Pierre Review-O.B.

When I first heard that I would be reading Pierre by Melville I went to look up the author because the name sounded familiar to me. Turns out that is because Melville is the one who wrote Moby Dick. Now I know it is one of those classic novels everyone says you should read and I thought about it once before someone informed me that it was one of the worst, dragged out books they have ever read and I think it is safe to say this comment can be used for Pierre as well. Now I am not saying Pierre is a bad book because there were parts where I enjoyed reading the novel and was rather intrigued. However most of the time I was just annoyed with the expansive pages of one tiny detail that could be honestly said in a few sentences at most. I love a good cliff hanger and suspense being drawn out in a good way but this was not that kind of novel and did not need to be as long as it did.

Diving more into the story and it’s details I thought the Dialogue and the plot was rather entertaining and quite good. I mean the story has a lot of turns and twists and is shocking and dramatic and sort of connected to people and their lives. This story in its most simplest summary could be described as a boy who loses his father young and is raised by a tough mother who he has no choice but to look to for advice and guidance. He then one day falls in love with a girl his mother likes but finds a long lost sister who throws his perfect life into a whirlwind that takes him on an adventure into finding who he really is. It really is a coming of age story in the simplest sense and that part of the story is what I think makes it good and interesting to read. However these parts are separated and filled with nonsense pages that drag on about things that really do not matter and deter you from the basis of the story.

Now some people thing these long winded explanations and pages are his critique on the publishing age and that these long pages without the dialogue and story plots are his jabs at the publication of the time period and why they were awful to him and to others. My teacher also brought up the fact that this was a response to Hawthorne as well and how he was upset that they no longer wrote letters to each other and were no longer friends. But having read it on my own and looking back at these observations they could be done without the multiple books and the pages upon pages describing a rock or a pamphlet.

Maybe I am being bitter because I had to read some of these pages late at night, which when droned on could put you to sleep. Or maybe I just do not get the deeper meaning of these pages or see the real point behind them. That being said I did not hate Pierre as a story itself and if it was modified and condensed a ton I think this book would be amazing and a very interesting read. I think Melville was one of those writers who was too modern for his time which is how it goes for a lot of classic authors and their books. Though I do not appreciate his style of writing I think he was rather bold in his writing of Pierre and that he made his points and stuck to his true style of writing and who he is.

Pierre was rather difficult to handle a some points, and could make you want to throw whatever device you are reading it on across the room at times too. But ultimately I think the book achieved what Melville wanted and is actually quite entertaining when you really read the good parts. I think Pierre is not a great read but an interesting one and if you have the time and the mental capacity then should definitely be read and maybe skimmed around the long never ending sections.