Monday, 1 December 2014

Summer reading: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

"Call me Ishmael". One of literature's best-known lines opens this classic sea-born tale of adventure, as one man's destructive obsession with revenge changes his crew and the narrator of the story.

The main plot of the book tells the story of Ishmael, a young man who uses sea voyages to overcome his depression, and his adventures on the Pequod with the mysterious, ferocious, Captain Ahab, who harbours a deep grudge against the sperm whale who destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg on the previous voyage.

Ishmael's narrative discusses class, race, shipping, cetology, theology, oceanography, and 19th Century whaling practices. While some criticise the novel for being too wordy and long-winded, many others laud the pace and settings, relishing the way Melville builds the story up to it's tragic climax.

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