If I had not ended up with two copies of this book, I would not part with this. One of the great novels of American literature for a reason. Suprisingly easy-to-read in spite of years of complaints from college students. If you read no other book in the English language, read this!
Warning: this is not Moby Dick. It bears little similarity to the Herman Melville masterpiece. It is heavily, insanely, extremely abridged. It could be renamed "Abridged Too Far." It reads like a children's book and retains none of the intent and character of the original. The original is one of the most important philosophical works ever produced by the hand of man. When I received this book and read through parts of it I was so disturbed that such a thing exists that I unceremoniously threw it in the trash so that no other person could end up with that book in their hands and end up thinking that it in any way represents Moby Dick. If you are looking for Moby Dick please be sure to get an adult unabridged version.
Because this is such a well known classic I tried reading it several times. The author seems to be more interested in explaining how the whaling industry worked back then than progressing with the story. The farthest I have made it is half way... then I switched to something better, like Les Miserables or the Count of Monte Cristo.
A shiphand named Ishmael meets other seafaring men including the strange and hypnotic Captain Ahab. Captain is obsessed with catching the the great white whale named Moby Dick.
I started the book knowing there would be a lot about whales...probably too much. I thought I would give it a shot anyway. At first it was actually better than I thought. We meet Ishmael, and Ishmael meets Queequeg. Together they get to know each other a little and decide to join the crew of Captain Ahab's ship. The story with just Ishmael and Queequeg was interesting I wanted more and it made me hopeful as I read for a bit....but then the direction of the book changed.
Unfortunately about as soon as they get on the Captain Ahab's boat, all the interesting things about Ishmael and Queequeg were gone, not just in one chapter but way too many. By the time I start reading a chapter that is basically a page from an encyclopedia I had enough.
I could not continue reading. I really dislike not finishing a book but my brain could not take the drawn out details about Ahab and the white whale or other whales. Whales are magnificent creatures but man did this just make them really boring.
Okay, I admit, it's been a long time since I read this book. But the pain of reading the book is still fresh. The really sad thing is -- I CHOSE to read this book for an Independent Reading course in high school.
It's long. It's boring. Child molesters shouldn't be forced to read it. (Okay, I take that back, make the child molesters read it -- spare the rest of us.)
It's downhill from "Call me Ishmael."
Do yourself a favor and don't read it.