years when he died in 1891, at age 72, in his Manhattan home.Jay Parini's deeply absorbing seventh novel, "The Passages of H.M.," is an agile mix of fact, fiction and embedded literary quotation. It adds strongly to Melville's posthumous presence. Grossly underappreciated in his lifetime, Melville...