Arvin Kraft loves his complicated family, but they talk about him: how slow he is, how they need to share the burden of caring for him, how tired they all are. He hides in the walls of the family’s old house in Boston and listens to their laments. And he also discovers there a lead box of old papers. Slowly he reads them and finds they are the original manuscript of Melville’s Moby-Dick, long thought to have been lost in an 1850s fire at his publisher. The manuscript is valuable enough to save the family’s failing construction business if marketed properly. But Arvin wants more and Professor Thorne is the Melville expert who can help. Arvin and the professor take turns telling this tale with its lyric resonances of Moby-Dick, the specter of the curse of Ahab and strange deaths, and the scramble of greed as the manuscript becomes more valuable by the hour.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
What an amazing experience The Moby Dick Blues is for the reader.
Michael Strelow offers a character-driven commentary on how we look at people, as well as how people see themselves.
The main character, Arvin, is complex and layered but so clear-voiced. The Moby Dick Blues twists and turns and does not disappoint. I could definitely see this novel as a splendid selection for a book discussion group, and I offer kudos to the studio that obtains film rights. ~ Janet Kinsella, NetGalley
The emotional tugs of this powerful novel run from heart breaking to comedic with a great historical punch to boot. ~ Rachel Smart, NetGalley
Michael Strelow brings us an excellent who-done-it, peopled with folks easily understood and excellent peeks into both Newport, Oregon on the Pacific coast and the Massachusetts Atlantic coast. I very much enjoyed both the mystery and the history in this novel. Herman Melville's original manuscript of Moby Dick plays a large role in this novel and there are insights and corrections to the manuscript that alter the focus of the that novel about the great white whale. Strelow can have you laughing at the darndest things one minute and often in tears as well, ~ Bonnye Reed Fry , NetGalley
Lyrical, poignant, intellectual, and visceral, The Moby-Dick Blues is a well-crafted tale likely to resonate with Melville
fans and beyond. ~ Peter Dabbene, Foreword Reviews
Whether you have read Moby-Dick or not, this novel is an entertaining foray into the world of literary discoveries and the minds of those involved in them. ~ Barbara Scott-Emmett , NetGalley
Great novel about a priceless manuscript and a young man who lacks value to his family. ~ Nancy Mijangos (Librarian), NetGalley
From book jacket to first novel, The Greening of Ben Brown.
"Michael Strelow has given Northwest Readers an amazing fable for our time and place featuring Ben Brown, a utility lineman who transforms into th Green Man following an industrial accident. Eco-hero and prophet the Green Man heads a cast of wonderful and zany characters who fixate over sundry items from filberts to hubcaps...Fascinating, humorous and wise, The Greening of Ben Brown deserves its place on bookshelves along with other Northwest classics.
Craig Lesley, author of Storm Rider
Dec 27, 2016: Scott Nadelson | author of Between You and Me
If Saul Bellow had written science fiction, it might read like Michael Strelow’s Some Assembly Required: erudite and allusive, delighting in language, but also wildly funny and entertaining. A page-turning meditation on the multiplicity of voices each of us carries—those we use to reach out to others, those that exist only in our heads—this novel illuminates the beautiful and mysterious transformation that occurs when we listen carefully, turning all the noise that surrounds us into harmony. ~ Craig Lesley , blurb for novel, The Greening of Ben Brown
If, like me, you are ready for a literary read, I would recommend The Moby-Dick Blues by Michael Strelow. The book brought to mind the first time I took on the challenge of reading Melville's classic. The book also works well as a model of characterization and reaches back to my love of literature. All in all, this title worked very well for me. ~ JD DeHart, NetGalley
I had discovered the one secret thing that I could know and the rest of the family could not” is the dream of any child at sea in a big family, and the narrator who begins this book has his talisman to hold and study and live by. What he has, and what we have, is a book before it was a book, and that makes life a thrill and a mystery. If a box of manuscript pages were a whale, and the rainy fastness of the Oregon coast were the sea, then the reader of this book would be in the grips of the Ahab writer of this book, bound for a quest. The pages of The Moby-Dick Blues are like a veil through which the reader may pass between the incantations of Melville and the songs of Strelow. Read and be carried away.
~ Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared
I loved this story. It is such a book lovers book as it shows the power a story and particularly classic novels can have. The characters are well developed and I didn't want to finish the story as i didn't want to leave the world! Highly recommended. ~ Louise Mackin , GoodReads
... The pages of The Moby-Dick Blues are like a veil through which the reader may pass between the incantations of Melville and the songs of Strelow. Read and be carried away. ~ Kim Stafford, author of 100 Tricks Every Boy Can Do: How My Brother Disappeared