8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Confidence-Man (The Writings of Herman Melville, Volume 10) (Paperback)
As I read this book, I didn't catch all the subtleties of it, and could never be precisely sure whether each confidence man was evil or not- it seemed ambiguous, or at least, the author never once allows the reader to find out definitively that the 'vicitms' are being gulled. However, by the end of the book, this becomes more clear as the second half settles into sxome extremely thought-provoking conversations and exchanges. After reading literary reviews online, the book in its totality makes even more sense as in retrospect its sublte points become clearer.
That being said, the writing is absolutely superb. Although far more wordy than Hemingway, one cannot avoid comparing to Hemingway's writing, which, like this, is extremely controlled, restrained and pointed. As you read this, you cannot avoid the feeling that the author spent hours on each sentence.
It is therefore very much so worth reading, but don't expect it to be easy. It's certainly not your verbose, nineteenth century romanctic glop, but it can be difficult, as some readers appear to have found it. But try it.