Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance's Reviews > Moby-Dick, or, the Whale

Moby-Dick, or, the Whale by Herman Melville
Rate this book
Clear rating


I've been a little obsessed this month. I read Moby Dick.

I'm not an expert. I'm just a regular, ordinary person who loves to read, a person who felt like I should read Moby Dick., and so I did.

It took me all month. I read the book while listening to narration, either from the Moby Dick podcast or the Moby Dick Big Read.

I found myself thinking about Moby Dick. A lot.

Of what did my Moby Dick experience consist?

I read a lot of books about Moby Dick. Kid books. Comic books. Whale nonfiction. Historical fiction about a (possible) relationship between Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. A whole book on why people should read Moby Dick.

I wrote reviews for ten Moby-Dick-related books:
Moby Dick: 10 Minute Classics retold by Philip Edwards and illustrated by Adam Horsepool
Moby Dick (Classics Illustrated, No. 5) Comics - 1943 by Herman Melville
The Whaleship Essex: The True Story of Moby Dick by Jil Fine
Moby Dick retold by Lew Sayre Schwartz, illustrated by Dick Giordano
Why Read Moby Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Whale: A Love Story by Mark Beauregard
Spying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures by Nick Pyenson
In the Heart of the Sea The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare
The Sea Mammal Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta

I loved the vocabulary in Moby Dick. I wrote a lot about the wonderful words in the book:

Moby Dick: Great Words to Note and Save and Use
Moby Dick: Odd Words We Should Add to Our Vocabularies Today
Moby Dick: Whale Words and Boat Words

I wrote four other posts about Moby Dick and talked about Moby Dick covers, Moby Dick characters, Moby Dick art, and Moby Dick themes:

But What is Moby Dick About? Why Everyone Should Read Moby Dick
Classic Book Characters from Moby Dick: Who is Your Favorite?
A Sea of Moby Dicks: Who Knew There Were So Many Covers?
Moby Dick: Art

I watched a Moby Dick movie.

I listened to Moby Dick music.

I made a Moby Dick poll: The Moby Dick Character I Like Best.

What are my take-aways from reading Moby Dick?

1. Many people have told me they have tried to read Moby Dick and came away thinking it was a daunting book or a boring book. Another huge group of people told me they never want to read Moby Dick. It is possible that Moby Dick is the classic that the least number of people ever plan or want to read.

2. A very small group of people have told me they read Moby and loved this book. Moby Dick has a tiny, but devoted group who are obsessed with this book.

3. Reading Moby Dick is daunting. The Great Gatsby is 7.3 on Accelerated Reader's ATOS readability scale. Tom Sawyer is 8.1. Anna Karenina is 9.6. War and Peace is 10.1. Moby Dick is 10.3.

4. I thought Moby Dick was the story of a captain who hunted a whale. It is. But Moby Dick is so much more than just the story of a man seeking a whale. It is the story of a man seeking a new life by going to sea. It's the story of man vs. nature. It's the story of whales. It's a story of adventure, drama, and even comedy.

5. I expected Moby Dick to be structured like a typical adventure novel. It is not. Moby Dick reads like a contemporary novel, with chapters written as plays, with chapters written as soliloquies, with chapters written like nonfiction text, and with paragraphs full of action but intermingled with deeply philosophical thoughts.

6. I thought if I read far enough into the novel I would grow to love it, and that happened. I did. I loved Moby Dick, but it took me 655 pages to decide that. In the process of reading it, I also disliked huge portions of it. I can't imagine that I will reread it, but I'm terribly glad I read it.

Have you read Moby Dick?
6 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Moby-Dick, or, the Whale.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

July 31, 2019 – Started Reading
July 31, 2019 – Shelved
August 2, 2019 –
page 125
August 2, 2019 –
August 3, 2019 –
August 4, 2019 –
August 5, 2019 –
page 275
August 11, 2019 –
August 13, 2019 –
August 14, 2019 –
August 15, 2019 –
August 16, 2019 –
August 17, 2019 –
August 22, 2019 –
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: challenge
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: death
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: diversity
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: healing
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: happiness
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: justice
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: must-read
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: on-the-road
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: quest
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: classics-club
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: work
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: relationships
August 26, 2019 – Shelved as: philosophy
August 26, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker) I listened to the Moby Dick Big Read, and enjoyed the experience. I would never have lasted reading the book. Glad you came to love it so much. What an event you turned it into. I'll look forward to reading all your posts.

back to top