16 December 2016

Moby Dick Book Club: Week 7


Good news is we're officially past the halfway mark, WOOHOOOOOOO. Bad news is this section was disgusting. Between the description of them murdering the whale and the description of them skinning it and leaving the body to float away I found myself doing a lot of skimming to avoid details. Some of the facts were cool I suppose, like how it actually takes hours to drag the harpooned whale back to the ship.

Due to the skimming, I don't have a lot of notes from this week's section. I loved Ishmael thinking he has a better way to harpoon whales, as if everyone else is an idiot (regarding not leaving the second spear to just flail around in the water the way they do). Let's not keep forgetting the fact that this is Ishmael's FIRST whaling trip. I also loved Ishmael calling Ahab "moody" despite the fact that they caught a whale. The captain is supposed to be happy but Ahab just wants Moby Dick dead.

The parts of this section I found most interesting were about Stubb eating whale flesh by the light of a lantern lit by whale oil:

"That mortal man should feed upon the creature that feeds his lamp, and, like Stubb, eat him by his own light, as you may say; this seems so outlandish a thing..." (297)

... and it does seem so outlandish but I guess I don't really know why. 

That's all I've got.


Thank God we are past the halfway mark ... but again, isn't this already waaay too much work for such little payoff. I can't even see myself bragging about having read this book because I hate it so much. I would also just never suggest anyone ever needs to read this book. Who gives a shit about American classics. I would drop a class if this book was assigned ... EVEN IF I'VE ALREADY READ IT.

I also ran into Stefan today and he is no further along than having purchased the book. Morale is low in New Brunswick.

ANYWAYS, let's start in with the few things I actually enjoyed in these chapters.

Obviously the Chapter 66 "The Shark Massacre" picqued my interest because 1) Meg and I are obsessed with Jaws and 2) I find sharks terrifying. Even thinking about them circling the boat due to all that blood makes me sick to my stomach with worry. I did read Meg's review this time before writing my own just hoping to get a little bit of inspiration to write this thing ... So I will also say that I was actually sort of in to the descriptions of collecting the oil.

Of all the gore, I particularly liked this line, "As last, gush after gush of clotted red gore, as if it had been the purple lees of red wine, shot into the frighted air; and failing back again, ran dripping down his motionless flanks into the sea. His heart had burst!" Ahhhh sooo good! I want to see this on film ...

In the movie adaption of In the Heart of the Sea there is a disgusting scene where the youngest shipmate has to go inside one of the dead whales to cut something out of it. Super disturbing. I feel like at this point I understand why so many sailors don't know how to swim. Or is that just a myth?

Also, nothing I love more than a tiny little chapter like 69 "The Funeral." I liked when they said, "Nor is this the end. Desecrated as the body is, a venegful ghost survives and hovers over it to scare." This sounds like a movie Meg and I would be really into ... 

Honestly, I would rather be dead then go through another week of this. 


  1. blubber blubber blubber. That's all I got from this section, and it's also how my brain feels.

    1. SOME OF THESE CHAPTERS FEEL LIKE BIOLOGY CLASS. Please pick the next book. We need it.