Nathan's Reviews > Herman Melville: Moby Dick, Billy Budd and Other Writings

Herman Melville by Herman Melville
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's review
Aug 03, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: literature
Read from August 03 to 19, 2010

So I've never written a review on Goodreads before, but I feel compelled to after finishing Moby Dick.

It's just that good.

What impressed me most was the style. As long as Ishmael is on land, it's straightforward, clear, and heading toward a goal, like walking down a path. Once he and Queequeg board the Pequod, everything is up for grabs. Sometimes the fog rolls in, sometimes the waves churn, and sometimes we're becalmed for chapters at a time. When there's a particularly dramatic moment coming, it turns Shakespearean; even to the extent of having stage directions and dialogue.

I was afraid it would be dense and ponderous, but particularly in the action scenes, it really moves quickly. I was also expecting Ahab to be a bit of a caricature, but maybe I've been reading too much Dickens. He's a really interesting character, especially when we see him in a quiet moment and can tell what he's feeling.

A great read. I'm glad I did it.

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