Friday, October 16, 2015

The Moby-Dick Read-a-Long: Week Zero

I'm late to the party! I started this post ages ago, but I'm only getting to post it now. Better late than never though, right?

In the time since I started writing this post I've actually read most of the first week's reading... but let's pretend I haven't, sshh.

1. What were you expecting from the novel? Do you have any preconceptions?
I've heard two things: that it's really good, and that it's really boring. So, I'm not really sure what to expect. I've read some of Melville's other stuff (Benito Cereno and Bartleby the Scrivener) and really enjoyed those though, so I'm hoping we'll get on okay.

2. What do you already know about the plot or character?
1) There's a guy called Ishmael
2) There's a guy called Captain Ahab
3) One of these characters (?) is obsessed with hunting a whale.

That's... basically it.

3. This book, unlike War and Peace isn't a translation? Do you think that will make a difference?
Although the War and Peace read-a-long was before I had a blog, I was reading along at home. Consistency of character names is one thing that comes to mind! Plus, we'll be judging Melville more than any translator. So no room for excuses like, "Well, it probably sounded better in Russian..."

4. Have you read Moby-Dick before? What prompted you to read it now?

I've been considering reading it for some time, but was always scared off by all the reports that it's really dull and full of whaling terminology. I downloaded it in a free Kindle book binge about a week before Hanna put up her poll, so it seemed like fate.

5. Show us a photo of your book!

Y'all have such pretty editions, but as I said, mine is just the free Kindle edition.

Blah. But, having it on the Kindle is actually a good thing because it lets me look up any obscure nautical/whaling words that will inevitably come up. 


  1. 1) You know, I'd never heard of either of Herman Melville's other books until this post? I genuinely assumed Moby Dick was the only thing he'd ever written, so thanks for educating me! :)

    2) Yup, that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge too. It's odd, because I know quite a bit about the plots of OTHER classics that I haven't yet read, but this one escaped me somehow.

    5) I don't know, the Kindle edition has a lot going for it. You don't have to answer endless questions from people about WHY ON EARTH you're reading it, for a start :p

    Glad to have you with us! :D

    1. 1) I could be wrong, but I think Moby Dick is good only actual novel and everything else is short stories. So you're not wrong. Definitely recommend those stories though, I quote Bartleby regularly :)

      2) I fear this could be because there is basically nothing else to the plot. But time will tell!

    2. *HIS only actual novel. Damn autocorrect! :p