Tag Archives: Moby Dick

Moby Dick Monday: February 15, 2010 (Final, Week 14)

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 takes me through the last 25 chapters.

It’s clear to the crew that Ahab has lost his mind. This is apparent when Starbuck stumbles upon a sleeping Ahab, and for a moment considers murdering him in order to save the rest of the crew. He goes as far as raising the musket to Ahab, but then thinks better of it. As you can imagine this is a very intense scene. As Starbuck considers the worst, Ahab begins to call out in his dreams, and this somehow snaps Starbuck out of his reverie.

The yet levelled musket shook like a drunkard’s arm against the panel; Starbuck seemed wrestling with an angel; but turning from the door, he placed the death-tube in its rack, and left the place.

*No Spoilers*

For me, the other exciting part of this week’s reading is the last three chapters. Why? Because we finally get to meet Moby! Yes, after 130+ chapters the chase is on. I won’t go into detail because if any of you plan to read it, I want you to experience it for yourself but these last three chapters brought it all home for me.  It was while reading these chapters that I actually stepped into Ahab’s shoes (well, shoe…I know bad joke). There’s heartache, and rage and madness but it all comes together to be very satisfying in the end.

My Rambling Thoughts:

I can’t believe it, but I made it! I finally finished this behemoth of a book. Here are some very random thoughts:

  • Should have been given the title of  “Leviathan” instead. The word “leviathan” appears over 130 times and Moby doesn’t even make an appearance until the last few chapters.
  • As tempting as it is, do not read the abridged edition. I went with the unabridged edition and although it’s extremely long and detailed, you want to have the full experience when reading this book.
  • Keep a dictionary by your side, you’ll need it.
  • A book or web reference on whale anatomy would be useful as well.
  • I was surprised that Melville had a sense of humor. It still shocks me a little bit.

And the question that many have asked me… “Was it worth it?”

Yes, it was worth it. Some of the chapters were harder to get through than others and there were times when I wanted to skip to easier reading, but since I read most of this novel in small chunks, I was able to appreciate Melville’s style of writing. Much if it is so beautifully written but it is weighed down by a lot of detail, more detail than I expected.

I won’t list this one as one of my faves, but it is worth reading and if you can get a couple of your friends to read it along with you (thank you guys) then you’ll enjoy it a lot more.

Now I am off to dance a jig.

Reading Along With Me:

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

Past Moby Dick Posts:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

Week 9
Week 10
Week 11

Week 12
Week 13

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Moby Dick Monday: February 8, 2010 (Week 13)

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:

Another short recap for the week. This one takes me through chapter 109.

I left off at chapter 65 last week so as you can see, I covered over 40 chapters but throughout all of these chapters, we are given yet another tutorial on the whale and its anatomy. Much time is spent on the precious spermaceti, which is the whale oil that is processed in such a way to produce a waxy substance that is used in many different ways.

Since whale oil is extracted form the sperm whale’s head, we are treated to a very involved description of the extraction process. I say ‘treated’ only because I found this portion of the tale fascinating. The crew straps the whale head to the side of the ship and then carves a whole into it to begin the extraction process. This oil is stored in barrels and to give you an idea on how much can be extracted…one large whale can produce as much as three tons of spermaceti.This oil is VERY valuable.

It is also within these chapters that a main member of the crew falls ill. He is overcome with fever and when he realizes that his time is limited, he plans out his burial. This particular member of the crew does not want to be tossed overboard, only to sink to the bottom of the black sea. Instead, he wants to be placed into a canoe and set to float across the ocean. The crew sees that his wishes are carried out.

Additionally, the carpenter carves a new ivory leg for Ahab after his ‘leg’ becomes compromised and begins to splinter. Ahab’s leg is carved out of whale bone (how fitting) and much of the chapter is spent discussing the differences of carving bone rather than wood. You see, when bone is filed it produces a very dusty, chalky cloud. It lines the passages of your nasal cavity and gets into your airways. It’s appropriate that Ahab, a man on a quest to find his white whale, literally lives and breathes whale…even if it’s in the form of bone dust.

My Rambling Thoughts:

I am attempting to pick-up the reading pace a bit so it would be wonderful if I could finish out this book this week. Although I am enjoying the technical aspect of the book, I am missing PLOT and character interaction.

Reading Along With Me:

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

Past Moby Dick Posts:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

Week 9
Week 10
Week 11

Week 12