If you’ve never managed to make it all the way through this “great American classic,” NOW is the time to give it one more go! Wait, don’t click away! Hear me out! I’ve tried at least three times in the past to read Moby Dick & always get bogged down after a few chapters. All that whaling! All that boiling down of blubber! And, what is Ahab’s problem anyway?! So I’ve never “gotten” Moby Dick & never finished the book. I always abandon the Pequod, Ishmael, Ahab, & the gang and leave them floating in the middle of the ocean somewhere.
But NOT this time! You may have heard recently that writer, Philip Hoare, is leading a "big read" of Moby Dick, or, in this case, more like a “big listen.” He’s offering a chapter per day in free downloadable audio. There’s a different reader and a different artist’s illustration for each chapter. I know about this because I have been reading, not a chapter per day, but a PAGE per day, of Moby Dick since August 9th , 2012, and writing a blog about it. So, several people who’ve been following my blog have told me about the big read project. “This guy stole your idea!” they say indignantly.
I’m not concerned though. There’s plenty of Moby Dick to go around. He’s a big whale & it’s a big book. You can check it out from the library in print, audio, or digital, or download the free eBook from Project Gutenberg. It’s chock full of themes, allegories, interesting characters, and even humor! Queequeg, the harpooner, spears steaks at the breakfast table with his harpoon, and Ishmael’s mind works in a very human & sometimes amusingly contradictory way.
I was inspired to start my read-a-page-per-day project by the book Moby Dick in Pictures, by Matt Kish. (Click the link to watch the book trailer) Matt Kish drew an illustration, one per day, one for each page of Moby Dick. My plan was to look at the illustration, read the corresponding page in Moby Dick, and write a blog post. I’m up to page 51 and still going strong.
Here’s a taste of my blog for you:
So grab a harpoon, hoist the sails, and start reading!