Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bait and switch

This book is shit.  It won some kind of award in the UK for something or another but it's still shit.

It's not about whales or the search for them, it's about the author who's got a boner for Herman Melville.  He wants to be with Melville, build a time machine so he can travel back in time to hang out with Melville, make the beast with two backs with Melville, and quite possibly become Melville if he could.  Seriously, it's a non fiction book about whales, so what does this writer do?  He connects all things whales to Melville and instead of searching for whales, he searches for how to connect anything whale related, however remote, to Melville.

I was willing to forgive his overly chatty and chummy style until it became apparent to me the depths of his homoerotic love for Melville.  Holy fucking Christ Hoare, just write a book about how much the author of Moby Dick gets your motor running and how you'd love to be his love slave and stop pretending that you're writing about whales, the sea, and our relationship to it.  Fess up to your unrequited love for ol' Herman and move the fuck on.

The only way I can recommend this book to anyone is if all other books and reading material on earth and any surrounding planets has been destroyed.  And even then I'd have my qualms about it.  I'm keenly interested in learning more about whales and I mistakenly thought this book would teach me more about them, it didn't.  It taught me to avoid books by Philip Hoare.  And to never read Moby Dick.

Hoare, you're a bastard.


C said...

Oh I love your book reviews!

Mnmom said...

"This book is shit" - I love it! Herman Melville made me want to time travel so I could KILL him before he wrote Redburn.

Professor Chaos said...

Don't let this hack dissuade you from Moby Dick. Best book I've ever read, especially if you skip over the long descriptive passages about every facet of the fuckin boat.

Patricia K. Lichen said...

Thanks for the warning! This is exactly the type of book I'm likely to pick up.