Book #10: “Moby Dick” — Herman Melville (1851)
“Moby Dick” is my literary white whale. It took me many attempts before I could get the whole way through to the end. In fact, I was reading it when I first meet my wife, and 20 years later she would still poke me with “Finish Moby Dick yet?” Finally, a couple of summers ago when we were on the beach, I gave it one more shot.
Cinematic before cinema, “Moby Dick” also has long passages where the narration is in irons. There are many sections, though, that I could read again and again, they are so powerful and idiosyncratic. While often seen as the great American novel (it is), and a great sea adventure (it is), most critics — and the many, many filmmakers that have adapted it for the screen — miss that it is also gothic horror, and should be right up there with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Brom Stoker’s Dracula, and especially, H.P Lovecraft. Come on, madness, monsters from the deep, and a sole survivor to tell the unbelievable tale? Pure Lovecraft.
The book also inspired one of the most inspired miniature games I’ve ever seen. How could you not want to play this game?