Tag Archives: Read-along

Moby Dick Monday: November 30, 2009 (Week 3)

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:

After a lovely night at the Inn, Ishmael takes a stroll through New Bedford. Apparently, New Bedford is host to not only sailors but cannibals and savages alike. Ishmael is taken with the number of “green” Vermonters and New Hampshire men that arrive with the hopes of becoming whalers. Ishmael is amazed by this, yet this is his reason for being there as well.

As he wanders around, he visits a chapel where grieving families have congregated to mourn the loss of their family members. Father Mapple is giving the sermon which happens to be the story of Jonah. You remember him, he was the one that got swallowed by a fish. Anyway, what’s interesting about Father Mapple is that he climbs into the pulpit by way of “man ropes.” Ishmael finds this incredibly odd. Does he do this out of respect to the sailors that have been lost at sea? As Ishmael ponders this, he sees his friend Queequeg. As you may recall from last week’s post, Queequeg is Ishmael’s cannibalistic bed-mate. Ishmael sees Queequeg’s tender side as he mourns those lost.

Back at the Inn, Ishmael watches Queequeg enjoy a smoke and decides to join him. It is after this smoke, that Queequeg grabs Ishmael, leans his forehead against him and declares them married, which in sea terms means bosom buddies. It is after this little display of affection that Ishmael learns that Queequeg is actually the son of a King and comes from an island called Kokovoko, which is not noted on any map but click here for a good chuckle and a line right out of the book.

Ishmael shares his plan to board a whaling ship and Queequeg vows to join whatever vessel Ishmael is on.

My Rambling Thoughts:

This past week was a difficult one for reading with Thanksgiving and Black Friday and all but I did manage to get my pages in although this chunk was much more challenging than last week’s chunk. For one, the sermon (Jonah) was way, way too long and bored me to tears. I re-read that chapter three times trying to get through it. As soon as I got past, it all was well again. I am starting to get a feel for Melville’s writing which is making it easier to digest and I find myself going past the four pages a day, although not by much. I am looking forward to Ishmael and Queequeg actually getting on a boat.

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.

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.