Moby Dick—the great American novel, right? But here's my secret: I've never read it! And apparently, neither have many Americans. With 135 chapters and a word count of 211,735, it's not exactly a lazy afternoon read. But if you, like me, have always meant to pick up Herman Melville's masterpiece,  the Moby-Dick Big Read is a wonderful (and free) way to experience the novel.

Here's what the website says:

Deeply subversive, in almost every way imaginable, Moby-Dick is a virtual, alternative bible – and as such, ripe for reinterpretation in this new world of new media. Out of Dominion was born its bastard child – or perhaps its immaculate conception – the Moby-Dick Big Read: an online version of Melville’s magisterial tome: each of its 135 chapters read out aloud, by a mixture of the celebrated and the unknown, to be broadcast online in a sequence of 135 downloads, publicly and freely accessible.

Download a chapter each day by visiting Moby-Dick Big Read and clicking the link to iTunes or other players of your choice. The episodes started releasing about a month ago, so you have plenty of Melville to keep you occupied (but also much more to go).

What do you think about the Moby-Dick Big Read? Do you think it's a good way to introduce new audiences to Melville's great novel, or would you rather read on your own?

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