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Bartleby and Benito Cereno


Original title: Bartleby and Benito Cereno.

Title of this edition: Bartleby and Benito Cereno.

Author: Herman Melville.

Gender: Fantasy.

Saga: …

Editorial: Giunti.

Edition year: 1, 2014.

Prizes: …

Synopsis [Warning: Spoiler]: This book is composed by two stories, Bartleby, which is about a man that starts working as a copyist and who is suddenly living in the office and whose boss is not able to take him out, even by selling the company. The second story is about Benito Cereno, a Spaniard captain that is held prisoner in his own ship by the slaves he was carrying. The book narrates an encounter with an English captain and how he became aware that the other captain was being held prisoner.

Personal Review: I brought this book a couple of months ago when travelling from Italy to London. I was too early on the airport and I was finished the book I had for the flight. Not having anything interesting in the shop, I decided to go for this one (other option was re read Frankenstein or Moby Dick).

I would say that the first story, Bartleby, is quite easy to read and interesting at the same time. It is narrated from the point of view of the boss. He is naive and surprised at the beginning, but quite good person at the end. This is because at the beginning he doesn’t understand Bartleby, he thinks he is only a bad person whiling to take advantage of the boss, but little by little he realises that Bartley is a dysfunctional person who needs help.

The second story, on the other hand is not interesting and difficult to read. This is because it is over saturated with adjectives and descriptions (using not common words), which makes its reading difficult and annoying. The story itself… basically there is no story told, just a ship full of slaves, two captains and descriptions on how captain Benito misbehaves.