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I will be honest here, please have confidence in me. I read this book for school. AN Eng Lit class. I found it mostly pretty boring, I have discovered Melville likes to take a LONG time describing things that rarely appeared to matter. I did enjoy the people getting conned though. Not something I would recommend to anyone. Now I must go write a report on why this book was so terrific... 

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The Missourian, who serves as the Everyman in Melville's satire, is laugh-out-loud funny. An American with no tolerance of the fraudsters he meets on the steamship Fidele, he tells them off in fine style. The various con men appear, each with different hints of the Devil in his costume and face or figure. A little familiarity with American literature, especially the work of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1800-1850) is helpful to appreciation. Melville seeks for Faith on the Fidele, but wrestles with an Atheism that was not permissible to be expressed at the time. 

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