Today the Google Doodle honors Herman Melville‘s masterpiece, Moby Dick, on this the 161st anniversary of its publication. Ironically, the book that has garnered Melville immortality also effectively ruined his career. Known as a writer of semi-autobiographical stories, neither the critics nor the reader knew what to make of Moby Dick. Moby Dick and all of Melville’s other books as well would be out of print for thirty years by the time of his death in 1891. Moby Dick would not become broadly popular until the “Melville Revival” of the 1920s.
Also check out the Moby Dick Big Read. Various actors and writers have been reading a chapter a day and posting them on-line. Tilda Swinton reads Chapter 1 and so on. They are up to Chapter 33, though the previous chapters are all available on the site.