Books and I have been friends for a long time. Brian (the ultimate reader – who is up to almost 100 books a year now!) mocks me for my limited genres however. He says, “You read the Bible, Christian Historical Romance, Christian Nonfiction and the Classics.” To which I reply, “Don’t forget Parenting books too.” So there’s my thesis folks. There are only so many hours in the week, and since (unlike Brian) I do not spend an hour daily in commute listening to audio books on double speed… these genres are the ones that I am soaking up in this season of life.
Lately I have been visiting the classic Moby Dick. Somehow, I made it through high school, college and graduate school without ever reading this incredible book. Speaking of incredible… the size! It’s basically the size of the Bible so it’s going to take me three months to read I think. Melville writes like Dickens so his sentences never lack descriptive prose. Which frankly is my favorite. I love descriptions. The longer the better. If you are more of a give-me-the-bare-facts kind of person, when it comes to Moby, ye be warned.
Since Moby is so awe inspiring, I will break up my reviews into conquerable sections. So far I have made it about 20 chapters in. What is intriguing about this book is that the reader is introduced to the story through the inside perspective of the narrator yet virtually knows nothing about his past. While you have his opinion on each encounter, you are the least familiar with him than you are with the rest of the characters who are introduced to him. Its a meandering book that takes you down the streets of Nantucket, into sea shore inns and rickety whaling ships.
Something else that struck me about Moby Dick is the response this book would have gotten if it had been released today rather than in the 1800s. Protesters anyone? Given the current climate of our culture now, reading Moby Dick makes me feel like I am engaging in an underground activity because if the millennial protesters ever get a whiff of Melville he’d never be mentioned in schools again. (Or maybe that’s why he’s not?)
Shall we be counter cultural and enjoy some Moby Dick together? Brian and I have this exact copy. It is the Easton Press hardcover collectors edition and it is beautiful. Amazon will ship it straight to your door if you so desire. Seems to Brian and I that if we are going to have a classic on the shelf it should look like one. In fact, all of our classics do! Here’s a peak at our growing collection.
Meet me again in a few weeks on the stern with Captain Ahab? It’s a date!