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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is There a Sequel to Moby Dick?

Patrons of all ages ask questions of the Newton Falls Public Library staff. A young man, age 11 years, wanted to know “Is there a sequel to Moby Dick?” We first went to a locally purchased research database, Literary Reference Center Plus. This new database will be especially useful enabling students to research authors and titles, and to view full text versions of books online.

In the database, we found an article,
Biography of Herman Melville by Harold Bloom. It says the book was written by Herman Melville in 1851 following an eighteenth month sea voyage he took in 1842. Looking through various articles in the Literary Reference Center Plus, we were unable to find a sequel to Moby Dick listed.

The library staff frequently uses websites which list books in a series. Examining both What’s Next? [] and Fantastic Fiction [] showed that there was no sequel written to Melville’s classic.

While searching online for the answer to this question, we typed in Moby Dick sequel and found some interesting sidelights. The opening line of the book, “Call me Ishmael” has spawned the complementary title, Don't Call Me Ishmael. There is a young adult book by Michael Gerard Bauer and a webcomix written by George O’Connor [] by that name. There is also a blog titled Herman-Melville []. The author of the blog posted on Sunday, February 19, 2006, says “As noted above, I currently am deceased. Recently, however, we got wireless” and discusses his in-progress sequel to Moby Dick, which he anticipates titling Son of Moby Dick.

We had to inform our patron that there is no sequel to Melville’s classic book.

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