Moby Dick vs. Oliver Twist

I confess I have never read these two books before. I decided it was high time to get to some classic english literature.

What follows is so subjective as to be almost unworthy of print. Your subjective opinion may be that it is not worthy of print at all. I am going to assume it is a subjective opinion so I can post this in good conscience.

I am listening to the unabridged version of Moby Dick on audio. I am reading Oliver Twist in hardback.

While the reader for Dick is very good, I have to say my preference goes to Dickens. Melville writes some great prose and the narration is authentically dramatic. But Melville yammers on a lot. And then a lot more.

That is my only complaint about the book. I imagine it is very loved by the pretentious. You can really lose yourself in the prose and forget the story altogether.

I don’t like to forget about story.

Dicken’s Oliver Twist, you could say, is the opposite of Moby Dick. I wouldn’t mind a little more exposition and prose (not that he is a bad prose writer). But when it comes to story, Dickens keeps you on track; almost every page involves a character doing something, if only one thing. You can go page after page of Melville waxing together mounds of words.

So I call this a subjective report. I am not done with the two books yet. But I find Dickens, at least Oliver Twist, much more to my tastes.

Actually I am quite the Dickens fan just because of the 150 pages of Oliver Twist I have read. Go Dickens!


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