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Confidence-Man, The : Penguin Classics - Herman Melville

Confidence-Man, The

Penguin Classics

Paperback

Published: 2nd July 1991
For Ages: 18+ years old
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
RRP $28.00
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Onboard the Fidele, a steamboat floating down the Mississippi to New Orleans, a confidence man sets out to defraud his fellow passengers. In quick succession he assumes numerous guises - from a legless beggar and a worldly businessman to a collector for charitable causes and a 'cosmopolitan' gentleman, who simply swindles a barber out of the price of a shave. Making very little from his hoaxes, the pleasure of trickery seems an end in itself for this slippery conman. Is he the Devil? Is his chicanery merely intended to expose the mercenary concerns of those around him? Set on April Fool's Day,The Confidence-Man (1857) is an engaging comedy of masquerades, digressions and shifting identity, and a devastating satire on the American dream.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

"The great transcendental satire." --Carl Van Vechten

Herman Melville

(born Aug. 1, 1819, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died Sept. 28, 1891, New York City) U.S. writer. Born to a wealthy New York family that suffered great financial losses, Melville had little formal schooling and began a period of wanderings at sea in 1839. In 1841 he sailed on a whaler bound for the South Seas; the next year he jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands. His adventures in Polynesia were the basis of his successful first novels, Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847).

After his allegorical fantasy Mardi (1849) failed, he quickly wrote Redburn (1849) and White-Jacket (1850), about the rough life of sailors. Moby-Dick (1851), his masterpiece, is both an intense whaling narrative and a symbolic examination of the problems and possibilities of American democracy; it brought him neither acclaim nor reward when published.

Increasingly reclusive and despairing, he wrote Pierre (1852), which, intended as a piece of domestic “ladies” fiction, became a parody of that popular genre, Israel Potter (1855), The Confidence-Man (1857), and magazine stories, including “Bartleby the Scrivener” (1853) and “Benito Cereno” (1855). After 1857 he wrote verse. In 1866 a customs-inspector position finally brought him a secure income. He returned to prose for his last work, the novel Billy Budd, Foretopman, which remained unpublished until 1924. Neglected for much of his career, Melville came to be regarded by modern critics as one of the greatest American writers.

Visit Herman Melville's Booktopia Author Page


ISBN: 9780140445473
ISBN-10: 0140445471
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 2nd July 1991
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.33
Edition Number: 1