The Mysterious Stranger

The Mysterious Stranger

by Mark Twain

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Overview

One of the demons Twain always set out to slay was the legend that the citizens of this republic are inherently more virtuous than others. He does so marvelously in this collection of classic tales.

The collection includes: "The Mysterious Stranger," "The Story of the Bad Little Boy," "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," "The Diary of Adam and Eve," "The Joke That Made Ed's Fortune," "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg," "Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale," and "A Fable."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781366324092
Publisher: Blurb
Publication date: 01/09/2019
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 947,271
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.31(d)

About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer. Among his novels are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "The Great American Novel". Though Twain earned a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he invested in ventures that lost a great deal of money, notably the Paige Compositor, a mechanical typesetter, which failed because of its complexity and imprecision. In the wake of these financial setbacks, he filed for protection from his creditors via bankruptcy, and with the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain chose to pay all his pre-bankruptcy creditors in full, though he had no legal responsibility to do so.

Amy Sterling Casil is a 2002 Nebula Award nominee and recipient of other awards and recognition for her short science fiction and fantasy, which has appeared in publications ranging from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction to Zoetrope. She is the author of 28 nonfiction books, over a hundred short stories, three fiction and poetry collections, and three novels. Amy is a founding member and treasurer of Book View Café and former treasurer of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and teaches writing and composition at Saddleback College. She is the founder of Chameleon Publishing.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

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The Mysterious Stranger 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Christine Hale More than 1 year ago
It is a short book, a quick read, but very good! I highly recommend it.
Lorsine More than 1 year ago
The Mysterious Stranger is one of Mark Twain¿s better works¿not as lengthy as Tom Sawyer, and not as boring as Huckleberry Finn. Time will not be wasted if you choose to read this story, especially since it is about 100 pages in a book format.

With a direct allusion to Satan, Twain emphasizes the negativity of humans. This emphasis makes us think about ourselves and wonder if we really are that selfish. The boys who mindlessly allow Satan to brainwash them show the naivety of children as well as our selfishness.

At the same time, because Satan stresses that he is from Heaven and not Hell, Twain shows his pessimistic view of Christianity in general. He makes us wonder if God is actually someone worthwhile to follow (speaking from a Buddhist perspective).

It is entertaining and engaging¿I could not put it down once I started. Even the mere conversations between Satan and the boys seem to hold significant meaning to the story; it is a good story to ponder about.

This short story is supposedly unfinished, but it seems to end quite well. If you want a quick insight into Twain¿s views, the Mysterious Stranger is the way to go.
iddrazin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mark Twain (1835-1910) uses this novel to mock the conventional ideas about God: that God is a loving ever-present entity who wants to help people and reward people who do what he wants done and punishes people who disobey him. He sets his parable in Austria hinting that Austria is no different than America. It is a country where the people are asleep and way behind time. They live in an age of belief, rather than science. It is a time when knowledge is kept from the common people. All people need to know is to be ¿good Christians; to revere the Virgin, the Church, and the Saints above everything.¿ Twain tell us that ¿knowledge was not good for the common people, and would make them discontented with the lot that God had appointed for them, and God would not endure discontent with his plan.¿Some boys ¿ symbolic of the uncultivated immature people ¿ meet a very affable elf-like creature who tells them that he is an angel ¿ which, as we will see, represents God. He tells the boys that his name is Satan, but not ¿the Satan.¿ ¿The Satan¿ is his uncle ¿ suggesting that God is related to evil. The angel explains that ¿the Satan¿ was chased out of heaven because he disobeyed God and enticed the woman God created to eat the fruit he forbid her to eat, and then went and ate the fruit himself. This suggests that God is bad-tempered and petulant, fussy about details, not wanting to be crossed even over a somewhat trivial matter. The angel shows the boys that he can create tiny people to build a toy fortress for them, for fun. They watch, almost mesmerized by the tiny people¿s activity. Then they and the angel see two tiny men disagreeing and starting a fight. The angle becomes annoyed, reaches down and grabs the two men between his fingers and squashes them. He does this while assuring them that he is an angel and can never do wrong. The families of the two murdered men begin to cry and shout in mourning, and the angel, annoyed at the noise, takes a board and squashes the mourners and the people near them.Then the angel decides to complicate his building project to add tension and fun. He causes earthquakes and storms that kill most of the people. When the boys look on in horror, the angel says that there is no need to worry, he can always create new people. He explains that they need to understand that people are to him like bricks to them; he uses them as he sees fit, including breaking and crumbling them. Satan explains that the problem with people is that they have a moral sense, they distinguish between right and wrong, and this sense gives them all kinds of problems. They wouldn¿t have had this problem if Eve had not eaten the fruit.Satan shows them that he also has the ability to change the destiny of humans such as them. He manipulates the destiny of one of the boys and the boy dies while trying to save a girl who was drowning. He gives a woman a magic cat that can bring her food whenever she needs it; however, people hear about the cat and burn her as a witch. Thus it is clear that the angel ¿ God ¿ is uninterested in the people he creates.
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dmh5026 More than 1 year ago
My headline says it all. There's only so much sarcasm I can take -- and these 186 pages were about all I could handle. Not my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
scanned version is unreadable