Bartleby, the Scrivener

Narrated by: B.J. Harrison
Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (421 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $1.39

Buy for $1.39

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The life of a scrivener can be a dull one. After all, your entire occupation has to do with the handwritten copying of law documents. But when Bartleby arrives, he turns the office upside down with the enigmatic phrase: “I prefer not to.”

Public Domain (P)2008 B.J. Harrison

What listeners say about Bartleby, the Scrivener

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    240
  • 4 Stars
    107
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    256
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    224
  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Listen to this version

The narrator is very good, and the other versions are far too pricey for a tale of this length.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Haunting...

The first chapter was a bit detailed and slow (which seems about right, given the period this book was written) and then the story became so strangely amusing and Kafka-esque. But Melville wraps the story up in a beautifully haunting way that I will not soon forget. I'm so glad I listened to this novella. The narrator was pitch perfect and the story will stay with me for a long time.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

"I would prefer not to REVIEW"

This novella seems to anticipate both Kafka and reflect Dostoevsky. I would say more but I prefer not to.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of Melville’s Greatest Stories

From the theater of the absurd, comes a strange tragi-comical story wonderfully dramatized. Many believe it is the first story of a form of autism that was not diagnosed until much later. Wikipedia has this possible explanation: “Asperger syndrome (AS), also known as Asperger's, is a developmental disorder characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests.[1] As a milder autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it differs from other ASDs by relatively normal language and intelligence.[4] Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and unusual use of language are common.[5][6] Signs usually begin before two years old and typically last for a person's entire life.[1]” Truly a great story and a must listen!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved Bartleby

This is another one of those books that you think “I’ll get round to this one day”. I never did so decided to listen instead. I am glad I did.

NARRATOR – The narrator does a very good job with this book. He has the voice for a Dickensian novel. His voice is commanding and his accent frightfully English. His voice differentiation is great so there is no confusion. His accents are appropriate which can sometimes be a trap with this period. His inflections keep the story moving along without being overly dramatic, but maintain the drama nonetheless. I enjoyed the rendition very much indeed.

STORY – This story is a classic for a reason. Sometimes a character out of a book will stick with you, Bartleby has certainly done that. The author has drawn him and his compatriots so well you can almost see and smell them, and thanks to the great narration you can hear them.

I would recommend this book unreservedly to anyone that loves great characters in their storytelling.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

perhaps a classic...

I enjoyed the narrator, but while this may be a beloved classic I struggled to finish. I sped up the reading by 50% or I could not have.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Melville doesn't just write about the sea.

This was a very interesting tale about humanity and our responsibility to our fellow man.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Iconic Character, Still Funny Over a Century Later

What a great character. So iconic. Dark comedic storytelling it super on point, even over a century later. I love this one. Narrator is good, though sometimes he glazes over some of the subtler sections. [AUDIBLE]

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Odd Story

Bartleby is an odd character in an odd story. I would prefer not to hear it again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good story

Very well spoken, a very good story. A good example of gothic office fiction. yay!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M. B. Drapier
  • M. B. Drapier
  • 07-17-19

(I'd rather not add a headline)

Fine narration, though the English accents (e.g. for the Grub Man turned cockney) were somewhat incongruous: the story is set in Manhattan!!