Moby-Dick (Review)

Labels: Great Works


Herman Melville, 1851
500-600 pp. (varies)

Book Review by Molly Lundquist
May 2007
10 Reasons to Read Moby-Dick
 1. It's The Great American Novel.
 2. It's a terrific story.
 3. It's like spinach—it's good for you.
 4. It's ubiquitous—it pops up in literature, religion, politics, & psychology.
 5. It's bound to be a question when you're on Jeopardy.

 6. It's easy to spell—except for the hyphen (which everyone forgets). 
 7. It's great for the ego—do you know anyone else who's read it?
 8. It's morally bracing—getting though it builds character.
 9. It's hefty—builds bone mass & prevents osteoporosis.
10. It's useful—once you've read it, hollow it out—and you've got a safe for your valuables!

Truly, I hesitate to recommend Moby-Dick, but it's the grandest epic of the modern era—the real deal. It won't be easy, though, so take a look at the recommendations below for tackling Moby as a book club read:

  1. Split it up into two months—no one with a life can read the entire book in a month.
  2. Invite a friendly literature professor to lead your discussions.
  3. Don't get hung up over the parts on cetology—everything you ever wanted to know about whales and then some. Although it's fascinating (and thematic), it often stops readers in their tracks (oops...someone's grad diploma just went down the drain).

See our Reading Guide for Moby-Dick.


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