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The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels) - Softcover

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9780486817514: The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels)
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On April Fool's Day in 1856, a shape-shifting grifter boards a Mississippi riverboat to expose the pretenses, hypocrisies, and self-delusions of his fellow passengers. The con artist assumes numerous identities — a disabled beggar, a charity fundraiser, a successful businessman, an urbane gentleman — to win over his not-entirely-innocent dupes. The central character's shifting identities, as fluid as the river itself, reflect broader aspects of human identity even as his impudent hoaxes form a meditation on illusion and trust.
This comic allegory addresses themes of sincerity, character, and morality in its challenge to the optimism and materialism of mid-19th-century America. By the time of its publication, readers had pigeonholed Herman Melville as a writer of adventure yarns. The novel was completely misunderstood by the author's contemporaries, and its financial failure drove him away from fiction. With the passage of time, however, The Confidence-Man has come to be recognized for its stunningly modern techniques and its indictment of the dark side of the American dream.

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About the Author:

Herman Melville (1819–1891) found early success with stories inspired by his adventures in the South Seas. His fortunes declined with the 1851 publication of Moby-Dick, now recognized as a masterpiece but scorned by Melville’s contemporaries. The author was obliged to work as a New York City customs inspector and died in obscurity, three decades before the critical reassessment of his work.

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  • PublisherDover Publications
  • Publication date2017
  • ISBN 10 0486817512
  • ISBN 13 9780486817514
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages304
  • Rating
    3.62 avg rating
    ( 3,203 ratings by Goodreads )

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. On April Fool's Day in 1856, a shape-shifting grifter boards a Mississippi riverboat to expose the pretenses, hypocrisies, and self-delusions of his fellow passengers. The con artist assumes numerous identities - a disabled beggar, a charity fundraiser, a successful businessman, an urbane gentleman - to win over his not-entirely-innocent dupes. The central character's shifting identities, as fluid as the river itself, reflect broader aspects of human identity even as his impudent hoaxes form a meditation on illusion and trust. This comic allegory addresses themes of sincerity, character, and morality in its challenge to the optimism and materialism of mid-19th-century America. By the time of its publication, readers had pigeonholed Herman Melville as a writer of adventure yarns. The novel was completely misunderstood by the author's contemporaries, and its financial failure drove him away from fiction. With the passage of time, however, The Confidence-Man came to be recognised for its stunningly modern techniques and its indictment of the dark side of the American dream. AUTHOR: Herman Melville (18191891) found early success with stories inspired by his adventures in the South Seas. His fortunes declined with the 1851 publication of Moby-Dick, now recognized as a masterpiece but scorned by Melville's contemporaries. The author was obliged to work as a New York City customs inspector and died in obscurity, three decades before the critical reassessment of his work. A shape-shifting grifter boards a Mississippi riverboat to expose the pretenses, hypocrisies, and self-delusions of his fellow passengers. Melville's comic allegory challenges the optimism and materialism of mid-nineteenth century America. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780486817514

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