The Universe SucksRead about the other books on the list.
The Book: Moby-Dick, about a captain of a whaling ship who is freaking obsessed with killing this one specific white whale.
The Author: Herman Melville, a guy who wasn’t super stoked on existence.
The Allegory: Every character in Moby Dick sees the great white whale as symbolizing something. To Ahab he symbolizes pure evil; to most others he’s a manifestation of their anxieties; to someone analyzing the novel he could symbolize an unknowable God…but none of it matters, because Moby kills them all in the end. This means that, alternately, he could symbolize an indifferent universe. In the end, he’s pretty much pure depression wrapped in whale blubber.
Moby-Dick also appears among Paul Wilson's top ten books about disability, Lynn Shepherd's ten top fictional drownings, Peter Murphy's top ten literary preachers, Penn Jillette's six favorite books, Peter F. Stevens's top ten nautical books, Katharine Quarmby's top ten disability stories, Jonathan Evison's six favorite books, Bella Bathurst's top 10 books on the sea, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best nightmares in literature and ten of the best tattoos in literature, Susan Cheever's five best books about obsession, Christopher Buckley's best books, Jane Yolen's five most important books, Chris Dodd's best books, Augusten Burroughs' five most important books, Norman Mailer's top ten works of literature, David Wroblewski's five most important books, Russell Banks' five most important books, and Philip Hoare's top ten books about whales.