"Bartleby the Scrivener" is one of the first great stories of corporate discontent. The emptiness of modern business life is an important theme. The narrator's initial self-characterization is important to the story. He is a "safe" man, one who takes few risks and tries above all to conform. The most pragmatic concerns of financial security and ease of life are his priorities.
When the nameless narrator an elderly Manhattan attorney hired another scrivener named Bartleby, he hoped the new employee would have a positive effect on scriveners Nippers and Turkey. However, Bartleby's curious tendencies and obstinate attitude plagued and confounded the narrator. Lackey turns in a workmanlike performance in this audio edition of Melville's famous story. His emphasis and delivery will keep listeners engaged, and he lends distinctive voices to the characters. His rendering of Bartlebly's famous repeated line, "I would prefer not to," captures the matter-of-fact delivery emphasized in the text. However, Lackey's voice sounds a bit too young for story's narrator. Still, this is an enjoyable take on the classic tale.