The Confidence Man: his masquerade. By HERMAN MELVILLE. New York: DIX, EDWARDS & CO.
We can hardly believe that this book proceeds from the same powerful pen that created "Omoo" and "Typee." It can only be regarded as an utter failure. Its characters are exaggerated and awkward, and their principal [motivation?] appears to be to utter stupid and vapid things. Its apparent aim is to burlesque some of the popular modes of dispensing charities at the present day--but even its travesty is pointless and absurd. MELVILLE must have been the victim of somnambulism, or of downright insanity, when he consented to the publication of so sorry a volume of trash. We fear that his previous reputation will suffer in consequence. The work is for sale by W. T. HAMILTON.
-- Syracuse NY Daily Journal for April 7, 1857; found on the great Fulton History site, Tom Tryniski's matchless archive of digitized pages from old newspapers of the past. Link below to support his amazing work on Fultonhistory.com :