Fish Out of Water

August 24, 2011 at 10:32 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

I did it.  I finally finished Moby Dick.

If I'd had a harpoon, I might've stabbed my eyes while trying to get through this book

Reading this massive novel is something I told myself I’d do this year because I genuinely do enjoy reading the “classics” and had not yet encountered the white whale.  An old friend of mine happens to call this her favorite book of all time and when she gave me a brand new copy earlier this year, I knew it was on.  I began reading at the very beginning of July and finished Monday night, almost two full months after beginning.  The book finished slightly above 500 pages and if you know me, you know that I can typically read that much pretty quick.  Not so with Moby Dick.  I had to bribe myself with treats to get through this book and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a box of Cheeze-Its in front of me when I read that last page.

What’s a shame is that I’m not sure how to reveal my true feelings on this book to the friend who loves it.  We joked that if I hated it we probably couldn’t hang out anymore and this is now a real possibility.  I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read this blog (though I guess I’ll find out) so I’m going to be honest here.  This book was the bane of my existence for pretty much the entire time I read it.  It was a chore and there were many times that I thought of just giving up.  It was definitely a challenge and I wanted to conquer the book like Ahab wants to conquer the whale – which, spoiler alert, HE DOESN’T EVEN DO.  Apparently it’s common knowledge that the whale wins at the end but for whatever reason I was holding out hope that the crazy captain would endure a bloody and catastrophic battle, versus the rather anti-climatic real ending where everyone drowned and the whale swam away.  I mean there was a battle but after everything I’d read I half expected the whale to stand up and start talking.  I couldn’t even be mad or disappointed by the ending though because I was just so damn happy to be finished with the book.

Not that it was all bad.  In fact, the parts where they actually told the story were somewhat enjoyable and I even laughed out loud numerous times.  At least, towards the beginning.  But the entire novel is spliced with chapters on the entire industry of whaling and I simply don’t really care what types of rope are best for which boats or the history of the wooden ship.  Some of it was relevant and interesting but some of it was also just plain wrong (I know it was written before science deemed whales mammals and not fish but reading totally inaccurate information just pissed me off even more).  This monstrosity of a book even worked its way into my dreams, where my friend told she just skipped all the boring parts and read the action (which is roughly 1/3 of the entire novel).  I woke up ready to rage but then realized that I had only been dreaming – which still made me upset because I was wasting valuable sleeping time on the damn book that was haunting me during the day.  I then accidentally went on a rant during a phone conversation with a faraway friend in which I bitched for like ten straight minutes about this book (sorry, friend).  It felt good to vent, especially since I know I’ll have to tone it down when I talk to the girl who loves it.

At least it’s over.  I know I could’ve quit reading it at any time but I’m fairly stubborn and it was on my to-do list for the year so I saw it through.  And I’ll never read it again, even though (and I’ve been waiting the entire post to say this) it was a whale of a tale.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: