Herman Melville

Herman Melville’s Moby Dick was a mixed bag. Parts of it were brilliant with language and scenes that echo some of Shakespeare’s plays. But other parts were a bit of a slog.

Melville incorporated a variety of different genres and shifted points of view for no apparent reason. Some of the chapters appeared to have little bearing on the narrative and would have been more at home in an encyclopedia entry on everything you want to know about whales and/or their depiction in art. These chapters could have been excised with no damage to the main story line, which is about a man’s all-consuming obsession for revenge, an obsession that ultimately destroys him and most of his crew.

Recommended but with some reservations.

AuthorTamara Agha-Jaffar
CategoriesBook Review