Just got done reading Moby Dick. I must say, I can see how this book received such mixed reactions when it first came out. Maybe it's due to the volume of movies I've inhaled over my lifetime, as opposed to books, but I felt this story dragged far too long in it's waist.
It felt as if the writer(Melville) had trouble deciding what type of book he was wanting this to be when starting it off, what with the silly antics between Ishmael and Queequeg, to the GIANT wad of ship and whale anatomy in the middle, and finally the mad hunt in the end. Ahab is introduced bit by bit, which kind of hurts the novel's excitement of progression, in my opinion. When I was younger, I heard so many great things about this character, and he was built so largely as some American literary icon. He is said to be completely mad with vengeance, which I could see the writer was attempting to display. However, his interaction with most Captains he came across, and his crew seemed almost sportsman-like(if whale hunting could be called this, away from it's true cruel nature) as far as the whereabouts of the White whale go during the all save the last chapters. There is only 1 or 2 chapters truly dedicated to him in the middle of the book, and rest feels like Sailor ship-anatomy lessons 101.
So much description goes into every minute detail, that I feel the writer loses himself in what was supposed to be the focal point of the story. I did enjoy the crew, however, and feel they got the brunt of it, in the end. Not that I was angry of their final fate, I just felt that their demise could've been better appreciated had the writer took the time to describe their ends sincerely, instead of mark their deaths "off-screen", so to speak. I was just so frustrated that it took so long for some excitement to reach the book, and have even more so to have it end so abruptly for a crew who were the ONLY reason to even bother with the middle of the bloated story.
Overall, I wanted to like this, after hearing about it so often. Unfortunately, it dolled on and I can't quite say I enjoyed his Melville's descriptive nature as much as I've enjoyed Hemingway's in this field of story telling. A sad disappointment, for uneducated fool like myself. I'd give it a 2 out of 5 stars.