Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Moby Dick or the Whale by Herman Melville

This story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to seek out Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge.

Review by Patrick:

I finished this book today, thank goodness. I'm glad I checked this one out from the library and checked it out as an audio book, because I could see this book being another Silmarillion (in other words, takes-seven-years-to-finish book). 

The whole book was long and drawn out, but interesting. I enjoyed learning about how the ship works, and the vernacular that was used in sailing. I would love to go sailing myself some day, so I could really appreciate the detail that went in to explaining everything.

But the details were too much. I didn't expect to read the encyclopedia entries for whale, sperm oil, sailing, and the like. This book just really went overboard with the anatomy of the whale (which, I'm guessing, is not that accurate anyways). The book could have been three or four times shorter and still had all of the narrative content.

I can only say I was disappointed in the ending. The story had been building since we were introduced to Captin Ahab, and then the story ends. There was no satisfactory resolution.
**Spoiler** We don't know what happened to the whale and the whole crew sunk to their death. From Starbuck to Pip to Tashtego to Queequeg to Flask to the carpenter to the cook; they all drowned. All save one, and
call him Ishmael.
This had the tragic ending of a Shakespearean play, without the comic relief.**Spoiler (highlight to see)**

I know this book is a classic and "one of the great American Romanticized tales," but I don't give a darn. I'm rating this book a 1. I'm sorry for anyone who is forced to read it. Maybe with some discussion I would learn more about the book and the metaphors throughout, but I hated this book and wish it to go with it's captain. I have no desire to ever read it again, and I'm not sure I appreciated spending the time to read it in the first place.

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