I never finished Moby Dick. This may not come as a complete surprise to my American Novel professor who graded the exam where I answered that Ishmael, THE NARRATOR OF THE ENTIRE BOOK, dies at the end. (The first words of the book are “Call me Ishmael” which should have been my first clue that he lived through his dealings with the massive beast from the deep in order to record his experiences. Alas, I remained clueless.)
To the rest of you, this may seem shocking.
The truth is, I just couldn’t do it. It was so long and there was so much information about whale anatomy, I was taking a billion classes and we had only one week to read the book. So, I read until he started describing each whale species and every single atom it possessed. Then I read/skimmed the Cliff’s Notes and moved on with my life.
It is a happy and full life and I don’t really feel bad about it. I still got a B in the class and they even let me graduate.
The Mobe-ster still sits on my shelf of “great literature” and one day maybe Laylee will read it and tell me what happens. Until then, at least I can comfort myself in knowing that Ishmael is still alive to write his life story.