Why did I love this book?
Herman Melville is a lot like black jelly beans: you either love him or you hate him. I fall into the former camp, and his genius is evident in this book, the last novel he published during his lifetime. Set on a steamboat traveling the Mississippi River, it uses a series of vignettes to tell the stories of its passengers as they encounter the mysterious titular character. Everyone is on the make, and no one seems to be truthful about who they are and what they do. The Confidence-Man holds up a mirror to Melville’s America, and it looks a lot like our own.