From the author of Moby Dick: A con artist swindles his fellow passengers on a Mississippi River steamboat in this exploration of human nature.
A mysterious stranger boards a steamboat bound for New Orleans on April Fools’ Day. But just who is this confidence-man?
At first, he is a mute, clad in cream-colored clothes and a white fur hat, boarding the steamer Fidèle in St. Louis. The man transforms when he meets a group of passengers. He assumes the identities of a crippled beggar named “Black Guinea,” an agent from the Seminole Widow and Orphan Society, and the president of the Black Rapids Coal Company, among other disguises. As the ship makes its way to its final destination and the huckster’s deceptions lead to thefts, everyone on board will be left wondering whom they can trust.
A cultural satire, allegory, and metaphysical treatise, The Confidence-Man is one of the most unconventional works by the legendary author of Moby Dick and Billy Budd, Sailor.