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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    34
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Sharon
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • 11-04-13

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 04-18-12

"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.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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I would prefer not to . . .

This is a remarkable story, made especially more remarkable if you are familiar with Moby Dick. . .

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A Fun and Deep Classic

I appreciated the humorous character descriptions and personalities. Overall, it was entertaining and leaves room for one to make their own interpretations of meaning from the story.

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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.

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not my cup of tea

I enjoyed listening to the narrator and the story seemed to be well written but it was I guess a little two deep for me not really sure of the appeal. maybe it's a comment on the humans distain for change.

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Funny like Kafka is funny

Melville is among the greats for good reason. It was a pleasure to encounter the story again, this time as an audiobook. The narration is entirely inoffensive, which is rare as can be. The narrator's enunciation was excellent, his interpretation smooth and correct. Glad I chose this version from among those on offer.

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Listen to this version

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

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great literature and wonderful narrator

This story should be a prologue to Moby Dick as it captures the humorous and dramatic tones as well as the main themes prevalent in Melville's masterpiece. the narrator's performance is also very entertaining and conveys, with great attention, the tone of the characters and story.

a must listen!