Tuesday 24 November 2015

Moby Dick Week 6: Thank God It's Finally Over

Hey you guys, Hanna had a readalong and I didn't bail! This is massively ironic since the book that did bail on (War and Peace) was actually not shit and pretty enjoyable and I'd like to finish it someday. This book, however, this book that I did actually finish, is probably going to take all awards for worst/most boring/made me want to pull my own eyes out the most book of the year. Urgh. 

This post will contain a large amount of bad language and spoilers. 

So, questions. 

1) Let's start simply. Did you like this book?
To begin with I really did. I need to remember never to be optimistic about classics. It happened with The Pickwick Papers and then again with this. It started off so well, it even made me giggle, and then it swiftly descended into encyclohing pedic definitions and descriptions of whale beheadings and just fuck off, Melville. Actually I think I've probably told Melville to fuck off more than I have any other author ever except possibly Bret Easton Ellis. Urgh American Psycho

2) Is the ending what you expected? Was it worth the wait?
Again, I would like to tell Melville to get his head out of his arse. I just read one hundred and thirty six chapters for that?? No the ending wasn't worth the wait. Honestly I don't know how I wanted it to end, but we waited a really long time for that whale to show up and then he did and it was all over in three chapters?? Also, I hate Ishmael. Ishmael sucks. 

3) Do you think this book is rife with symbolism and metaphor... or is it just about a whale?
Oh it's just about a whale. Melville spends a whole lot of time trying really hard to make it be about more than that but no. Just the whale, and honestly it doesn't even do a very good job of that really. There's so much crap about the way boats were built and the technical properties of rope and whale biology that by the time Moby Dick finally made his appearance I had literally lost the plot and had pretty much no idea what was going on. Also Ahab's a dick. 

4) Is it likely you'll ever read this book again, or recommend it to anybody?  
See question 6

5) Did you end using the tactics you identified earlier or did you just slog through to the end? 
I did for the first few weeks and then once the going got really rough I just outright bribed myself. Like 'three chapters on the bus and then you can read something you actually like/listen to three All the Books episodes and add stuff to your wishlist'. I literally bought myself a cookie as a reward for finishing. 

6) Sum up this book in six words. 
My brain is so melted by the experience that all I can manage is this: Please don't ever read this book. 

Despite my obvious and unbridled hatred of this book I am glad that I've read it, mostly just so that I never have to read it again. Now I know how awful it is I'll never have to feel guilty that I haven't read it, just suffer the slight shivers of revulsion every time I remember the description of de-blubbering a whale being like peeling an orange. 

Fuck off, Melville.

The end. 


  1. I'm so glad that I'm not the only person who doesn't see the Message behind the whale drudgery. I honestly can't see how anybody can read all of the chapters about dreary whale rubbish and then argue that it's all a great metaphor with a straight face. It's about whales and it's excruciatingly dull - please stop trying to make it seem worthy. The world would be better without this book. I honestly believe that.

    Fuck off, Melville, indeed.

  2. I love you, Bex! Yep! You and I will make a great pair of cohosts for the Little House Read-Along. You are truly to be commended for your perseverence! Like you, I'm glad I have read this so that I can have a frame of reference when others site it, but really...what exactly is all the hoopla about?!? Maybe it's a "white male" thing? I don't know, but would agree with your analysis! Now, on to more enjoyable reads! Like Little House books! :)