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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satan's side of the story
Letters from the Earth is an assortment of unpublished-for-60-years writings by Mark Twain. They cover a wide span of subject matter ranging from critiques of the prose style of another writer to the author's construction of the Old Testament and God from the perspective of Satan. In addition to Letters From Earth (Satan's), the contents includes Papers of the Adam...
Published on May 30 2004 by Jack Purcell

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone was religious in the old days
The final two-thirds of this book is made up of bits and pieces from Twain's unpublished tinkerings, some fairly interesting (such as the hallucinatory novella that concludes the volume) and some pretty dull. Of course, the main reason to check out this book is the white-hot assault on organized religion, "Letters From The Earth", that opens things up and from...
Published on Dec 4 2002 by Joseph P. Menta, Jr.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satan's side of the story, May 30 2004
By 
Jack Purcell (Placitas, NM USA) - See all my reviews
Letters from the Earth is an assortment of unpublished-for-60-years writings by Mark Twain. They cover a wide span of subject matter ranging from critiques of the prose style of another writer to the author's construction of the Old Testament and God from the perspective of Satan. In addition to Letters From Earth (Satan's), the contents includes Papers of the Adam Family, The Damned Human Race, Something About Repentance, Was the World Made For Man, In the Animal's Court, The Intelligence of God, The Lowest Animal and others.
Readers who are offended by careful examinations of the meaning and implications of holy or sacred writings of the Old Testiment will not enjoy this book. The author, whatever his actual religious beliefs, probably wasn't an Old Testiment Christian. In this series of short writings he takes specific stories from the OT and holds them into the light away from the long traditions that accompany them in most of our minds. He examines the evidence of the stories for hints of what sort of creature God must be if the OT is true. He extropolates what Satan might be.
I'm an admirer of this author and I believe everything he ever wrote is worth reading and digesting. I put this book alongside his best. But I also admit that if I harbored a microbe of religious fanatic somewhere inside me I'd be hard-pressed to enjoy reading Letters From the Earth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe no one has reviewed this book., Dec 15 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Letters From The Earth (Paperback)
I'm a big Twain fan but I'll keep it simple.
This book, a collection really, is short and sweet. If you have any interest in: sociology (particularly American), religion (particularly American), cultural commentary (particularly American), trying to explain the human condition (not particularly American) or comedy, this is a very good selection. And it will take you only a matter of hours to dip into some of Twain's funniest--and prickly--thoughts.
I mean it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way ahead of his time, March 18 2004
By 
Samuel Ross "Skeptic" (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews
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As much as I enjoyed his more famous books, it is actually this work that makes him even more genius to me. I was totally taken aback. His opinions on religion and the hypocrosy of it all were almost exactly as mine as I read along. I thought that no one was like that... let alone back then... but indeed he was. To know that such a great man felt the same way as I did regarding the Bible and human behavior brings me great comfort.
I only wish he were alive so I could personally thank him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone was religious in the old days, Dec 4 2002
By 
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. (Philadelphia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
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The final two-thirds of this book is made up of bits and pieces from Twain's unpublished tinkerings, some fairly interesting (such as the hallucinatory novella that concludes the volume) and some pretty dull. Of course, the main reason to check out this book is the white-hot assault on organized religion, "Letters From The Earth", that opens things up and from which this volume draws its title. Agree or disagree, you won't soon forget Twain's memorable tirade. No wonder, though, that he chose to keep it to himself while still nurturing his publishing career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars letters from the earth-the real Samuel Clements, Feb. 21 2009
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Excellent book. A must read for all Samuel Clements fans. The real man revealed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars He is a great philosopher, I believe., Feb. 2 2003
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This review is from: Letters From The Earth (Paperback)
"Mark Twain? He is not a philosopher.
His writings are not seriously accepted as a Philosophy!
...P>I dislike this words. I accept him as the serious philosopher.
In "Letters from the Earth", he opens his doubt freely.
He do not believe God is merciful, thoughtful.
He picked up Medians in the old testament,
and there he saw God's cruel attitude towards men.
....
I respect him. I adore him as he did for Jeanne d'Arc.
Twain saw mercy only in the death. ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book!!, Nov. 21 2002
By 
me!! (HELLertown, PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Letters From The Earth (Paperback)
I recently read this book, and i thought it was very interesting. on the back cover, it says "bible-belter's will blush" which couldn't be a more true statement. Many of the thoughts published by Twain in this book actually refer more to Satanism (a.k.a LaVeyan satanism)rather than christianity. It is full of dark comedy that points out the farce called the human race, and the major faults in one of the right hand path religions-- Christianity. I think it would be particularly interesting to not only Mark Twain fans, but also those who realize the stupidity of the human race, etc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed bag, July 25 2002
By 
Bill R. Moore (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Letters From The Earth (Paperback)
This book is probably not what you are expecting. If you are looking for a free-wheelin' adventure story along the lines of Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, you will not only be disappointed, but most probably shocked. However, if you are looking for an entire book of irrevent writings - as I was - then that's not what you're getting, either. Something less than half of the book (say, roughly, 1/3) consists of deliciously irrevent writings, drained from Mark Twain's pen of bitter ink. The best among these is the title section, "Letters From The Earth", in which Satan writes back to archangels Gabriel and Michael about his visit to earth and the "human race experiment", after his banishment from heaven. In these letters, Mark Twain points out various absurtities and illogical assertions and beliefs about human religions, and unflinchingly describes the vanity and hypocrisy of many of its adherents. I was under the impression that the entire book consisted of these letters; however, I was wrong. It is merely the first section of the book, occupying some 30-50 pages. For people who are highly into this kind of writing, however - as I am - it is worth the price of admission alone. There are several other pieces in the book along this line - including the famous essays Was The World Made For Man? and The Lowest Animal - which display not only Mark Twain's essential pessimism, but his very rational mind and hilarous wit. These pieces are an absolutely essential read for the lover of satire: few better examples are to be found anywhere in literature. The rest of the book, however, is a mixed bag. It consits of various pieces from the "Mark Twain Papers" - a collection of his writings (mostly unfinished) the he decreed to have published sometime after his death. Among these are a few interesting pieces (most of them various satires, several on religious topics), while others are more broadly ranging: everything from a completely improvised tale that he used to put his two children to bed to an unfinished fantasy piece that the editor seems to attach rather a lot of importance to, but whose actual virtue is somewhat more questionable. These pieces range from vaguely interesting to mildly funny to downright boring. Several would've probably been better served by being included in other volumes, while several should probably have been left unpublished. Still, there are definitely some essential writings in this volume that any fan of Mark Twain - or satire, or irrevent writings, for that matter - will want to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Mark Twain wit in small, unrelated bite-sized pieces, June 15 2002
This review is from: Letters From The Earth (Paperback)
I bought this book expecting it to be entirely filled with letters from Adam and Eve. Though this is only one-third of the book, it is great to see Twain's true blasphemous side for once. He was well known for his anger at God and disbelief in religion, and this book is a great testament to that fact in classical Twain wit. The remainder of the book is just random stories he told his children and comments on authors and such, of which some are definitely worth the read and others could be skipped. If you are interested in seeing the author in his true form, though not in a cohesive format, you should buy this book. He did not intend to submit it for publication in his lifetime, so his honesty about what he thinks of the world and religion finally comes out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Razor-sharp Irreverence, June 9 2002
By 
Lyanthya (Harrisburg, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Letters From The Earth (Paperback)
Mark Twain is an ancestor of mine, and I cannot help but glow with pride in that fact. If you're looking for Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, this is not for you. "Letters from the Earth" is the epitome of Twain's extremely irreverent and sardonic perceptiveness, absolutely shattering to countless long-held religious tenets. In displaying the inanity of tradition for tradition's sake, LFTE is right on par with Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery," though with an entirely different approach.
Indispensible for questioning souls, but not at all recommended for the rigid-minded.
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Letters From The Earth
Letters From The Earth by Mark Twain (Paperback - Nov. 27 1974)
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