Title: Moby Dick
Author: Herman Melville
About the Author: Herman Melville was an American writer. He attempted to start earning money through writing in 1839, but would not become successful until 1846 with his novel Typee.
Other Books by This Author: Billy Budd, Omoo, Bartleby the Scrivener, White-Jacket, Mardi
Medium: paperback, Barnes & Noble classics
No. of Pages: 655
Original Publishing Year: 1851
Genre: Epic Sea Story
Age Rating: 14+, mature writing style, a higher level of thinking
Positive Review: It was an interesting read, well written with good descriptive imagery. I love the use of literary devices in books. I enjoyed the allusions, elements of foreshadowing, metaphors, the irony of the Rachel, and the hyperbole of Moby Dick. Part of the novel seemed almost to be written as a drama, which provided relief from the story's narrative. Queequeg was my favorite character, even though he was a cannibal. He was an interesting guy, a bit silly in my eyes, but also serious at times. My favorite chapter was 110, Queequeg was quite comical.
Negative Review: I was not a fan of the informational chapters that which not contribute to the plot's development. I also do not really have an interest in ships or whaling, or books on whaling (like chapter 32). Chapter 40 was a bit hard to follow, as it was just dialogue, so I struggled to under the context. There was also quite a bit of rambling on the color white, which I grew tired of. I did not like the other whale stories that were included, they were too off-topic, but I suppose Melville was using them to further exaggerate the terrifying presence Moby Dick had. After such a long and slow rising climax, I was a bit disappointed the ending came so quickly, although the action did not really seem to increase until the Pequod started encountering other ships, which was towards the end.
Overall Review: I'm glad I read it, although I did not always enjoy it. It dragged at times, especially for chapters without any plot. I was able to practice my speed reading when it came to these slow moments, which were quite numerous. Ishmael's presence seemed to disappear as the story progressed, and it almost seemed as though Melville replaced him, until the very end, when Ishmael made a full return. It was one of my reading goals, and although it is not one of my favorite reads, many still enjoy it.
Summary: On a previous voyage, a mysterious white whale had ripped off the leg of a sea captain named Ahab. Now the crew of the Pequod, on a pursuit that features constant adventure and horrendous mishaps, must follow the mad Ahab into the abyss to satisfy his unslakable thirst for vengeance. Narrated by the cunningly observant crew member, Ishmael, Moby-Dick is the tale of the hunt for the elusive, omnipotent, and ultimately mystifying white whale-Moby Dick.