I finished Moby Dick yesterday!!! This after, I dunno, maybe six years of trying to get caught up in the story. Hurray!
As for what I thought of it . . . I'm still not sure. These [mostly-negative] contemporary reviewers made some great points. But I don't agree with those who faulted Melville's writing style (like the one guy who whined about syntax); that was the best part.
The book IS disjointed, and if you read it in the original three volumes, I can see how the final volume may seem like a completely different book than the first. But the character development was good. I love Starbuck.
And I learned a whole lot about whales.