Selected short works of humor and criticism by a revered American master
Beloved by millions, Mark Twain is the quintessential American writer. More than anyone else, his blend of skepticism, caustic wit and sharp prose defines a certain American mythos. While his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is still taught to nearly everyone who attends school and is considered by many to be the Great American Novel, Twain’s shorter stories and criticisms have unequalled style and bite.
In a review that’s less than kind to the writing of James Fenimore Cooper, Twain writes: “Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, he is sure to step on a dry twig. There may be a hundred handier things to step on, but that wouldn’t satisfy Cooper. Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig; and if he can’t do it, go and borrow one.” It’s difficult to imagine anyone else writing in quite this style, though many have tried, which is why Twain’s legacy only continues to grow.
The collection includes 20 works, including:
Old Times on the Mississippi
The Mysterious Stranger
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg
The Jumping Frog
Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn
A True Story
Letter to the Earth
The War Prayer