Monday, May 26, 2014

Moby-Dick or The Hunchback of Notre-Dame?


Readers, I have a conundrum.  A couple of weeks ago, I signed up once again for the Classics Spin VI, one of my favorite blogging challenges.  My spin selection was the #1 book on my list, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, a book I purchased in Paris (at the actual Notre-Dame Cathedral, in the gift shop) way back in 2007.  I've been dreading it ever since, so I was happy and apprehensive at the same time.  I have until July 7 to finish this book and post about it on my blog.

And then Adam over at Roof Beam Reader announced a Moby-Dick readalong that lasts from June 1 through July 15 -- about 15 pages per day, according to his calculations.  It so happens that I have an unread copy of Moby-Dick on my shelves, a beautiful Penguin Deluxe Graphic edition that I received from the nice people at Penguin Books a couple of years ago.  It also happens that Moby-Dick was the second book on my Classics Spin list.


So here's the conundrum -- I know there's no way I can read both of these books at the same time.  So which one should I choose?  Moby-Dick is longer (625 pages versus 429) but it has the advantage of the readalong -- so much more fun to read a book and discuss it online with others!  Also, my library has two different audiobook editions, one narrated by George Guidall and one by Paul Boehmer.  I could possibly listen to the entire thing on audio and keep up with the schedule.  Both of them are on my Classics Club challenge list, and both of them are books I've been putting off forever.  If I finish either of them, I know I'll be very satisfied.

Bloggers, what do you think?  Which one should I read?  Both classics, but I think they're very different.  An American or a French classic?  Queequeg or Quasimodo?  And has anyone listened to any of the audiobook versions?  Which do you recommend?

14 comments:

  1. You should read Moby-Dick. It sounds like you're in the mood for it rather than the spin book. :-)

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  2. I would go for Moby Dick, purely because readalongs are so motivating compared to reading alone!

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    1. I agree -- the combination of the readalong AND the audiobook will probably behoove me to skip Hunchback and read MD instead. Unless I can read Hunchback in a week and finish it before the MD readalong starts. . . riiiight.

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  3. Read Moby-Dick. I am thinking of joining in the read-along. I dread reading Hugo as well.

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  4. I've never read Hugo or Melville, but I'm definitely leaning towards Melville at the moment.

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  5. The Deluxe edition looks great! I love the cover. I was in a store the other day and saw the new Puffin classic covers....really cute. I need to buy a couple.

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    1. I have a couple of the Puffin Classics in paperback, I haven't bought any of the hardcovers yet. They're pretty.

      I also love the Penguin Clothbound classics and buy those whenever I get a chance.

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  6. I've only read "The Hunchback.." and I'd warmly suggest you to read it, but then, I agree with a reader's comment: it seems like you'd rather read "Moby Dick", so go along with it :D I'm sure the readalong will be fun :)

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    1. I should really just sit down uninterrupted, and read a chapter of each before I decide.

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  7. Having read Moby Dick years ago, I think I would have enjoyed it more had I been doing so in a read-along format. There are some great parts and some dull parts, and chatting about both would have been helpful.

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  8. Looks like others agree with me - your post itself is leaning to Moby Dick. So Here's a suggestion for you (I'd do this myself), pull out the Hugo novel and place it near your reading/coffee corner, and look at the cover randomly - remember your visit to paris and enjoy that warm glow. Maybe one day you'll actually read the book - but right now it's a memory for you. Perhaps you could look at/read it for our Paris in July event!!

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  9. I enjoyed Hunchback, but I do find readalongs helpful when tackling the classic tomes, and you might want to snag onto this one while it's here.

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