The Encantadas (or Enchanted Isles), is a series of ten descriptive sketches, and a reminiscence from Melville's sailor days revealing the ecologically pristine Galapagos Islands as both enchanting and horrifying. Containing some of Melville's most memorable prose, The Encantadas were a critical success at a time when Melville's fortunes were down. After publication, the New York Dispatch cited the chapters as universally considered among the most interesting papers of that popular Magazine, and each successive chapter was read with avidity by thousands. The reviewer called the sketches a sort of mixture of 'Mardi' and 'Robinson Crusoe'--though far more interesting than the first named work. Chosen for inclusion in William Evans Burton's Cyclopediae of Wit and Humor of 1857, with an illustration by Henry Louis Stephens, The Lightning-Rod Man was the one Melville tale to be available throughout his lifetime, thanks to reissues of this volume. More a parable than a character-driven story, The Lightning-rod man is a charlatan who tries to profit by selling fearful people lightning-rods during thunderstorms. The narrator has a difficult encounter with the Lightning-Rod man in this story about overcoming fear and superstition.
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by Herman Melville
by Eleanor Herman
by George V. Higgins
by James Lee Burke
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