Great illustrations, odd prose.
by Amos Z on January 12, 2012For decades, I have treasured my Modern Library edition of MOBY DICK, illustrated by Rockwell Kent. I finally decided to see what kind of book Mr. Kent would write for himself. The book did not disappoint in terms of illustrations: they are classic Kent and purely wonderful, and there are plenty of them. The prose, however, was very odd. Not bad, not boring...just odd. The story is of a voyage from Labrador to Greenland in a small boat. The conception, preparation, and execution of the voyage is related in very short, impressionistic, almost haiku-like chapters. Kent did not like the "mate"on the voyage, who was chosen by the "captain", whom Kent professed to admire, but then proceeds to almost completely ignore. I almost thought Kent was trying to be avant garde and impressionistic, but for my taste, he comes across as somewhat fussy and snarky. I came away glad that I had bought a new set of his illustrations, but thinking that perhaps he should have stuck to illustration and left the narrative to others.
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