I can't find the thread about this that came up recently.
This book really wasn't what I expected. We have a fair amount of meandering story at the beginning then a large chunk where we're mostly learning about whaling and final section where we just have the story.
I found it fascinating to read about the whaling techniques and often found myself checking wikipedia on things that came up in the novel, particularly stuff where I didn't know if what the author said was true or had since been debunked, that being the nature of 150 year old science.
Certainly it's interesting to see how much knowledge there was on whales 150 years ago, and how clearly they knew they were mammals yet still called them fish.
Some passages were really tough to get through, when you're reading about whales being so viciously killed while other bits made me wish I had some sort of illustrated companion and could see what they were talking about. Of particular note was the small section where Ishmael considers whether, like the once common Bison, the Whale can be hunted to extinction and decides the evidence is against this happening.
I did find it a hard book to read on account of the language used, often having to backtrack to be sure what I was reading. I guess I'm not used to old style writing or it was more that I was reading it very small amounts at a time over a long period.