Benito Cereno

  • by Herman Melville
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • 3 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the epic sea adventure, a harrowing tale of slavery and revolt aboard a Spanish ship, is often regarded as Melville's finest short story. The balance of forces is complete, the atmosphere one of epic significance, the light cast upon the hero intense to the highest degree, the realization of the human soul profound, and the telling of the story orchestrated like a great symphony.

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What the Critics Say

"The noblest short story in American literature." (Edward J. O'Brian)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Timeless Meditation on Racial Hatred

Would you consider the audio edition of Benito Cereno to be better than the print version?

The audio version enhances reading this 19th Century masterpiece. It is not a substitute. I did both read and listen.


Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Melville. While he is not a character in the book, it is his language-so baroque and atmospheric- that perfectly imparts his tale of mystery and fog and remote Chilean seacoasts. Impending violence is swimming just under the surface. Just as in the big book he wrote about a sea captain and a whale.


Which character – as performed by Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

The American sea captain. I thought SR artfully hinted at the captain's developing suspicions and how those suspicions had to be sorted out in the face of the Captain's observations and his essentially generous and kind nature.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It didn't make me laugh or cry. But it did remind that the events we read about in our post 911 era are not so different than even 19th century challenges.


Any additional comments?

This is a book you can (and probably should) read/listen in one sitting. It is one of Melville's best and is not a huge commitment.

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- George "Mountainbiker, Skier, Riverman, Dzedo, Pizzaiolo"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-10-2009
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.