Thursday, March 24, 2011

Herman Melville - Billy Budd, Sailor

"Shit.
Total and complete tired shit."


"why does so much 'great' literature suck?"


"The first sentence of this book lets you know what you're in for:

'The year 1797, the year of this narrative, belongs to a period which, as every thinker now feels, involved a Crisis for Christendom not exceeded in its undetermined momentousness at the time by any other era whereof there is record.'

Whatever that sentence is trying to say, the main thing it communicates to me is gratuitous wordiness. I know it's common for writers of that era. But seriously, read that shit again."


"Too many nautical terms."


"I admit it, I'm an English literature geek. I was one of those people who actually looked forward to the summer reading lists and book assignments for my high school English classes.
...
If you haven't read this, please don't waste your time. If you have, you have my sincere sympathy"


"Melville used unnecessarily large words to cover up the vague, terrible plot.
There was no point to read this novel.
If you want philosophical, read anything else.
And I mean anything."


"This was the stupidest book ever!!!! A guy kills a guy so a guy decides to hang the guy that killed the guy and then the guy tat hung the guy dies.... stupid? i think so..."


"If I remember right, I couldn't even understand what Budd had supposedly done wrong."

HE KILLED A MAN


"I'm guessing Melville and I don't have the same style."


"The thing is, I really, really WANT to like Melville. I love reading interpretations of Melville's writing, as they are of the type that fracture and fragment under postmodern analysis, bursting with utterly fascinating queer resonances."


"MY goodness. Melville spends more time describing the beautiful torsos of young men than he does the sea. Enough already! Couldn't finish it."


"The last thing I remember is that we had to watch an old film version. Something terrible happens, and one of the sailors exclaims, "Damn your eyes, John Claggert!" For some reason, my brother and I thought that was funny and would say it every once in a while. I don't know what this adds to your appreciation of my review, but maybe by now you've given up on reading my review."


"Melville was not particularly successful as a writer, and this book tends to show that."


"You have to know a lot of really boring history to understand half of the literary references that he makes"


"ugh...hated it. Melville is sooooo not my best literary buddy!"


"I cannot STAND Mellville and Billy Budd was the WORST! Either that, or Barttelby the Scrivner. Grr!"


"More like 'Hell'ville"


"This is the worst book ever written. Herman Melville wrote this book and then hid it himself because he was so ashamed"


"I find it very surprising that anybody could deem such a poor book apt for publication, but even more unacceptable is that this monumental exercise in boredom and pompous writing can be considered a 'classic' nowadays; something that, on the other hand, shouldn't surprise us if we take into account that other really appalling books such as 'The Red Badge of Courage' or 'As I Lay Dying' (to mention only two) are widely read in colleges and high-schools. As far as I'm aware, it is obvious that the critical eye must be blind or must have been poked out a long time ago."


"After taking three weeks to read this hundred or so page book, I was perplexed. The whole book does not have a plot. Melville's development of character is horrendous. He made it as if readers are supposed to already know who Billy Budd or John Claggart is. If it were not for the Cliff Notes, perhaps, no not perhaps, no one would understand what in the world is going on. The book is not in depth enough. THANK HEAVENS there is not a Billy Budd 2."


"Boo to Billy Bud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Boo to Billy Bud!!!! ... Booooo!!!!!!"

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