Sunday, 11 October 2015

The Moby Dick Read-a-Long: Week Zero

I haven't actually cracked open my copy of Moby Dick yet, but I've been making an effort to read quite light books in the last fortnight or so, just to ensure I'm not burned out by the time we start!

I've had a quick flick through my copy and it seems quite accessible, so I'm sure we'll be fine. We did War & Peace, right? Maybe my new tagline should be Booking in Heels: Making You Read Awful Books Since 2010.

Anyway, here are my answers to the prompts this week.

1) What are you expecting from the novel? Do you have any preconceptions?
Sigh. Honestly, I'm not expecting this to be easy. People always include War & Peace and Moby Dick in the same lists of 'difficult' books, but then again sometimes those are people who have never actually opened either of the damn things. It might not be that bad.
I hope there aren't many nautical terms or fishy... things. I'm scared of fish. Didn't I pick a great book to read?
2) What do you already know about the plot or character?
I know the first line, and therefore the name of one of the characters. I also assume that it involves a whale at some point. Le fin.
I did walk past Herman Melville's house last week though, which seems quite fitting.
London Herman Melville house blue plaque

 3) This book, unlike War & Peace, isn't a translation? Do you think that will make a difference?
Probably not, unless one of us has accidentally bought an abridged version (the lucky bugger).
If anything, translated works may actually be easier to read as the translator tends to (intentionally or otherwise) update the colloquiallisms as they go. Moby Dick will be just as it was intended to be in... *checks* 1851, with all its associated issues.  

4) Have you read Moby Dick before? What prompted you to read it now?
I have not. If I had, I wouldn't have needed to coerce other people into reading it with me!
I've had this book for ages and I really wanted to get it read. Plus I wanted to run another read-a-long and this seemed a likely victim. Safety in numbers, right?
5) Show us a photo of your book!  
I've had this book for four years now, can you believe it? Hence the read-a-long, I suppose.

I bought it from a charity shop in Bakewell because I love the Vintage editions and it's in mint condition. Problem was... I then had to read the damn thing!

See this week's prompts here!  


  1. Thanks again for hosting! It's so neat that you can just walk past Herman Melville's house like it's no big deal. I remember being so starstruck when I was abroad because there was such a dense concentration of historical landmarks and author's abodes. So jealous!

    1. Haha, it's in London, on the same street as Benjamin Franklin's house (which is actually where we were going).

      I know, we do take it for granted. My favourite place is still the Bronte village, but I guess you knew that :)


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