Moby Dick Monday: November 23, 2009

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

Okay, so the book opens with Ishmael telling us how he has no inspiration to do any one thing so he decides to spend some time sailing. He’s apparently a drifter of sorts and much prefers being a sailor over being a passenger. Passengers have to pay for their passage and sailors get paid, so for him the decision is an easy one. A sailor he shall be!

Ishmael has a preference for boats heading out from Nantucket so he decides to bed down at an Inn nearby in an attempt to find work on just such a boat. The Inn passages are hilarious. When he arrives, the bar-man/landlord tells him that he can get him a bed, but that he’ll have to share it with a harpooner. Well, Ishmael doesn’t feel that it’s proper for a sailor to share a bed. Sailors do not share beds. They need their own space so he decides to camp-out on a narrow bench. After testing out the bench he decides that half a bed is better than no bed and tells the landlord that he’ll give the bed a shot.

Once in bed, Ishmael becomes pre-oocupied with his bed mate who has yet to arrive. The harpooner is out and about rather late and the landlord assures Ishmael that he is probably out on a bender and will not be back until morning. Ishmael is pleased to hear this because the bed will be his and his alone and after hearing that this ‘harpooner’ is out selling heads, yes…heads as in heads from people that have been beheaded, he really, really hopes that the harpooner doesn’t come back at all!

So he hits the sack and eventually falls asleep.

After much noise and stomping, in walks the harpooner. He is a large man, a savage for sure and Ishmael spends a good deal of time watching the man prepare for bed. The harpooner has no idea that he has a bed mate so when he hops into bed and finds Ishmael there, he has a bit of a hissy fit and so does Ishmael who ends up yelling for the landlord. After a brief, almost too brief conversation, the harpooner beds down for the night and Ishmael has the best night of sleep he’s ever had.

The next morning Ishmael realizes that the landlord used him to get a good laugh out of the situation but Ishmael takes it all in stride. He appreciates a good laugh, even at his own expense and decides to head out to breakfast. At breakfast, Ishmael sees the harpooner, Queequeg, using his harpoon to spear undercooked pieces of meat and he comes to the realization that no matter how social these sailors are on a boat, they are not social with one another while on land.

My Rambling Thoughts:

The first few pages were incredibly painful to read. It almost felt as if  some punctuation  was missing so I found myself going back to re-read paragraphs just to get the gist of what was being said. However, once I got to the Inn and the harpooner, things started to pick-up from there. Melville’s description of the harpooner (Queequeg) is quite vivid. I was able to easily picture this character in my mind and found him to be quite interesting.

Reading Along With Me:

Jill/Softdrink of Fizzy Thoughts
Jill of RhapsodyinBooks
Dar of Peeking Between the Pages
Eva of A Striped Armchair
Wisteria from Bookworm’s Dinner
Gavin from Page247 (will join us in mid to late December)
Claire from kiss a cloud (will join us in 2010)

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.

11 thoughts on “Moby Dick Monday: November 23, 2009”

  1. It has always amazed me how people used to have to share beds at inns with perfect strangers. One of my favorite stories about Lincoln is about when he was riding the court circuit as a lawyer, and often found himself sharing a bed with one of the judges also riding the circuit (they literally “rode” by horseback around the circuit to try cases). On one occasion a visitor heard a lot of commotion and came in the room and found they were having a pillow fight!

  2. I tell you what! just reading these posts is fabulous! Can I get away with not even finding my copy? pretty please? May I just enjoy all the recaps, instead?
    yea, I didn’t think so .

    1. Of course you are welcome to follow along but it’s sooooo much more fun to do it along with us. Let me know if you decide to do so.

  3. I remember laughing out loud while listening to the inn passages – they were hilarious! I was so intrigued by the book at this point … if only that humor could have stayed … 😦

  4. FABULOUS post. I found the first part of the book intriguing yet, hard to get through. I wonder if I can catch up and read along. But either way I will be her checking in. Loved your thoughts. THANK YOU!!

  5. I didn’t do a post today because I was posting about Wilkie Collins…I figured one classic a day was enough. 🙂 But I did catch up on my reading last night. I can’t believe there was a whole chapter on looking for an inn…but you’re right, the story did pick up once he (finally) got to the inn.

  6. It does take a bit to get into Melville’s style, but once you get in (well, at least for me, I realize not for you ;), it’s hard to get out. It definitely is a far cry from most books being read today by folks (even myself, in reading Robert B. Parker’s latest Spenser novel The Professional with its short paragraphs of dialogue) and does take a bit (okay, a lot of getting use to). At least he doesn’t use a lot of parentheses and emoticons (that could be infuriating, couldn’t it? 😉

  7. I love the button (first of all). And I’ve read some of the Jill’s posts on this and I hope it is making it easier for you to know you are not alone and to read some of their thoughts. Is it wrong that I might just read the book via your guys’s posts????

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