And possibly my last, as this could be a complete shit show. I fucking love this book. It took me eight hundred years to read it, but it was so, so worth it.
And so last week, on vacation in Mexico it came along yet again. And I finally read the whole damn thing. I was reading it more as a writer than a reader, if that makes any sense. We want to understand how books work. Actual review starts here — The problem with the book or its brilliance if you are patient enough is that Melville is a tease.
The first 80 pages presents itself as a charming, funny, intriguing tale of life in whaling. He writes very well, and has some brilliant prose and pacing. But he slowly unwinds the book into wider and wider circles of pedantry, indulgence, and esoteric ramblings that more than try your patience.
The majority of the book is a whaling manual of sorts, with encyclopedia-like entries and opinion essays on various aspects of whales, whaling, and seafaring culture. And Melville loves his references: I suspect the movie version with Gregory Peck screenplay by Ray Bradbury provides the experience many people would expect in the book.
I diligently read every page, resisting the urge to skim and skip, exploring if I could resisting the temptations of my attention. The best possible take on the book is that Melville desired to give the reader a similiar obsession about the white whale to the one Ahab has.
The longer the book went on, the stronger the sense of craving, and then obsession, I had for the core narrative to continue. As Ahab hunts the whale, so does the reader hunt the story of Ahab and the whale in the book. A dozen or so passages in the book, often about Ahab or philosophy, are exceptional.
But for a book of this length I had a fairly low number of passages marked to return to and reread. My edition Wordsworth included a 15 page introduction by David Herd that bordered on worship. Thankfully I read it after I finished the book, as it would have ruined the reading as introductions of classics often do.Resources Help While Reading For More on Melville For More on Whaling Online Melville Works, Annotated Online Melville Works, Other Pages of Melville Links.
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Moby Dick; or The Whale, by Herman Melville This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. "It is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships' cables and hawsers.
A Polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it." So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history.
In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily. A short summary of Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Moby-Dick.
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Book Review: Moby Dick.
Posted on July 15, August 1, This book is part novel, part manual, part philosophy treatise. Reply; Low On Prozac November 18, at pm. Permalink. It’s a strange book and incredibly long and drawn out, but the story has always appealed to me on a primal level.
I hope I can take time to read it again.