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How to Read Moby Dick

               a guide for first-time readers              

About This Web Site

How to Read Moby Dick originated in 1997 because of a great respect for the novel. I had first skimmed it in the seventh grade, and read it in the tenth grade and again in the eleventh. Since then, I return for a reread every two or three years. Each time, I answer some questions, but more challenges arise with each reading. Admittedly, I was and continue to be obsessed.

By the time the WWW arrived, followed by Netscape's web site editor and my first computer in 1996, I had read Moby Dick at least 14 times in its entirety and was trying to get others to take the journey. However, only a handful of readers continued past chapter 32, and half of those quit by chapter 50. Obviously, first time readers needed some help.

The first Moby web site opened on July 4, 1997, at www.addr.com/pthompson. In 2000, it was named a "YaHoo! Favorite," through which many people found it. The number of hits and the emails surprised me. I had not imagined that so many Ishmaels roamed the world, and the discovery ended my sense of isolated singularity. Moby lives! became my mantra. By 2008, a redesign of the web site was overdue, so I put it under its own domain name, ReadMoby.com, and have been working to upgrade it since.

I thank you for your support through the years. Some of you have monitored this site since its Beginning. I hope that you continue to find it useful.

Patricia R. Thompson, M.A.

Patricia Thompson has taught all ability levels in public education, academic grades seven through fourteen and adults of all ages in private settings. She specializes in the development of both academic and professional writing skills. Other activities include creative writing, historical reseach, digital archiving,and web site developmet and management. Currently, she is revising her novel, Damn Good Money, into an interactive, digital book. In Houston, 1892-1933, Daniel Zachary, a first generation rural immigrant with a single-minded, pragmatic focus, hustles for financial success as a Houston capitalist.


If you would like occasional notification of updates to the web site, please send me an email so that I have your address.

If you have suggestions for the web site, I will appreciate hearing from you.

I am considering the following:

1) Add a Subscription section for more extensive learning and teaching tools. Among them is an interactive map based on the map on the home page. It marks the ship's location along the route and shows chapter numbers and chapter synopses. My intent is to show the relationship
between Ahab's monomania and his proximity to the equator; however, the map is open to other applications.

2) Offer detailed plans for conducting group discussion. The Great Books discussion techniques, based on Mortimer Adler's How To Read A Book and Socratic questioning, are effective.

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on the web since 1997

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a symbol  for water and sea;  also, a symbol for an active intellect.


Could this be the same Starbuck, first mate of the Pequod?

Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
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©Patricia R. Thompson, TBM Data 1997, 2010.   Last update 05/11/2017.   Email.   LinkedIn. Facebook.