Moby Dick

By Herman Melville

Rating: 2 stars

I found this a difficult book to read. Really, it’s two books in one cover. One of the books is a story of obsession and revenge, telling of Captain Ahab’s obsession with killing the whale that stole his leg. The other is the Encyclopaedia Leviathanica – a complete encyclopaedia of whales, whaling and whaling ships, with the latter being the larger of the two components of this book.

The thing that got me through it was the fact that each chapter was very short, often being no more than 3-4 pages, so I could sit down and just read one or two chapters at a time. If you took out all the chapters talking about the taxonomy of whales, their history, how to cut them up and so forth, this could be a riveting slim volume but as it was, it was really a slog. The story was great, but all the details about whaling, I could have done without.

Book details

ISBN: 9781853260087
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd
Year of publication: 1851

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