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The Mysterious Stranger Paperback – Sep 1 1995
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About the Author
Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
In the short story called "The Mysterious Stranger" he challenges fundamentalists from all eras to examine the tenets which form their belief system. In a simple dialogue between a young boy and Satan, he lays bare the faith to which we, as a Christian-reared culture, have been led to not only believe but to vigorously defend against unbelievers and even on the death-strewn battlefield. In the end, Twain reveals that he, himself is an atheist and, being so will have none of the fairy tales that society puts forth!
The worth of this book lies not in Twain's proselytization of us towards his form of unbelief. Rather, it is in the opportunity he presents to truly examine what we do have faith in, to discard the inane, and to repackage a belief system that is based on truth and reality rather than based on poems and illusions. Those of us who are unable to do this and adamantly hold onto that which we have inherited are the true losers of this challenge. For they, like our boyish hero, will be left breathless when, and if, the actual truth is eventually revealed.
'The $1,000,000 Bank note' is almost surreal, or Marxist, the story of a derelict made an unwitting guinea pig by two elderly millionaires, curious to see what would happen to an honest but poor man in the possession of such an impractible note. The frightening fetishistic power of currency structures a somewhat creepily benevolent narrative, and the opening paragraphs audaciously cram a novel's worth of misfortune.
'The Man who corrupted Hadleyburg' is the masterpiece here, at once an unforgiving morality tale about the temptation of money on an incorruptible town, and a satire on the crippling effect of bogus social respectability. Twain's irony is at its most relentless here, mixing anger at elite hypocrisy with distaste for the savage mob mentality. The scenes of public justice are hilarious but terrifying; the unnamed man taking monstrous revenge on a whole town for a personal slight, exposing its shams by an experiment, could well be Twain himself.
The same could be said of the hero of his novella 'The Mysterious Stranger', Twain's last, posthumously published work.Read more ›
I got a masterpiece instead.
Most recent customer reviews
Simple book, no introductions, or post script notes, if you're okay with that. Awesome novella, definitely worth the read.Published 7 months ago by Brock H.
In The Mysterious Straqnger complete manuscript, that includes rough draft and complete unedited notes, Mark Twain predicted World War I. Mark Twain died in 1910. Read morePublished on Jan. 31 2001
The Mysterious Stranger is perhaps the clearest expression of Clemen's unspoken philosophy about the nature and meaning of human life. Read morePublished on July 28 1998