This collection reveals the genius of one of America's greatest writers. "Bartleby the Scrivener" is a maddening, yet poignant story of a man "who prefers not to" obey his attorney-employer who goes to extraordinary lengths in his attempt to placate his recalcitrant clerk.
"Billy Budd" relates the fate of an innocent young sailor impressed on a British man-of-war who, when charged with fomenting mutiny by the diabolical master-at-arms, strikes out with his fist and kills the man. But it is Captain Vere, as a consequence of trying Billy for his crime, who suffers the most excruciating punishment.
Other fine Melville stories included are "The Apple Tree Table," "The Piazza," "My Chimney," and "The Happy Failure."

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