"Call me Ishmael." Those three little words started the worst torturous required reading beset upon us in high school, being: Moby Dick.
What makes Melville's work nearly unreadable to most is the unending nonsense about the biology of whales, which just goes on and on and on and on...
So, we "cheated" and instead read the abridged "Illustrated Classics" version of the book - MUCH more palatable without all the cetological chapters in there which bog the story down - and, we all got very good marks on the tests.
When having to choose between pointless suffering and not, choose "not"; and, read the abridged version. - Sherm Natman