#307: Why Read Moby Dick?
Host Dennis Leap introduces the JBL short series on Herman Melville’s classic American novel, Moby Dick or the Whale, using quotes from Nathaniel Philbrick’s small book, Why Read Moby Dick?
#306: Ishmael’s Epilogue and Highlights From Moby Dick
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon finish this series with a discussion of Ishmael’s Epilogue of his survival from Moby Dick’s destruction of the Pequod Ahab and his crew. They also recount highlights from this incredible American classic in order to encourage listeners to read and study it again.
#305: The Three-Day Chase to Kill Moby Dick
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 133 through 135 titled “Chase Day 1,” “Chase Day 2” and “Chase Day 3.” Ahab awakes early one night and smells Moby Dick in the air like “a sagacious ship dog.” Ahab believes Moby is near and sets the crew on active duty to follow the whale’s trail in the sea. Ahab is lifted high above the crew and yells out, “There she blows!” It is Moby Dick! But who can kill the powerful Greek god Moby Dick? Listen to this podcast to find out.
#304: The Rachel, the Cabin, and the Hat
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss Chapters 128, 129 and 130. Chapter 128 deals with the Pequod’s encounter with the Nantucket whaler named The Rachel. Manxman, and old sailor, warns Ahab that The Rachel is bringing bad news. Ahab is only interested in an answer to his question: Hast thou seen the white whale? The Rachel’s captain has lost sight of his son helping in a whale boat crew due to a dangerous encounter with Moby Dick. He requests Ahab and the Pequod’s help in searching for the boat. Ahab refuses because he wants to pursue Moby Dick. Chapter 129 gives a look inside Ahab’s cabin and a discussion between Ahab and Pip. Ahab admits he is crazy and wants Pip to stay in the cabin because he knows a dangerous encounter with Moby Dick is imminent. In Chapter 130, The Hat, Ahab, Fedellah and the crew are downcast over the coming, sure-to-be-violent encounter with Moby Dick. Melville foreshadows what is to come.
#303: Ahab Hates Queequeg’s Coffin (Chapters 110 and 127)
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss the two chapters foreshadowing the destruction of the Pequod as Ahab continues his insane search to destroy Moby Dick. In Chapter 110, Queequeg suffers a near-fatal illness caused by removing casks of oil from below deck. He requests the ship carpenter make him a coffin so he is not buried at sea in his hammock, but Queequeg does not die. Chapter 127 shows how Ahab hates the coffin because it reminds him of the wooden leg the carpenter crafted for him after Moby Dick took off his leg. Ahab chides the carpenter when he refashions the coffin into a life buoy to rescue sailors who might fall overboard.
#302: Chapter 99: The Doubloon—a Mirror Into the Soul
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss one of the most unique chapters in Moby Dick. Melville uses the gold doubloon as a mirror into Ahab’s soul and the souls of some of the crew. You’ll want to hear this one.
#301: Chapter 93: The Castaway—Pip
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Grant Turgeon discuss the the sad mishap of Pip, Ahab’s cabin boy. Stubb recruits Pip to be an oarsman on his whaling canoe. At his first lowering, Pip is frightened by a whale and jumps out of the boat. Stubb tells Pip to never jump out of the boat or he'll abandon him at sea. Pip jumps again. In the drama of catching a whale, Pip is left to drift on the ocean alone. When recovered, Pip appears to have gone mad. However, Ishmael see Pip’s experience differently.
#300: The Pequod Meets the Virgin
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Mr. Grant Turgeon discuss Chapter 81 of Herman Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. The whale ship called the Virgin is actually a German whaler known as the Jungfrau in the German language. The Jungfrau is anxious to gam (or meet up) with the Pequod because they have no oil. They are not a successful whaler. The captain of the Virgin brings a lamp feeder on board to borrow some oil from the Pequod. All of the ship's lamps are dry of oil, making it difficult to manage the ship at night. Ahab is immediately impatient with the visiting captain because of the language barrier. Also, this captain knows nothing about Moby Dick. Ahab supplies the oil reluctantly. As the German captain returns to his ship with oil, eight whales are seen in the distance and the ships race to capture the whales. Ahab’s men easily beat the Germans to the one whale in the pod that is captured.
#299: The Jeroboam’s Story
Host Dennis Leap and special guest Mr. Grant Turgeon discuss Chapter 71 of Herman Melville’s American classic Moby Dick. Captain Ahab signals another Nantucket whale ship named the Jeroboam to have a meeting to gain information on Moby Dick. The Jeroboam’s Captain Mayhew was fearful to join up with the Pequod because there was a malignant epidemic on board. Onboard the Jeroboam was an insane sailor who believed he was the archangel Gabriel. From a distance between the ships, Gabriel warns Ahab not to pursue Moby Dick because it would lead to his death. Ahab, like the ancient Israelite King Jeroboam, ignores the warning of a prophet.