Patrick's Reviews > Billy Budd

Billy Budd by Herman Melville
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's review
Jun 22, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, classics
Read in June, 2009

This is short or I wouldn't read it. Melville's language is extremely interesting and boring at the same time. This would make less sense if I hadn't already read some fiction and non-fiction dealing with late 18th/early 19th century naval warships.

I liked it. I would have hated this in high school and can see most of the commentors did. I liked the main plot. The writing is just dated. You can see the time period and Melville's obsession with describing the symmetry of faces and figures, especially as compared to some Roman/Greek ideal. The addressing of the reader about the episodes just to come or just passed, the first 1/3 of the novel spent commenting on human character as revealed by or compared to real and fantastical sailors, etc. This is good if you go in eyes open and want to experience some funky Melville.
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