I can’t read Moby Dick!
When I saw that there was going to be a movie about Moby Dick, I remembered the old book that has been in one of the boxes in the garage for 40 years. I found the book.
I opened the cover and I found a dedication from one of my best friends in high school. It turns out, he had given me the book as a Christmas present on Christmas Day 1976, the first time we saw each other after graduating a year and a half before. I had forgotten that this dedication existed.
I redacted his name for his privacy. There was a book mark in page 145, but I remembered nothing, so I thought I’d better start from the beginning.
The pages were yellowed, and the print too small for my now old eyes, so I did what I often do these days with old books: I bought it again on my Kindle. Then I started reading.
I worked at it. And worked at it. I continued on to page 204 out of 549 or 38%, when I finally stopped. Reading Moby Dick is hard work, and I didn’t enjoy the story, or the writing style. That happens to me a lot. See my comments about Ulysses, here, here and here. I am now adding Moby Dick to this illustrious list.
There are far too many books yet to read, and there is so much more sand now in the bottom part of the hourglass of my life compared to what’s left in the top, so the hours are getting more valuable with every page I turn.
I love the physical book that is called Moby Dick; it is a trusted friend that has been with me a lifetime. I cherish the friendship of the one who gave it to me on Christmas Day 1976. I will always keep the hardcopy, so one day, my son might want to read it.
I remain honored to be compared to Queequeg, in the classic that is Moby Dick.
And here I stop.
3 thoughts on “I Can’t Read Moby Dick”
This is a tough book for sure. I was able to get through it after a good friend, an American literature professor, told me how funny it is. I read the book for the humor and skimmed the parts that were dry. If you ever decide to give it another chance, look for the comedy.
Call me Ishmael. Remember it well, as it was assigned reading for AP lit in my HS. It happened to be my teacher’s favorite book of all time, thus the requirement. it is tough, wordy, heady and verbose. But I waded through it and came out at the end being happy I had read that monstrosity. I’s not one I’ll ever re-read nor is it on my all time top 100 list. I feel your pain! Try Anna Karennnana (sp?) or the Brothers Karamazov. They are all of the above to a lesser degree and certainly much more enjoyable. P.S. we are the same age 🙂
I have read The Brothers Karamazov once and Anna Karenina twice. Thanks for the comment. Here is a post about books read twice: http://norberthaupt.com/2013/04/22/books-i-have-read-twice-or-more/