On Reading Moby Dick and Moby Dick Big Read

Raquel StecherAbout Me
Blogger at Quelle Books, Book Industry Professional. Please add my to your circles.

I've been struggling with reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I was never assigned the novel in High School or even as an English Major in Undergrad and Grad school. And I never had any interest. But since my good friend Mark is currently working on a project of which Moby Dick is significantly influential, so I decided to give it a go and added it to my Classics Club Challenge list.

I'm currently on chapter 58 and I'm struggling. There are 136 chapters and I am not quite far enough into the text to power through. I'm languishing. I asked my friend Mark for help. He told me that the book is very flawed and is in need of editing which it didn't receive before it was published. It's disjointed, there are chapters that can be taken out and it was not how Melville intended it to be. Knowing that helps a bit.

Blogger Jill from A Room of One's Own [Update: blog is now defunct] posted about a new online event called Moby Dick Big Read. It started a couple days ago. Each day they post an audio clip of one full chapter being read by a different actor or narrator. They also post some relevant art material. It's such a genius idea! I would have to wait until 11/12 in order to get to the point where I'm at in the book to start the project. I might wait until they get to chapter 50 instead of chapter 58 because the last few chapters I read of Moby Dick didn't quite sink in. Or I might start even earlier! Who knows. The project would be complete by January of 2013. I wanted to finish Moby Dick by the end of this month but I don't think this is the kind of book to be rushed.

Are you going to participate in Moby Dick Big Read?


  1. I'm glad you'll be joining in! I hope hearing it aloud helps it not all run together. :)

  2. Thanks Jillian for posting about it. Otherwise I might not have found out about it at all. And I agree. Perhaps taking it one chapter at a time and on audio might help with pacing and being able to understand the book better.


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