The Confidence-man: His Masquerade

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Modern Library, 2003 - Fiction - 331 pages
20 Reviews
“In The Confidence-Man,” writes John Bryant in his Introduction, “Melville found a way to render our tragic sense of self and society through the comic strategies of the confidence game. He puts the reader in the game to play its parts and to contemplate the inconsistencies of its knaves and fools.” Set on a Mississippi steamer on April Fool’s Day and populated by a series of shape-shifting con men, The Confidence-Man is a challenging metaphysical and ethical exploration of antebellum American society. Set from the first American edition of 1857, this Modern Library paperback includes an Appendix with Bryant’s innovative “fluid text” analysis of early manuscript fragments from Melville’s novel.

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Review: The Confidence-Man

User Review  - Peter - Goodreads

Terrible, just terrible. There is almost no plot, the setting (a Mississippi River steamboat) is barely described, and the "characters" are one-dimensional, mostly nameless megaphones for Melville's ... Read full review

Review: The Confidence-Man

User Review  - Adam Oster - Goodreads

I'm giving this book 2 stars simply because I'm fairly certain that if I read it all the way to the end, I would have been able to determine that this was a brilliant piece of prose. However...I made ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

John Bryant is a professor of English at Hofstra University and the editor of the Melville Society’s journal, Leviathan. He is the author of Melville and Repose and The Fluid Text. He is also the editor of Melville’s Tales, Poems, and Other Writings, published by the Modern Library.

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