Shakespeare's Excessiveness: "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville

Moby Dick: Or, the Whale (Penguin Popular Classics) - Herman Melville

(Original Review, 1981-02-10)

This is a book that knows how excessive it is being.

It took me three times through it to realize that it's the greatest novel in the English language. Of course it has everything wrong with it: the digressions, the ludicrous attempt to out-Shakespeare Shakespeare, the prose through which a high wind blows perpetually, the fact that it's written almost entirely in superlatives . . . Never mind, it's overtopped by wave upon wave of genius, exuberant, explicative, mad in its quest to be about everything at once and to ring every bell in the English language. Yes it can be tough going sometimes, but here's an all-important hint: read this book aloud.



If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.