Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Moby Dick

Moby-Dick; or, The WhaleMoby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Moby Dick is both the best and the worst book I've ever read. When it comes to symbolism-which I love-characters, and just, gee gosh, poetic prose, there is no finer book in the English language. But when it comes to actual storytelling, good God. Who was your editor, Melville? Do you care about the size of a whale's head? No? Sorry, dude. the next seven pages are just about that. Do you want to know how to catch a whale? No? Sorry, dude. This next whole chapter is about that very topic. What about the laws involving actually catching a whale? Surely you want to learn about that. No? Well, I don't know what to tell you. This next section is focused solely on that concept. I mean, jeez, man. This is like two totally different books. One is a rich tale about gods (or the absence of God) and monsters, of homosexuality and nature. And the other book is How to tame your whale. Still and all, the good is so good that it still makes this an American classic. I just wish it had less to say about whales! All the same, read it. Or at least skim it. It's definitely worth your time.

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