The short stories of Herman Melville are considered today to be among the small masterpieces of American fiction. Billy Budd, Melville's posthumously published novella, is a classic tale of innocence, evil, and murder that depicts the rivalry between a simple, handsome young sailor and a demonic superior.
Bartleby is the subtly comic tale of an apathetic scrivener, and Benito Cereno is the story of a Spanish sea captain caught up in a slave revolt on his ship. Included in this volume are The Piazza Tales as well as "The Town-Ho's Story," a chapter from Moby-Dick. By turns haunting and comic, and always compelling, these fine stories convey the diversity and grandeur of Melville's talent as well as the depth of his themes.