It’s over! I have finished Moby Dick!
I’m aware there was a time in my life when I wasn’t reading ‘Moby Dick’, but it seems so long ago I barely remember it. I think my hair was shorter, and it cost less than £20 for a family of four to go to the cinema including snacks. Ohhkaay, maybe not that long ago, but as I have been reading it along with other books, because frankly undiluted Moby would do my head in, it has been going on for a long time. I have been reading ‘Clarissa’ even longer, but that doesn’t count, as it’s no contravening the trades description act, and the action is evenly spaced (far apart, but still evenly).
I hate whaling, I don’t even eat meat, but I had it in my head ‘Moby Dick’ was about a mammoth, action packed chase of a whale, so let’s get on with that, shall we? If someone had told me that the book is 135 chapters long, plus and epilogue, and the whale doesn’t turn up until until chapter 133, at least I’d have known I was in for 132 chapters non-Moby Dick stuff. It was rather like if in the Film ‘Titanic’ (which I hate waaay more than ‘Moby Dick’, it has to be said) the boat didn’t sink until the last five minutes, and then some words pop up on the screen to say pretty much everyone’s dead.
Now yes, I know, the whale is symbolic of many things, and is the thread running through the book, tying Ahab and the crew together, as well as tearing them apart, etc, but really, if they just changed the name of the book to ‘Ishmael’s thoughts on whaling and stuff’ then it would be accurate.
But none of that matters now. It’s over. The writing style, language, characterisations and descriptions of whaling life do make its status as a classic a valid one, but still, yay! It’s done!
Now I just have to finish Clarissa (1012 pages down, 437 to go!) and life will be new again!