Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ishmael

About a week ago I started to read the daunting novel, Moby Dick. My friend, SJ, and her husband, Paul, are  also reading it, which I thought would be fun. Turns out 2/3s of us hate the book so far and I have no idea what Paul thinks of it! At first I was intrigued by the narrating character, Ishmael, and his perspective on being a sailor. He even spent about 5 pages talking about how he was apprehensive about sleeping with a random stranger because the inn was too full for everyone to have individual rooms/beds. But as I continue, it seems like the author is just rambling about crap that doesn't matter and I'm getting to that point where one continues to read and the words make sense but one is unable to comprehend what the author is saying.

I searched Google images in hopes of finding a picture of Ishmael, but, alas, I was only able to find random pictures of lots of black guys. I did find this picture when searching "Moby Dick" so maybe Ishmael is one of those fools behind that psycho Ahab?


From there I went to Wikipedia in hopes of finding out more about this apparently important character so I could appreciate him more and continue reading with gusto.

Ishmael was mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, and is believed to be Abraham's oldest son. I guess there is some disagreement on his role in Islamic and Jewish cultures, but I don't care much about that. The only thing I really gain from Wikipedia is that Ishmael may be an alias as the first sentence in the book is "Call me Ishmael." HMMMM.

Well thanks, Wikipedia and Google images for failing MISERABLY in enlightening this eager mind.

I guess I will keep on keeping on with this book. Fingers crossed it gets better once Ahab is introduced and they are actually out to sea!

4 comments:

  1. LOL!

    I haven't gotten to the part where Ahab is introduced yet. I am at the chapter where some crazy guy keeps telling them good morning.

    Ugh! Maybe there is no pics or detailed explanations because people actually never read the book. Everyone just talks about how awesome it is cuz they can't get through it LOL. Doubtful. We can do it though! Slowly but surely!

    I totally now exactly what you mean when about reading it getting the words but having no idea what the author is saying. I have to read pages 3 or 4 times. and then I usually fall asleep.

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  2. Hahaha that's so true about google search. You search Ishmael and you get random black guys or a squirrel baking an apple pie. You never know what you're gonna get!

    I like Moby Dick ok. I'm reading it on Kindle for mac and it sucks when you've read for like 63 pages and only one of the little dots fills in on your progress meter. And you're right, it seems like a lot of rambling - SJ pointed out that he rarely uses dialogue (even when he has the chance to!), and that sucks. Dialogue would break up the story nicely.

    Right now it's on the back burner for me - I'll read just a little like every other day. I'm hooked on Stephen King's "Misery" right now - it's great!

    BTW, the movie of Moby Dick has Gregory Peck in it, so maybe you should watch that when you're done!

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  3. I've been meaning to read Moby Dick for years!! I bought it and it's still sitting on my shelf. I'm an American Studies major and never read it and one of my Eng. Profs in colelge talked about the book every day in class (even though we didn't read the book.) I may just have to dust it off and join you. But it's soooo intimidating...

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  4. SJ - I haven't gotten to Ahab yet either, but I know he is the psycho who wants to kill the whale.

    Paul - I'm reading it on Kindle too, pretty sure I'm only like 10% through it :( I have a paper copy too and it's soooo thick.

    Erika - Amazing that someone could like this book so much that he would talk about it every day in class, yet no one I know has read it and liked it! I think you should read it so you can enlighten us :)

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