Stung by the difficult reception of Moby Dick, Herman Melville became obsessed with the difficulties of communicating his vision to readers. His sense of isolation lies at the heart of these later works. "Billy Budd, Sailor" is a classic confrontation between good and evil, and the story of an innocent young man unable to defend himself against a wrongful accusation. The other stories also illuminate the way fictions are created and shared by society.
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Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, poet, and writer of short stories. His contributions to the Western canon are the whaling novel Moby-Dick (1851); the short work Bartleby, the Scrivener (1853) about a clerk in a Wall Street office; the slave ship narrative Benito Cereno (1855); and Billy Budd, Sailor (1924). When asked which of the great American writers he most admired, Vladimir Nabokov replied: "When I was young I liked Poe, and I still love Melville, whom I did not read as a boy."From AudioFile:
Published more than thirty years after Herman Melville's death, this unfinished novel tells the tragic story of Billy Budd, a sailor pressed into service on the HMS INDOMITABLE, a British frigate. Although popular with his shipmates, Budd incurs the wrath of Master-at-Arms John Claggart, a situation that builds up to a deadly confrontation. Many of Melville's unpolished passages read like philosophical ruminations rather than dramatic narrative. William Roberts uses this to his advantage, narrating with the persuasive tone of a debater. His reading will leave listeners pondering Budd's situation even after the novel is finished. The musical excerpts seem superfluous in the early chapters but underscore the drama later as Budd's situation becomes clearer. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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Book Description Penguin Classics, 2008. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140624519