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Reviews of Moby-Dick (1851)

Review by marflord (2010-12-19)
The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.

Review by urban_lenny (2006-08-18)
I read Moby Dick for pleasure because I wanted to get through some of the books that were considered amongst the best written in the English Language and it seemed to be often mentioned with other greats that I had read so I decided to give it a chance. After reading it, it is tempting to draw comparisons to epics such as the Odyssey, as the novel essentially follows the same kind of arc and is told on the same grand scale revealing similar unerring truths about the human condition.

This book required a lot of effort to get through. The beginning, before the crew set out on their whaling voyage, was very entertaining, but at times Melville goes on and on in great detail about things that only add marginally to the overall story (another thing he has in common with Homer!). Some of the chapters in which he details various other points or side stories are quite valuable in their insight and entertainment, but others often leave the reader wondering why exactly he's bothering to go into that much depth.

The characters are well developed and mostly likeable and the first exchange between the narrator and Queeqeg in the inn before setting out is extremely entertaining - and these characters really the read worth it. The way that Melville writes each of his shipmates as character types is at times effective, but can be a bit over contrived at times, as each is unwaveringly of the stereotypical characterization that the author gives him.

It's definitely a book that should continue to be read and appreciated, but be warned that the pleasure is only sometimes in the voyage but is really at its best when you've conquered the white whale. It's unlikely that anyone who has a short attention span would enjoy Moby Dick, but I recommend it to anyone who is interested in a challenging read (and who isn't bored by sea stories!).

Review by Beaver (2003-05-10)
This is one of THE most boring books I've read in a long time! If you want to learn way too much about whales and whaling, this is the book for you. Most of the book was spent describing whales and whaling at the expense of unimportant things like plot and character devleopment. The first couple of chapters started off good, looking like it would have some nice characters with Ishmael and Queequeg. But after the first 50 pages or so it all went downhill. The last 3 chapters picked up somewhat but not enough to make it worthwhile. 4/10




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