So, I'm up to Chapter 90 of Moby-Dick. I really did mean to finish by July 15, but I'm pretty certain that's not going to happen. I have made some real progress, and I hope to finish it in the next couple of weeks.
I'm very glad that this book is all in short chapters, because I don't know how much I could sit down and read straight through. In all honestly, if I didn't have the audiobook in the car, I don't know if I would have gotten this far.
There's really not that much narrative at this point -- Ishmael and the boys are on the hunt, and there are far, far more asides than actual plot. I understand this is probably ground-breaking and experimental, but I'm beginning to understand why this is a book that people either really love or really hate. There's still not so much character development -- I understand that Ahab is on a quest for revenge against the white whale, but other than that, not much insight into his character, or Ishmael either. He seems more like an omniscient more than anything else at this point. Well, there are still about 45 chapter to go, so I suppose that part is upcoming.
What I'm really learning about so far is whales -- the differences between the different types, their anatomy, habits, you name it. Ishmael (or Melville, I suppose) seems in awe of whales, almost reverent about them -- it's sort of shocking how much he seems to admire them, yet in the very next chapter, or even the next paragraph, will then go on describe how they're going to kill these magnificent creatures. I'm learning much, much more about the butchering of whales than I would like. So far, when it comes to Man vs. Whales, I'm firmly on Team Whale. I'm not a vegetarian, I do eat all kinds of meat, but there's no way I could bring myself to ever eat whale, especially after reading this book. Maybe I should start on a krill diet.
That being said, the writing is mostly excellent, but I'm finding the story kind of uneven overall -- some chapters are fascinating and others just bore me to tears. Frank Muller's narration really does enhance the story. I'm down to the last five discs, so I should finally finish it up in the next week or so.
Is anyone else still working on Moby-Dick? How are you enjoying it?