Author: Herman Melville
Publisher: Readers Digest
Star Rating: 2/5
Date Read: September 2nd to 16th, 2013
What a crazy old bugger that Captain Ahab was!
It has taken me so long to finish this book that I’m glad I can slam it shut, put it on the shelf and write this review. But where to begin?
I don’t want to slam the whole thing. Really, I don’t. Because I was quite looking forward to reading it, and the first few chapters where we meet Ishmael and Queequeg got me quite interested in the story. The they got on the ship and it all kind of slowly went downhill from there.
Being on a whale ship, in between when you are actually chasing whales, must get pretty boring for the whalers. That’s how this part of the book seemed to me. A lot of philosophizing about … stuff? … and then scientifically inaccurate (they probably seemed right at the time) descriptions of the whale as a ‘big fish with lungs’. It floated in and out of the actual story (which I was more interested in) about the madman Ahab and his crazy quest to find and destroy Moby Dick (who does not appear until the 466th page, in my edition!) and the philosophy and musings and explanations from Ishmael. As the story went on I felt we lost Ishmael’s point of view and it became more of a third person narrative. That was too bad – I liked Ishmael and his story. But I get that his story is a mere part of the whole adventure.
I enjoyed some of this book, but mostly I was just glad to finish it!