Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grooming Deals Gifts Under $50 Shop now Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Black Friday Video Game Deals Outdoor Deals on DOTD
Bartleby, the Scrivener A Story of Wall-Street and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Bartleby, the Scrivener: ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book is in moderately used condition.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street Paperback – September 25, 2013

94 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.95 $0.99

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$9.99 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street
  • +
  • To the Lighthouse
Total price: $20.89
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews


''Herman Melville is one of American literature's greatest figures.'' --The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English

About the Author

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819-1891) was born in New York City. Family hardships forced him to leave school for various occupations, including shipping as a cabin boy to Liverpool in 1839--a voyage that sparked his love for the sea. A shrewd social critic and philosopher in his fiction, he is considered an outstanding writer of the sea and a great stylist who mastered both realistic narrative and a rich, rhythmical prose. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick and the posthumously published novella Billy Budd.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 44 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480255416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480255418
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lionheart on November 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
A companion piece to Moby-Dick, and probably one of the most important short stories ever written, although the distinction between a "short story" and a "novella" has been blurred in recent decades. Are we going strictly by length? And if so, what is the cut off?

At any rate, this is a fantastic story, if a bit heavy for the casual reader. Bartleby, the Scrivener, is the deeply disturbing and ultimately fatalistic portrait of one man's hopeless sojourn through the rat-maze of the times, which is, in fact, all times. Bartleby, a hopeless grunt of a worker, is extraordinary only because of the implacable insistence he places on retaining his individuality in the face of Melville's almighty corporate capitalist system. He is the mouse who utterly refuses to sniff the cheese. He is the cog that dares to resist the pressures both from within and without.

A former postal worker in a dead letter office, Bartleby finds himself attached to a law firm as a copyist, once again doing work he would rather not be doing with no end in sight, until he asserts vocally that he is not going to do it any longer. Or, in his words, he "prefers not to." Come what may, he prefers not to chase the cheese any longer -- was it the time he spent with the dead letters that changed him? We don't really know, can only guess. All we know for sure is that he, unaccountably, though accepting his status as a rat (for how can he not?) does not accept his label as tool, cog, wheel, mechanism, motion, pen without will, man without mind.

He prefers not to copy, and so he does not really copy, despite the cheese, despite the fact that he must copy, that there is no other alternative in the rat maze cheese world but to copy for his due like a good little normal streetwalking human.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Plume45 on January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Melville's darkly curious novella about a mysterious stranger who refuses to leave his place of employment--even when fired--is sublty compelling; the plot gradually moves forward in small, psychological increments. This story, which could just as well have
been set in Victorian London, is related by an elderly narrator--a lawyer with two regular sciveners (legal copists) and
an office boy. But the addition of the inscrutable, pallid Bartleby creates a sensation in the small office; he quietly but simply
refuses to do anything but copy documents--eventually carrying his disobedience to passive revolt. Yet he refuses to depart; he "Prefers not" to do anything but waste away in semi-public view. How can his decent and compassionate employer remove the unwanted fellow--without resorting to crass police action?

Melville's unchaptered tale is charactereized by long paragraphs and a rich tapestry of vccabulary. Less a mstyery than one at first expects the simple plot unfolds more as a comment on the role of humanity in a social setting. How easy it would be to quell our collective conscience by institutionalizing the social misfits! This may be the first literary example of Passive Resistance. With no clear-cut villain in this odd tale readers are left in moral disquiet; thought-provoking reading for insightful readers.

(January 8, 2014)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cris-Cras on December 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story is recounted many years after Bartleby has died by the narrator, a lawyer who has employed him (or maybe by Melville himself).

Well, this is Wall Street.

Bartleby is admitted as a copyist, a scrivener, in a very peculiar office. There, three employees are already working and each one has his strangeness.
The owner, our narrator, proclaims himself as a greedy man only interested in working with the rich men bonds.

To my surprise and, in my opinion, the owner is gentle - not exactly kind but extremely polite - incapable of violence and is too much drawn to the weirdness of his employees, respecting each one of them and letting them be and do as they wish (which for me, as an owner and a lawyer, would be rather impossible).

Bartleby confuses his employer as he uses 'I prefer not to', each time he is asked to do something other than copying.
It's rather than a negation of what his employer demands, more an assertion of his human choice.
Just to add some fire to this discussion, think about this: when Bartleby prefers not to, he pushes others onto doing something as he will not. As he affirms gently and kindly he prefers not to, or rather, as he holds forth his wish, he makes someone do it for him because the World and, specially Wall Street cannot be stopped.

Imagine, for just a moment, if the trio in the office did the same as Bartleby... Or even the lawyer... If they preferred not to, what would happen?

Bartleby simply 'preferred not to' just because Melville wanted the narrator, and us, to think about the possibility of someone who doesn't exist - or who doesn't want to exist - from the very beginning just because he insists, he affirms -- instead of negating -- that he preferred not to.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chloe nava on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Black humor is all over the story, Bartleby embodies the lifeless characters we see everyday absorbed by paperwork. His boss tries to ascertain the trouble behind B. and becomes quite paranoid from time to time. Only in Kafka I have seen such disappointment of life, such indifference and lack of strength to escape from bureaucratic misery.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: melville bartleby