TITLE: Billy Budd
AUTHOR: Herman Melville
STARTED: May 27, 2007
FINISHED: May 31, 2007
FIRST SENTENCE: In the time before steamships, or then more frequently than now, a stroller along the docks of any considerable seaport would occasionally have his attention arrested by a group of bronzed mariners, man-of-war's men or merchant sailors in holiday attire, ashore on liberty.
SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] It is a time of war between nations, but on one ship, a smaller battle is being fought between two men. Jealous of Billy Budd, the "Handsome Sailor, " the envious Master-At-Arms Claggart torments the young man until his false accusations lead to a charge of treason against Billy.
REASON FOR READING: It's a classic that I should have read in high school
THOUGHTS: I read this book telling myself that it was my Melville test run. I have not met a single person who enjoyed Moby Dick - outside of the first line. When I saw Billy Budd at the library, I thought, "Hmm... if I can make it through this short thing, and not hate it, maybe I will give Moby Dick a try." Well, I really disliked this book. I felt that, even with it's short length, there were too many superfluous chapters. Seriously, why did Melville need to bring up Nelson and Trafalgar?
Also, there was no tension in this book, and no real plot. I felt that Melville was just trying to say Billy is awesome but he has sh*t for luck. Melville also seems to be waxing poetic in an area of "Where do we draw the line?" philosophy, but it's just so blah that there's no point for it to be in the book.
I think I said "WTF?" more often with this book than any other; it just did nothing for me. Melville has an extensive vocabulary, that's about it.
MISCELLANEOUS: Umm... if Billy Budd was called "The Handsome Sailor" why is the model on the cover the epitome of 1970s ickiness?
RATING: 3/10 [Poor, Lost Interest]