I Would Prefer Not To: Essential Stories
A new selection of Melville's darkest and most enthralling stories in a beautiful Pushkin Collection edition
Includes "Bartleby, the Scrivener", "Benito Cereno" and "The Lightning-Rod Man"
A lawyer hires a new copyist, only to be met with stubborn, confounding resistance. A nameless guide discovers hidden worlds of luxury and bleak exploitation. After boarding a beleaguered Spanish slave ship, an American trader's cheerful outlook is repeatedly shadowed by paralyzing unease.
In these stories of the surreal mundanity of office life and obscure tensions at sea, Melville's darkly modern sensibility plunges us into a world of irony and mystery, where nothing is as it first appears.
Praise for I Would Prefer Not To: Essential Stories
"Melville instinctively aspired to the grandest scale, and even in his shorter works offers vast inklings and the resonance of cosmic concerns." -- John Updike
"Melville seems to promise the very stuff of existence: time, space, air. We don't so much read him as inhale him." -- Geoffrey O'Brien, Village Voice
"There are very few stories that, on re-reading after re-reading, seem to become impossibly more perfect, but Herman Melville's eerie, aching story 'Bartleby, the Scrivener' is one such." -- Stuart Kelly, Guardian