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Extended Audio Sample The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade Audiobook, by Herman Melville Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Herman Melville Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781504721837
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In his ninth and final novel, cultural observer, novelist, and poet Herman Melville gives us a picture of everything wrong with America in the decade preceding the Civil War.

Evoking Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this is a story of interlocking tales from a group of steamboat passengers traveling down the Mississippi toward New Orleans. Aboard the Fidèle can be found all manner of con man, from those selling stock in failing companies and herbal cure-all “medicines” to those who are raising money for a supposed charitable organization and those who simply ask for money outright. One man sneaks aboard ship to test the so-called confidence of the passengers, and everyone is forced to confront that in which he places his trust before journey’s end.

Mixing his trademark satirical style with allegory and metaphysical treatise, Melville’s The Confidence-Man is a precursor to the twentieth-century literary preoccupations with nihilism, existentialism, and absurdism.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A beautifully written yet complex work that could be a precursor to Nabokov, Pynchon, or Murakami.”

    New York Times

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About the Author
Author Herman MelvilleHerman Melville was born in August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.

Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

About the Narrator

Stefan Rudnicki first became involved with audiobooks in 1994. Now a Grammy-winning audiobook producer, he has worked on more than three thousand audiobooks as a narrator, writer, producer, or director. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks. A recipient of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards, he was presented the coveted Audie Award for solo narration in 2005, 2007, and 2014 and was named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices in 2012.