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Pierre, Israel Potter, The Piazza Tales, The Confidence-Man, Tales, Billy Budd

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  268 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Herman Melville's dark and brilliant late works contain some of his most powerful writing. After "Moby-Dick" he turned from the high seas to record his keen, bleak vision of life at home in America. "Pierre," "Israel Potter," and "The Confidence-Man," satirical dissections of moral breakdown and social hypocrisy, anticipate modernist fiction with their black humor and form ...more
Hardcover, 1478 pages
Published April 1st 1985 by Library of America (first published 1985)
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Jan 05, 2010 S.D. rated it really liked it
NOTE: Of the titles in this volume, this review concerns only The Confidence Man.

Melville’s last novel was met mostly with ignorance. Perhaps it was Melville’s form and style, summed by his own words, “There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method.” Though more true of Moby Dick than The Confidence Man, I suspect readers still didn’t quite know what to make of a novel that, despite being orderly by comparison, was nearly three-quarters dialog; without a discerna
Feb 04, 2009 Ben rated it it was amazing
Pierre loves his mother like a sister, his sister like a wife, and his ex-fiance like a cousin. Plus two romantic friendships with a male cousin and boyhood friend. This is an insane book, beautifully written, poetic and philosophical, with one of the most sudden, craziest feel bad endings I've seen since Dostoevsky's The Demons. In the last few chapters there is one murder, two suicides, and one death by shock/heartbreak.
Aug 23, 2007 Zepp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-star
this is for the short works in this edition.

The Encantadas (In the Piazza Tales) is incredible: bizarre and rending and hopeful, uncanny spiritual textures.
Resembles Moby Dick in little excellent ways.

Benito Cereno! Bartleby! Billy Budd!
what more to say.
except maybe: The Clocktower!

Michael Mallory
Jun 09, 2013 Michael Mallory rated it really liked it
Oh, the stories are great, but what really tickles me about this volume is that in the real first edition, the author's name is spelled "Herman Meville" on the title page. Library of America pulled those from bookstore shelves as quickly as possible, and put out a false first edition with the page corrected. I have a real first edition. Do you?
Sep 15, 2015 Keith rated it liked it
Shelves: partial-read

The Confidence-Man -- ** You can see my review here:

The Piazza Tales (and shorter fiction) -- **** You can see my review here:

Feb 07, 2010 Adam rated it liked it
I had to read "Pierre," "The Confidence Man," and various other Melville short stories out of this volume. I really enjoyed some of the stories and I really didn't care for others. Overall, this just reinforced the fact that Moby Dick was Melville's peak and it was all downhill from there.
Martin Bihl
Nov 21, 2014 Martin Bihl rated it really liked it
Pierre - finished 11/26/14

Israel Potter - finished 01/20/15

The Piazza Tales - finished 04/11/16

The Confidence-Man - finished 04/17/16
Jun 01, 2007 Jonas rated it really liked it
Check out the Paradise of Bachelors & the Tartarus of Maids
Oct 06, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing
2nd time through Confidence Man.
Sep 08, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Well I have only read Moby Dick so far, but I still plan to read the rest.
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Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for ...more
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