Moby Dick Review Part I

My review of the first 35 chapters of this unique novel.

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(Originally posted on, September 5, 2017)

Today, I’ll be looking at Moby Dick, Chapters 1 – 35. It’s my first book review! Let’s start off on a positive note. Well, I have to say my favorite chapter was 13. Chapter 13 is called Chowder. The characters sit down and eat chowder. It was one of the most exciting chapters of the book yet! I’m not kidding. This book is long. Kudos to whoever managed to get through the introduction…

We meet our main character, Ishmael. In the first chapter, he goes on and on and on about how great the ocean is. Then, a few chapters later, we meet Queequeg. He is a cannibal, and remarkably soon, our main character suddenly trusts this stranger, enough to sleep soundly in the same room with him. For some reason, I just wouldn’t feel comfortable around this man. But Ishmael does, so let’s just forget about his cannibalism for awhile. Anyways, after Ishmael spends tons of chapters contemplating/admiring his new comrade, we learn that they’ll be going on the same whaling expedition. Yippee.

Chapters 1 – 20 have nothing to do with boats despite the picture of the dying whale on the cover, and the constant talk of whaling. Really, not much happens. Okay, well, some things happen, but they’re really boring. Chapter 21 is called ‘Going Aboard!’ That means they’ll go on the ship, right? Yes, but they don’t set sail. Not yet.

When they do set sail, after preparing the ship and finding a crew, it’s just for a short while and eventually, they get to Nantucket. Yes, they take a quick trip to a coastal city. You thought they were going into the Pacific Ocean? Ha! You have to wait some more chapters for that to happen!

They finally set sail for real this time. Because I read the back of the book, I’ve been wondering when we’ll meet Captain Ahab, another character. And at Chapter 28, we do. I was expecting him to be more of a nice person but he’s not. He swears at Ishmael and also kicked some poor sailor on board with his ivory leg. Finally, I stop reading when everyone is trying not anger him at dinner. That’s how far I’ve gotten. I hope I enjoy the rest of the book, and hoping, even more, I actually get to read about the crew finding a whale. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Despite all my criticisms, I’m kinda enjoying the book. Either way, I’m 35 chapters in and want to finish. Think I need to take a break and have some chowder! 🙂  I thought if I shared now, it would motivate me to keep going because it takes a while to read that book.  Hope you enjoy.

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