Moby Dick Monday: January 18, 2010 (Week 10)

Welcome to Moby Dick Monday! This is where we read four pages a day and then post about what we’ve read. Consider it an adventure of sorts!

My Story Re-Cap:

A lot took place in this week’s reading but it’s hard to summarize. Melville takes it upon himself to educate us a bit. We learn all about a “Gam” which is basically:

A social visit or friendly interchange, especially between whalers or seafarers.

The description of such a visit, confirms to me that whalers are a peculiar sort. Melville talks a bit about how it’s done, how the Captains sort of hang back and allow the crew to mingle a bit, yet that they each stay loyal and firmly rooted to their own ship. The mention of this, leads me to believe that although whalers can be social creatures, they tend to be a cautious group when it comes to strangers. Probably a good thing.

The next chapter (54) happens to be the longest chapter I’ve read so far. It was the longest, and the most tedious to read. Chapter 54 discusses in great length the Town Ho’ story. The Town Ho was a homeward-bound Nantucket whale ship. Radney, the mate, ordered a fellow by the name of Steelkilt to swab the deck. This proved to be a great insult to Steelkilt as a pig had run loose and he felt it beneath him to be ordered to do such a menial task. Steelkilt, feeling bold, refused to do it and Radney hauled off and hit him with a hammer! A fight ensued.

Steelkilt rallies some of the other men and takes over the deck. Refusing the Captain’s orders to get to work he expects a flogging, so he and the other men lock themselves down below. His plans change when a couple of the men tie him up and turn him over to the Captain. He gets his flogging from Radney, of all people so he decides to murder Radney. This is a secret that he keeps to himself, but in the end he is distracted by the appearance of Moby Dick himself and in a moment of fierceness, Moby Dick grabs Radney and takes him to his death.

The last chapter (55) discusses the monstrous depictions of whales. Although interesting, it would have been much more so had the chapter included photos.

My Rambling Thoughts:

The story of the Town-Ho was very entertaining, but so, so long! I had a really hard time getting through it. It required all of my attention and with the kids running about, I found it impossible to concentrate so I resorted to an audio re-telling, to get it firmly planted in my brain. I find with this book, that you use all manners of tools to get you through it. Be it audio, or visual.

For the others reading along with me, do you have a hard time following along with the story? Have you had to resort to other formats to help you through the reading?

Reading Along With Me:

Jill of RhapsodyinBooks
Dar of Peeking Between the Pages
Eva of A Striped Armchair
Wisteria from Bookworm’s Dinner
Gavin from Page247
Claire from kiss a cloud
Sandra from Fresh Ink Books

For those that are participating, share your post links in comments. What do you think so far? Oh, and if anyone wants to join us just leave me a message below.

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13 Responses

  1. I have no idea why he went on so long about the Town-Ho. My take was basically: they ran into another boat that had seen Moby Dick, and one of the crew got eaten. The end.

  2. Well that just makes me feel even better about my decision to give up.

    I had lunch with a friend this weekend, and her husband is a retired English prof. She said he considers MD to be one of the best books of all time. We decided my loathing would remain our little secret.

  3. So have you resorted to massive amounts of skimming?!

  4. Ti, finally! I started the other night and stopped at Chapter 31. I looooooove it!! Did not find it difficult at all (maybe because I’m used to reading the King James version of the Bible? Hehe.) But anyway, I was so caught up in the adventure (yes, I consider even the parts in the beginning already an adventure). So thank you thank you for pushing me to read this sooner. I can’t wait to continue. But since I’ve other reading to do this week, have decided on reading Moby Dick on the weekends. Can’t wait to finally read all your posts and catch up with the rest of you! xo

  5. I’m guessing it says something for a chapter of this book to be “the most tedious of all.” It seems like this book is filled with tedious chapters! Keep going … you’re getting there.

  6. My hats are off to you and your fellow readers for sticking with this book. You are all better readers than I!
    *smiles*

  7. [...] 18, 2010 Today marks the tenth week of Ti of Book Chatter’s read-along of Moby-Dick or, The Whale, by Herman Melville. The idea is to read about four pages a day, but [...]

  8. [...] 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Moby Dick Monday: The Kick-off!Moby Dick [...]

  9. [...] it “reclassifies.”I’ve been thinking of this book lately as I’ve watched Ti and her fellow readers struggle through Moby Dick. I thought it would be fun to excerpt some of the [...]

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