Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Why read Moby Dick?

A couple of months ago I began to read the book Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. It is considered a classic so why not. I am only on chapter nine right now. Since beginning it, I have read Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls, the entire four book Twilight series, by Stephanie Meyer, and just today I finished a three book series of an Amish fiction love story by Beverly Lewis.

So why have I not been able to do Moby Dick? Is it too advanced for me? Am I too old? Why, why, why can I not get into this book? Should I just give up? So again my question is why should I read Moby Dick?

I really want some answers. And any insight into the book would be great too from those of you that have read it.


  1. If you ask me, I think that the story that is the basis of the book would be much more interesting than this novel. No I have not read either of them, but I have seen the docudrama. The Nantucket sleigh ride is in reference to the exciting adventure of harpooning a whale and having the harpoon attached to a rope, which is in turn attached to the open boat used by the whalers. The whale soon tires from pulling the boat and will surface, upon which event the whalers will attempt to harpoon the whale in the heart to kill it. The whaler ship is a small factory used to process the whale. Oil, blubber, meat, and bone are all rendered or processed for use by those in New England.

    A large whale did in fact at one time ram a whaling boat and sink it. The events of that ordeal were much more gruesome than the events depicted in Moby Dick. The survivors of the shipwreck had to survive long enough to traverse a large portion of the Pacific Ocean to South America. Survival skills played a big role in any of the sailors returning to New England.

  2. I vote for "don't read it." I tried to read the kids "Treasure Island" this summer, and I never finished it. I got a long way into it, but none of us were interested, so it fell by the wayside.

    How did you like Where the Red Fern Grows? My hubby cried (but you didn't hear that from me.) He LOVES that book.

  3. Larry, you need to finish the Classic. Just because it will take you to a whole new level of reading. I read it in 8th grade, I was lucky enough to pull that one out of the hat. I think I skipped pages and did a some up book report! When you are done with MOBY read Little Women, then try the Count of Monte Cristo, unabridged!!!!

  4. I think that reading any book, to enjoy it you need to feel the things that are written. Everyone has different feeling and not everyone enjoys the same things. Being a classic does not mean that you will like the written word, I think that you should not feel something wrong with you if you don't enjoy Moby Dick. I like your choice of books.

  5. I think a reading a book like Moby Dick should be enjoyable. If it becomes drudgery, I don't think there would be anything wrong about setting it aside and finding something else more enjoyable.

    When I was teaching school, I read where the Red Fern Grows every year. I liked it because I empathized with the characters and it made me feel triumphant when the character was winning, and it made me feel the struggle going on inside him. I enjoyed the imagery and mood of the book.

    I have been trying to read the Book, Roland, for years. Hopefully I can get it done before I leave this world.

  6. Personally I have no idea why Moby DIck was ever considered an American classic. I got about 800 pages into and was so bored out of my mind that I had to put it down. You had just barely met Ahab and not even seen the whale yet. Boring, boring, boring. I can suggest a few other classics that would be good reading. I know this sounds kind of mean but I can't think of a book, by an American, that I would consider a classic worth reading. Even Walden Pond bored me to tears and I didn't finish that either. If you really want a good classic try some Russian Literature. Now they know how its supposed to be. Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, The Brothers Karamozov....

    Its not you its that awful Moby Dick. I feel sorry for an college students who have to force their was through it.

  7. There are many of us that would like to have a redo button on our comments, maybe not only for typos, but also for grammar and content.


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