The Confidence-man: His Masquerade

Front Cover
Modern Library, 2003 - Fiction - 331 pages
2 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  - Al Yo - Goodreads

This book emphasized my self loathing; were it not for the footnotes in the Norton Edition the allegory would have flew over my head, without them perhaps the narrative would have been more engaging ... Read full review

Review: The Confidence-Man

User Review  - Will Miller - Goodreads

I think we're still catching up to this novel - or whatever it is. An uncompromising search into problems of truth, deception, race, failures of language, regional identity - you name it. May aggravate the casual reader. Read full review

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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