Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Introduction by Carl F. Hovde
Published: 1851
Publisher: Barnes and Noble
Pages: 628
Series: N/A

"On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab.  Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakable thirst for vengeance.  Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member Ishmael, Moby-Dick is the tale of the hunt for the elusive, omnipotent, and ultimately mystifying white whale - Moby Dick."

Now, I know this isn’t a book that you are going to run out and buy, and I don’t expect you too.  I had to read Moby-Dick for school and liked it a lot more than I thought I would.  I rated this book on a different scale then all other books that I read because I want to, not because I had too. If I didn’t have to read Moby-Dick, I never would have, but because I was required to read it, I actually enjoyed it.

One of my favorite things in this book was Herman Melville’s writing style.  Melville creates great metaphors that help to explain the complicated world of a shipping boat to my fifteen year-old mind.  I also liked how he was able to present complex human issues of mortality and madness without taking a side. But by far my favorite thing was the sarcasm I found every now and then. The sarcasm really helped me to finish this book.

Now, onto the actual story told in the book.  Overall, I really did like the story. It was interesting and shared great insights to humankind.  What I didn’t like was how Melville would go off on long talks about various equipment and rules of a ship.  While these talks did help me understand how a whaling ship works, they were tedious, boring, and at times, unneeded. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a classic with great writing technique and you wouldn’t mind long lectures on shipping, Moby-Dick is the book for you.

1 comment:

  1. Moby Dick is on my to-read list, but I've been putting it off for years and years - largely because of things like long lectures on shipping ;) I'm glad there are some more enjoyable things in there as well!