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Guardian Books podcast: Moby-Dick Big Read and Robert Graves remembered

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Published on Sep 24, 2012

Guardian Books podcast: Moby-Dick Big Read and Robert Graves remembered

David Cameron and Tilda Swinton are among the readers of a new online version of Moby Dick; poet and novelist Robert Graves' last years on Mallorca are recalled by his great nephew Simon Gough

Moby-Dick is the leviathan of American literature - a great white whale of a book that everyone has heard of but few have actually read. As a marathon readalong gets underway, organised by the University of Plymouth, we listen in to some of the celebrity readers - who include Tilda Swinton, David Cameron and David Attenborough. Plus we talk to the man behind the project, Samuel Johnson prize-winning author Philip Hoare, about his mission to democratise one of the world's great literary masterpieces.

Then we take a trip back in time with the great nephew of Robert Graves, whose new memoir, The White Goddess: An Encounter, brings an extraordinary poetic entourage to vivid life under the clear blue skies of Mallorca, where Graves, his muse, his wife and their many children ate, drank and made mayhem. We're joined by Sam Jordison, who explains why he was inspired to publish the book - and then runs us through the shortlist for the Guardian's Not the Booker prize, which he also runs.

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