Melville Got A Little Angry

Well, here’s a book I have no intention of reading anytime soon: Herman Melville’s seventh novel Pierre; Or the Ambiguities. If you enjoy adventure, action, intrigue, excitement, and fun, then this book is not for you. If you are fond of confusing philosophical musings, abstract and overly dramatic prose, a plot that is occasionally incoherent, the protestations of a frustrated man, and the possibility of incest, then this book is more up your alley.  Pierre; or the Ambiguities is a novel that pretends to be three things simultaneously: a romance, a philosophic, and a critique; but the truth is, Pierre; or the Ambiguities is just one long, complicated, and unnecessary  letter of complaint.  The protagonist — Pierre — is quite obviously Melville that at times one wants to role his or her eyes,  and the actions and conflicts that Pierre is involved in are evidently a comparison to Melville’s strife. There is even a hundred or so pages devoted to a critique on Melville’s perspective of print media at the time. Clearly, Melville had some scores to settle, but rather do so privately and personally, he just pens a wacky and perplexing novel that only further hurt himself. And while there are some positives to this novel, they are so scarce that they are not even worth mentioning. Overall, Pierre; or the Ambiguities is a novel that was written by Melville for Melville and is, in many ways, probably his favorite book — perhaps only second to Moby Dick — solely upon how he arrogantly portrays himself, I mean, Pierre. I would suggest to anyone that this book is  a waste of time, and should one wish to read it, the entirety of this novel and of Melville’s personal tribulations can be summarized in a paragraph in his biography on Wikipedia.