Moby-Dick Big Read persuades David Cameron to take on chapter of Herman Melville classic

By Culture24 Reporter | 16 October 2012
A photo of a man in profile while he speaks at a conference wearing a suit
The Prime Minister has had a Big Read© United Kingdom Home Office
David Cameron’'s version of a chapter of Moby-Dick has been made public as part of a reading campaign which has attracted half a million visitors worldwide.

Sir David Attenborough, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton have already read sections of the 161-year-old novel in The Moby-Dick Big Read, an online project aiming to enthuse a new generation of fans.

They are now joined by the Prime Minister, who would have warmed to the words of Ahab in Chapter 30, when the ship Captain decides smoking “"no longer soothes"”, promising: "“I'’ll smoke no more.”"

“"I'’m sure Herman Melville would be amazed at this extraordinary new interpretation of his thought-provoking and prophetic book,"” said Dr Philip Hoare, the artist-in-residence at Plymouth University’'s Marine Institute who has spent two years organising the Moby-Dick Big Read alongside artist Angela Cockayne, from Bath Spa University.

"“If the Prime Minister'’s reading prompts people to turn to such wonderful works of literature, that'’s a great result for all concerned. This is a way of introducing his book to a new audience and is something people can pick up as and when they choose. It is completely suited to the digital age.”"

Cameron said he was “"particularly pleased”" to contribute to the “"really exciting"” project.

The recordings have entered the iTunes charts in Britain and American since launching at the Plymouth International Book Festival last month.
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