The Snow Whale by John Minichillo (Book review)

08/08/2011 § Leave a comment

This retelling of Moby Dick sees a contemporary John Jacobs turn his mediocre life inside out after learning (via a dubious DNA test) that he is of predominantly Inuit descent. The brave move to describe a modern American white man leaving an almost-happily married life in suburbia to hunt whales is, of course, utterly absurd. Sadly the novel isn’t quite funny enough to pull of its ludicrousness and Minichillo, like Melville before him, too late submerges the reader in engaging adventure. A quirky and readable homage for those familiar with its predecessor, The Snow Whale is otherwise unjustifiably ridiculous.

Moby Dick By Herman Melville Review

28/05/2011 § 2 Comments

Novice whaler Ishmael recounts the all consuming vendetta of Captain Ahab against his gargantuan nemesis, the white whale Moby Dick. This American classic is beautifully written, telling of unique friendship, action and peril whilst utilising intricate allegories and hidden messages that are deliberately biblical in style. However, the main narrative is overtaken by historical accounts of the 19th century whaling industry. Further, Ishmael’s story telling is at times disembodied and his characterisation incongruous with his brawny shipmates. Moby Dick is instantly intriguing to those with nautical interests, but otherwise a book to be studied before it can be enjoyed.

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