Day 12) L is for List: Choose a book from your to-read List
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
So reading lists. It feels like they will never end.
And every time I read a book, it feels as if I add ten more.
To help keep track of that, I have a Goodreads account and I try and work through it. But then I have another problem:
Yes, so even though I have too many books that I own and haven’t read; and too many on my to-read list, I keep getting more.
My shelves are stuffed:
And I have boxes full of them everywhere:
So I tried to figure out what book to review, and settled on Moby-Dick.
Moby-Dick or The Whale was published by Herman Melville in 1851. At the time it wasn’t received, and by the time of his death the book was out of print and hadn’t generated that much money.
However, readers are fickle and in the 20th century, the book became so popular it was given the title of one of the Great American Novels. William Faulkner was known to have wished he was the one who wrote it and D. H. Lawrence called it “one of the strangest and most wonderful books in the world”, and “the greatest book of the sea ever written.”
I had started The Great Illustrated Classic version when I was much younger, but never finished the book. I had to return it to the library and I’m not sure why I didn’t recheck it out, but I never read, or finished reading it, ever again.
This book has been on my to-read list since I’ve joined Goodreads, and my friend even gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday, but I had still not read it. Leaving it buried under all the other to-read books.
But this year I decided to read it!
So what did I think after all this time?
I didn’t like it.
I know, I feel horrible for even uttering those words…
But it is the truth.
So let’s go over what the story is about, and then I will share why I didn’t like it.
Ishmael signs up to a whaling ship, having to share his room with a Polynesian harpooner, Queequeg. At first Ishmael is afraid of him, but the two end up becoming extremely good friends.
The ship they go on is the Pequod, which is led by Captain Ahab. Now Captain Ahab has lost his leg to a mighty white whale, Moby-Dick, and he is incensed with revenge, planning on finding him and killing him on their journeys.
The ship sails, and while the crew hunt for the whales to bring back their blubber; Ishmael shares his philosophies of whaling, his idea of the British, the different whales they meet, etc. The novel ends in a bitter battle as Ahab finds his prey; but will he be able to destroy it or just himself?
So Why Didn’t I Like It?
The biggest problem for me is that this novel is a little bit of everything and moves from topic to topic instead of being one concise story. I mean Ishmael’s thoughts seem to wander everywhere as he will switch from the adventure on the whale ship to his thoughts of religion, how the color white is evil, that the British snootily look down on the Americans but need them, etc. This random philosophizing I could definitely do without, especially as there is no segway but a real rattling on.
I mean I really enjoyed the adventures in whaling and anything with Captain Ahab, I thought he was a great character, but sadly there wasn’t more of him.
What also struck me was how hard Melville was trying to make a “great American novel.” We know people from England looked down at America at this time, and you can see how hard Melville is trying to prove that American writers are just on par as the British.
“But where this superioty in the English whalemen does really consist, it would be hard to say, seeing that the Yankees in one day, collectively, kill more whales than all the English, collectively, in ten years.”
Yeah, I don’t think he is just talking about whales, it seems there is a deeper meaning under there…
So I didn’t really care for it, but at least I finally read it! Now I can cross it off my list and move onto the next item.
To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451
For the previous post, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders
For more Lemony Snicket quotes, go to I Think I Have Found a Means of Conveyance…An Elephant: Around the World in 80 Days
Today I choose the Christmas Carol, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. It was written by Pastor Edmund Sears in 1849. At the time he was depressed and saddened by the war with Mexico and the strife that hung in the air. His friend, Pastor William Parsons Lunt, asked him to write a poem and this was what Sears came up with.
A year later, composer Richard Storrs Willis, wrote the music that the poem goes with.
I choose the version done by Celtic Woman as they are a fantastic group.
For more Celtic Woman, go to You Will Be Haunted By Three Spirits: A Christmas Carol
For more Christmas Carols, go to Midnight in Austenland