When I was in college, I had to read Moby Dick.
To clarify, I was assigned to read Moby Dick. I was supposed to read Moby Dick. Along with a number of other of Herman Melville works.
I’m an avid reader by nature and tended to read more than was assigned. But I did not read Moby Dick. I tried, I promise you. But I found it just … agonizing. Which was pretty much my take on all the Melville works I was assigned.
Pausing to say: if you love Melville and all his works, and Moby Dick is your all-time favorite … good for you. I’m not taking anything away from you. Actually, to the contrary: I stand in awe.
I didn’t enjoy this book. I could not make myself slog through it. I didn’t even enjoy the movies made of it.
But I do tend to listen to whatever classics are put out on podcast Phoebe Reads a Mystery. So I waited the more-than-two-months it took for Phoebe to read all 135 chapters (plus epilogue) of this book, so I could binge the story over a weekend. Like I do.
After all, it’s been a long time since I was in college. Maybe my tastes will have changed and this book will better suit…
I have paused partway through chapter 32 – which is basically a recap of species of whales that makes me want to throw a book I’m not holding through a window – to say that Moby Dick has not improved for me as I have aged.
I know it’s full of brilliant symbolism and wordplay and literary value but … dear Lord. Ugh. This guy desperately needed an editor.
Phoebe. Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe. How in the heck did you bear reading this for two straight months???
If Melville could write this “classic” and you could read it, then I can listen to it.
At least, I think I can.
Ok. Let me get back to that now.
Wish me luck!