- Author Herman Melville
This was a bit of a weird one. It’s clearly got a great underlying story, the Jaws-style drama of man versus beast versus the sea. A Captain with a personal vendetta against a huge and unassailable whale gives our narrator a journey and adventure to go on, and that side of things is good.
This will sound odd but I wasn’t expecting the book to be quite so much about whales. Of course that is the whole point of the story, but there are so many additional bits and pieces that I didn’t find very interesting - the classification of whales, what their skeletons are like, and the recent research findings into why they spout water from their blowholes. I imagine this was groundbreaking stuff at the time it was published, but I felt it detracted a lot from the story.
Was this an encyclopaedia hanging on an adventure, or a story of the sea with bonus encyclopaedia sections written in?