The best part of Moby Dick is the beginning, before the characters head out to sea, when it simply follows Ishmael and Queequeg as they amble around the east coast in the mid-19th century. On the opening pages, Ishmael imagines himself inserted into the day’s headlines:
Grand Contested Election for the Presidency of the United States.
Whaling Voyage by one Ishmael.
Bloody Battle in Afghanistan.
The joke being that he’s a nobody, but check out the other two headlines. They’re from today’s paper!