Moby Dick Monday: January 11, 2010 (Week 9)

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:

This week’s reading took me through Chapter 52. Ahab is beginning to wonder how he’ll keep the crew motivated through such a long voyage. He realizes, that without a reward of some kind, the crew could turn on him and decide not to obey his commands at all. This thought disturbs him, but he tucks it away to think about later.

While Ishmael and Queequeg spend a lazy afternoon working on maps, Tashtego calls from above with a “There she blows!” The crew snaps to attention, only to be startled by the appearance of five strangers. These strangers, or “phantoms” as Ishmael takes to calling them, is headed up by someone named Fedallah. The crew, including these five strangers, lowers the boats and sets out after Moby Dick. However, their chase proves fruitless and they return to the ship.

A second sighting a few days later has them all in the water again, but this time, Ishmael’s boat capsizes and he fights the sea to get back on board. After a struggle, Ishmael returns to the ship and asks the others if being thrown into the ocean like this and nearly losing your life is something that he should expect regularly. After getting confirmation of this, he decides that the additional strangers, probably couldn’t hurt as there is power in numbers.

My Rambling Thoughts:

At 256 pages in, Ahab is still a mystery, but I’m learning more about him as each week passes. He is a brooding type. I suspect, highly intelligent too but that has not been told to us in so many words. He quietly observes the deck, his crew and the ocean surrounding them. His quest to find Moby Dick is of course personal, but I am guessing there’s even more to that story than we’ve been told thus far. I’m enjoying Ishmael’s slow realization of what he’s gotten himself into.

I’m glad that these chapters are short. If they were longer, I think the story would be lost in the words. Melville takes such care to describe things a certain way, but the sentences are a bit choppy. This is one of those books where I need complete silence in order to read it. The background noise of the TV or kids forces me to re-read chapters at a time. It really requires quite a bit of focus. However, I am almost at the halfway mark and that’s quite an accomplishment! I’ve never been able to get this far before. I believe I’m going to make it through this.

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
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.

16 thoughts on “Moby Dick Monday: January 11, 2010 (Week 9)”

  1. Can I just say how impressed I am that you are sticking with this so strictly? You are making great progress and seem to be enjoying it more than I expected you would.

    I know what you mean about distractions; this book is WORK to read and it requires undivided attention for sure.

    1. Thanks. There are times where I fall behind a bit, but the fact that others are doing it along with me really keeps me focused so it forced me to get back on track.

  2. It’s official…I quit. Every time I thought about picking the book up this week, my brain said “Noooooooooooooo!” If it was a shorter book, I might’ve been able to stick with it, but good grief, it’s just too wordy.

    1. When we are done with this, I will yell “Neener, Neener, Neeeeener!” Okay, maybe it will be more like “Thank gawd it’s over!” I’m still okay with it even though it is terribly wordy.

  3. Uggggggggggggh, I am hopelessly behind but I’m not giving up. I will get some of it read this week. I’m so proud of you for sticking to it so well Ti!

  4. Congratulations on sticking with this book. I read it about ten years ago, and am glad I did. I found parts boring, and other parts thrilling, interesting, puzzling but the whole is worth the effort.

    I like reading your synopsis and getting the experience again…vicariously 🙂

  5. I am loving this, even Melville’s over-abundant descriptive language and very flowery prose. I can’t help but think he had fun writing it.

  6. I read Moby Dick in college for one of my english classes. It was okay, not my fave but I didn’t dislike it. I’m really enjoying your reviews/comments as you read though it. I am feeling tempted to pick it up and read it again. But right now I cannot focus on much lighter books a quarter of the size. Maybe one day though…. So glad you are enjoying it rather than dreading it =o)

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