Moby Dick

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Image of Moby Dick (Wordsworth Classics)
Author: Herman Melville
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions (1992)
Binding: Paperback, 544 pages

Moby Dick by Herman Melville – 2 out of 5.

I listened to this one on audio book from the Library, trying to get in some classics. For anyone who doesn't know (where have you been) it's basically the tale of a bunch of guys, lead by the vengeful Captain Ahab, trying to kill a big white whale. This was read by Bill Bailey (no not that one) & has some nice “mood music” at key points throughout.

Published way back in 1851 the language is old fashioned & the setting exemplifies this. Many of the characters behave & react in rather odd ways, going into “a rage” for no real reason for example & even the main vendetta is pretty groundless. Some of the language make certain passages quite amusing (though they aren't meant to be).

I never really got the idea of really quite why all these sailors were chasing the whale, & indeed killing others along the way, sure it had (apparently) taken the leg of the captain at some point & there may be some kudos involved in killing it, but is that really enough to risk it all for? Apparently yes, arrrrrr. I also don't know how accurate an account of whaling vessels this is but if it's a decent account, I know know more about whaling that I ever though I would need to. But ohhh that poor old whale, still it's not as big & dumb as you might think

Many sections & characters are familiar as they have been used & quoted time & time again in modern literature & programmes. Oh & one character is called “starbuck) Smiling