Your audiobook is waiting…

The Piazza Tales (AmazonClassics Edition)

Narrated by: David deVries
Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

With disparate settings such as a Massachusetts farmhouse and the strange volcanic clime of the Enchanted Isles, this six-story anthology features some of Herman Melville’s most exceptional works. Included here is “Bartleby,” the dark tale of a Wall Street clerk who possesses a confounding and disarmingly passive insubordination; and “Benito Cereno,” in which the captain of a whaler boards a tattered Spanish slave ship in South America only to be drawn into an intricately plotted mutiny.

Exposing the catastrophes of ambition, deception, and alienation, The Piazza Tales is a wide-ranging display of the author’s storytelling genius and dazzling mastery of styles.

AmazonClassics brings you timeless works from the masters of storytelling. Ideal for anyone who wants to read a great work for the first time or rediscover an old favorite, these new editions open the door to literature’s most unforgettable characters and beloved worlds.

Revised edition: Previously published as The Piazza Tales, this edition of The Piazza Tales (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.

Public Domain (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Melville sampler

The stories in this collection by Herman Melville cover a lot of territory in terms of style and subject. It starts off with a haunting tale of the mountains that reminded me of Nathaniel Hawthorne. It includes a darkly comic tale of Wall Street (Bartleby the Scrivener) and a grimly suspenseful tale of mutiny on the high seas (Benito Cereno). One of the stories is actually a collection of short sketches about the Galápagos Islands. And there’s a kind of ghost story that is not especially scary but is filled with dread.

Hearing the stories can bring out qualities that may not be apparent when reading them. When I tried to read the opening story — The Piazza — I found the prose so convoluted as to be almost unreadable. But listening to it, I found myself drawn in by its hypnotic quality: not for the first time in this collection, I could swear that long passages had been written in blank verse.

David deVries does an excellent job as narrator. There are other excellent readings of individual stories (like Bartleby and Benito Cereno) on Audible; but this is the best reading of the whole collection. If you’ve “done” Moby Dick and Billy Budd and want to sample Melville’s other wares, this is the place to start.