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Moby Dick for the modern age

Moby Dick is one of those books you might have been required to read in high school or college, and afterward you scrape yourself off the deck, count yourself lucky to have survived, and like its narrator, Ishmael, you attempt to move on.

For others it is a truely pleasurable read, the only book they would want on a desert island, or "the greatest American novel ever written," to quote Nathaniel Philbrick, who argues the point in "Why Read Moby Dick?"

The novel, regardless one of the most respected books in English literature, was published 161 years ago today.

This fall, thanks to a project at the U.K.'s Plymouth University, the Moby Dick Big Read, you can listen to the entire novel read chapter by chapter by 134 different readers, including well-known celebs such as Tilda Swinton and Stephen Fry.

The big read kicked off in September, and readers will be adding a chapter each day through mid-January, when the novel will be finished. Each chapter is accompanied by lush graphics inspired by the ocean tale, many original creations made for the project itself.

Whether you are a devoted fan, have never read the work, or you read it once and wondered why everyone else seemed to enjoy it more than you, here is a new opportunity to connect with the great story of Captain Ahab and his fated crew as he single-mindedly pursued his heart's hate to the ends of the earth.

Ahoy!