Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Book #09

The Maldive Shark by Herman Melville

Stories and poems by Herman Melville drawn from his years at sea.


This is the second Melville work I've read in a few months, having previously never ventured into any of his at-sea ramblings. I felt exactly the same about this one as I did about his long famous rambling Moby Dick: underwhelmed and exasperated.

Not only did this edition reintroduce me to Melville's whimsical pointless sea life drivel, it also included words in the form of my academic arch-nemesis, poetry. He drones on and on in sentences the length of which Joyce would have been proud. I think I'd rather have read a fucking autobiography.

Bombasticness aside, his love of underwater creatures does not resonate well with an ichthyophobic like myself. Typing The Maldive Shark into a search engine almost sent my wine glass flying across the room, closely followed by my own vomit. 

Why use one word when you can use twenty, Herman? Set me on fire and call me Ishmael.

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