Dale Jr.'s Reviews > Moby-Dick

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
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's review
Oct 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, literature, 5-star, favorites

Melville's great leviathan. Salt spray still lingers in my beard. I hear the deck creak. There she blows! Off the starboard! The great chase is on!

The White Whale can be daunting to some. It's understandable. However, once you dive in, it's not hard to swim. The prose, while, for lack of a better word, classic and sometimes profuse, flows beautifully for the most part. Melville also manages to weave in honestly funny (I even chuckled out loud a few times) passages. Especially some of the scenes between Ishmael and Queequeg.

But I don't believe I need to compose a sprawling review of the book. It's been around long enough. It's been poured over and examined more times than I'd probably have the patience to figure out. The book is, undeniably, important. This is one of the monuments to American literature. Whatever I say about it in that regard has been said.

What I will say, though, is that you will either love this tale or hate it. This seems par for just about every "classic" written and shouldn't come as a surprise. For those who love it, though, they love it deeply.

I would suggest that any new reader to the White Whale pick up the Longman Critical Edition. I read from a 1923 Dodd, Mead & Company printing which sent me scouring for information about references. Many of those same references one would need to look up in an un-cited print are found in the Longman's edition and will undoubtedly help you read along at a much better pace.

The references that Melville makes to history, the Bible, and mythology make this, not only a beautiful read, a read which will leave you wiser on those subjects if you so choose to.

As I placed my copy back into port, its pages still dripping water from oceans and seas the world over, I'm left feeling accomplished. I'm happy I took the time to reread this giant. I've developed a much larger appreciation for Melville's work than I had from reading it so long ago. Maybe it's come from my aging. These things tend to happen the longer you sail.

If you're doubting yourself or the book, at the very least give it a chance. It's a piece of American history. And it will sit on the shelves of the great books that have come and will come for ages to come.

And the sea will roll on.
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Reading Progress

October 2, 2012 – Shelved
October 2, 2012 – Shelved as: fiction
October 2, 2012 – Shelved as: literature
October 4, 2012 –
page 26
4.81% "hatchet-faced baby"
October 4, 2012 –
page 44
October 4, 2012 –
page 61
October 4, 2012 –
page 74
13.7% "I could read the description of the Pequod over and over."
October 4, 2012 –
page 94
October 6, 2012 –
page 97
17.96% ""Butchers we are, that is true. But butchers also, and butchers of the bloodiest badge, have been martial commanders whom the world invariably delights to honour.""
October 6, 2012 –
page 114
October 7, 2012 –
page 161
October 7, 2012 –
page 170
31.48% ""What the white whale was to Ahab, has been hinted; what, at times, he was to me, as yet remains unsaid.""
October 8, 2012 –
page 194
October 12, 2012 –
page 207
38.33% "The first chase. Exhilarating. And wet."
October 21, 2012 –
page 241
October 29, 2012 –
page 260
November 11, 2012 –
page 293
November 11, 2012 –
page 336
November 11, 2012 –
page 351
November 13, 2012 –
page 384
November 16, 2012 –
page 402
November 16, 2012 –
page 415
November 16, 2012 –
page 421
November 18, 2012 –
page 444
November 18, 2012 –
page 457
Started Reading
November 20, 2012 –
page 540
100.0% "...and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago."
November 20, 2012 – Shelved as: 5-star
November 20, 2012 – Finished Reading
November 21, 2012 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Poison IV (new)

Poison IV Funny...just like my books....but NOT the same genre ; )

Dale Jr. Poison IV wrote: "Funny...just like my books....but NOT the same genre ; )"


Jason Are you really reading from that 1923 edition?

Dale Jr. Jason wrote: "Are you really reading from that 1923 edition?"


Jason How are you liking it?

Dale Jr. Loving it.

Dale Jr. This is a reread. Read it once before some time ago.

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