Monday, 11 August 2014

In Which I Am an Unlucky Spinner...


So the Classics Club Spin Number was posted this morning, and it's number 17.  Which means Moby Dick it is for me, the one book on an otherwise excellent list that I was dreading!  I'm starting to feel like an unlucky spinner - a few months I got the monster of a book that is Les Miserables and now this.  On the positive side, at least I am being forced to knock these sort of books off my list!

What scares me about Moby Dick is that it's not just a story, I'm dreading all of the diversions about whaling and the technicalities of running a ship.  The blurb on my copy also describes it as a 'hymn to democracy', which again makes me think it might be more of an ideas book than a plot book, which is one of my bookish pet peeves.  I'm expecting the pacing to be glacial at best.

But I do want to read it, as it's so loved, and so I can understand a bit more about American classics.  I've had a copy for around ten years, but I've never been able to pick it up and read it, always selecting something 'easier' at the last minute.  I put it on my classics club list to give myself a deadline to try it, and now the spin has just forced that deadline ahead a bit.

As it's such a big book and as I have a newborn son, making me prone to sleep deprivation, my plan of attack is little and often.  My copy has 135 chapters, I'm hoping to work through a few a day until I get to the end.  That way I can continue to read other books alongside it.  Wish me luck!

Did you take part in the spin?  If so, are you happy with your book?

29 comments:

  1. Good luck, my dear. Good luck.

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  2. It seems the Spin decided you needed a challenge! Best of luck to you. I hope you find much to like about the book.

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  3. It wasn't a great result for me either...I got The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, which wasn't what I was hoping for! Good luck with Moby Dick. I think reading it slowly alongside other books will be a good strategy.

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    1. I read Crime & Punishment as a teen and remember not really enjoying it, so I would be apprehensive to read anything else by Dostoevsky. Hope you find lots to like though :)

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  4. You are an unlucky spinner. Moby Dick is one book I'm not sure I'll ever read. Good luck!! I hope you get through it. (And if you do get stuck, maybe you can find a graphic novel version of it to read instead. At least it'd be shorter.)

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    1. A graphic novel sounds good, if only it wasn't cheating!

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  5. Oh dear, good luck Sam!

    I'll be reading An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. It's long, but I've wanted to read it for quite some time.

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    1. Hope you enjoy your pick, it's good that it's one you have been looking forward to.

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  6. Good luck! Funny how these things work out, as it was one of the ones you talked about specifically on your pre-spin list.

    I'll be reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Which is a little longer than what I'd hoped for (I was going for short reads, but ran out by number 11), but is a reread.

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    1. Yes, I think I tempted fate!
      I really enjoy rereading classics, so I hope you have the same experience with North and South.

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  7. I did hear of one person who loved it so don't despair! Just keep an open mind and keep reading! I got The Importance of Being Earnest which is a perfect choice. Nothing too overwhelming for me this time!

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    1. Hopefully I will be the second person. Enjoy The Importance of Being Earnest :)

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  8. I am much happier with my selection -- Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith -- I wish you all the luck on this one! I think it is one I will never tackle myself, though I am very curious to see how it goes for you.

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    1. Glad you were luckier than me! I've read the first few chapters and happily the writing is very good, so that should help me to get through it.

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  9. Hahahaha, oh Lord. Good luck! Let me just say, as someone who's had to read Moby Dick twice for school, you should feel free to skip past some of the really intense whaling parts. It is okay. I give you a dispensation. It's like skipping past the Waterloo parts in Les Miserables. You are doing yourself and the book a favor; you'll enjoy it more that way. Swear.

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    1. You've read it twice? I'm impressed!
      And I actually read every single page of Les Miserables, probably the reason why I didn't love it. The Waterloo parts were fine, but the sewer parts were another matter!

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  10. If you're suffering from sleep deprivation, maybe this will be just what you need :) Good luck - I'm hoping to read it someday too, but it's so daunting!

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    1. I might try reading it aloud to the baby - it might put him to sleep as well!

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  11. Not envying you at all! I don't think I've ever wanted to read this book. I'll follow your updates - that may be the best way for me to know what this book is all about. :-)

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    1. Hopefully I will like it more than I am expecting to...

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  12. Good luck to you! Maybe you will be pleasantly surprised, since you are going into it with
    low expectations.

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    1. Exactly, the only way things can go are up!

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  13. Yeah, I'd definitely say unlucky. I'd also say you're a brave soul because I definitely couldn't muster the courage to read those two so closely together. Every time I've attempted either I've failed. Best of luck!!

    And even though I haven't read anything off my own classics challenge list in AGES, I'm curious to see what I would've had to pick up. Off to check...

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    1. Once I have finished Moby Dick, the only 'beast' I have left on my list is The Count of Monte Cristo - I think I'll need a bit of a break before tackling that one!

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  14. If you read the hardest ones first then it's all downhill from there. The rest is easy. You got this. (Well, I agree with short little chunks. That's my best strategy too.)

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  15. I haven't taken part in the spin, but I'm seeing all these interesting posts, so I may have to jump on the wagon. Good luck!

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  16. Moby Dick...a whale of a story, good luck and remember: ".... does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. Confucius
    You'll get it finished!

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