26 July 2016

Moby Dick by Herman Melvile

Title: Moby Dick or The Whale
Author: Herman Melville
Pages: 663
Genre: Classic Literature
Book Description:
"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 imaginations in literary history. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author's lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.

My Opinion:
After watching an episode of the Gilmore Girls and seeing Rory (a devoted reader) reading this book, I was very intrigued to read it. Beginning with the well known quote of  'call me Ishmael,' the famous classic gave me high hopes from what I'd heard previously, however I found myself a little disappointed.

As most classics are, and something I was prepared for, this was very slow. I did struggle to get into this novel however when the characters joined the ship/crew, the plot picked up a little bit. Unfortunately, this wasn't sustained and I found myself getting bored quite quickly.

One thing that did intimidate me about the book was it's substantial length! It was just over 650 pages and it's very rare that I read books that are this long. Once I had started reading, I realised that the reason for the length was due to the extensive descriptions, another thing I was expecting. Despite the high page number and my personal dislike for too much description, I persevered and read to the end, which I'm quite proud of myself for!

I'm pleased that I reached the ending because it was surprisingly good! After being rather uninterested the majority of the way through, the ending did prove successful and the pace quickened! I wasn't sure what to expect however I did enjoy the overall outcome, perhaps due to the tragedy!

Honestly, I think I'd have benefited more from reading a heavy book such as this when I had time to sit down and read for long periods, since I recognise that reading small sections every now and then can be difficult. Saying this, in my case it was necessary to read it in smaller chunks since the language was heavier than some of the past classics I have read, due to it's later publication and use of multiple sailing and whaling terms.

Overall, I was disappointed by this as I had quite high expectations. I don't think I will be reading this again, however I accept that I may appreciate it's greatness when I am older and wiser since I've heard many good things about it! Despite it's negatives, I can say that I've persevered and completed it, which is something positive in itself (for me anyway!)

Favourite Quotes:

It is not down on any map; true places never are


I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts


Ignorance is the parent of fear

Rating ★
2 out of 5 stars 

 Next book I'm going to review:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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