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Download The Lightning-Rod Man Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Lightning-Rod Man 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: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Listen & Live Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Piazza Tales Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9781593165376
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After spending the summer of 1853 in the Berkshire Mountains, where he supposedly had a real life encounter with a lightning-rod salesman, Melville published “The Lightning-Rod Man.” At the end of this short story, the lightning-rod salesman is exposed for the fraud that he is. However, that will not keep his successors from fanning out to the Middle West, where lightning storms abound and farmers were gullible. On another level, the story can be interpreted as a confrontation between good and evil. Through description and diction, the narrator is understood as a follower of God, someone who believes in the Almighty watching over him. On the other hand, the lightning-rod man is seen as a negative character, someone who only has faith in the product he’s peddling.

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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

Patrick Lawlor, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and Audie Award finalist, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television.