julius, October 13, 2008 (view all comments by julius)
One of the joys of growing older is revisiting the books that were required reading in high school. Like most teens, when I was TOLD to do anything, I rebelled immediately! Or at least I would comply grudgingly! I was speaking to my boss not long ago and I asked her what her favourite book was. She said without hesitation, "Moby Dick". She couldn't recommend it enough, and her enthusiasm was catching! I have to tell you, this is a daunting book at least. The size alone, like the title character is fairly massive, but like the answer to the riddle of how to eat an elephant, I set about reading this book one bite at a time! I set aside any anxiety about getting every little bit of everything that so many other writers have written about this book, and experienced this work as I read it. As I read, this book, this masterpiece, unfolds, and unfolds, and unfolds! It takes you in and engulfs you in this world, these characters, these situations. The chapters involving whaling and sea craft, at first tedious to me, as it seemed to interrupt the flow of the story, were really saying so much more. By the time I reached the end, I flipped the book back to the beginning to read the first chapter again and how different the meaning was. "Call me Ishmael" sends a chill through me even now, and probably will always. This book is about you. Me. All of us. No lie! This book should never be taken lightly, but it is a very accessible and thoroughly rewarding experience. Every bit of it. When I am asked the question I asked my boss, I say without hesitation, "My favourite book is Moby Dick, and if you haven't read it, you should. It will change your life". It changed mine.
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