Non Fiction Reader
This book takes so many side roads that one wonders if there even is a story somewhere in there. Short, incisive excusions may actually help the story and draw the reader into it. It is not the case with this story. It's almost like Melville wanted to show his erudition and lost sight of his goal. I hate to say it, but the movie was better.
I had the misfortune of "saving" this story for a long vacation drive back home. The story is so boring that it should come with a warning label: "Do not drive or use heavy equipment when reading (listening)." This is especially the case during the later part of the first part (book) and almost the entire second part. I found myself so distracted that my truck and my towed boat were weaving from shoulder to median. The best way to listen is to click forward. I found myself clicking forward on my iPod for large sections only to return to the last coherent part of the story.
There's nothing wrong with the characters if they had a prominent place in the story. Mostly they're just ciphers so Mellvile can expound on some subject, or another, that is so distracting that you forget about the white whale.
I've hesitated to download Moby-Dick because I remembered being bored by the many chapters where Melville digressed from the story to examine whale anatomy, the whaling experience, history, biology, etc. etc. This narrator enlivens even the driest passages and brings the characters to life with warmth and compassion. The scenes near the end between Ahab and Pip and Ahab and Starbuck are incredibly moving. Fabulous!
I happily learned about the life of early 1800's sailors on a whaling ship. The detail is wonderful & colorful. This type of book is easier for me to listen to than actually reading it. Rather long book but interesting enough to stick with it to the end.
This is one of the best books ever written. Frank Muller's interpretation is phenomenal. It was an incredible adventure. One of those experiences that make life worth living.