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Is He Dead?: A Comedy in Three Acts (Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain) Paperback – 27 Jun 2006


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"This master of the novel proves also to be a master at play construction. Is He Dead? has all the craftsmanship of a far more seasoned playwright's efforts, and the targets Twain establishes - mendacity and greed - are the twin evils he exposed throughout his distinguished career." - Tony Lewis, Providence Journal-Bulletin "Worthy of Twain's legacy as America's greatest humorist." - Ledger "Sparked by enough over-the-top humor, it is laugh-aloud funny to read." - Booklist "This is another gold nugget in the treasure house of Mark Twain. That he could have spun out such a rollicking satire on the hypocrisy of the art world, delivered in the spirit of 'Charley's Aunt,' while his own spirit battled the ghosts of personal loss, is another beacon to the wild and surprising genius of Mark Twain. Shelley Fisher Fishkin has done it again, giving us the fruits of eye-opening, double-fathom research, pursuing nearly virgin byways of Mark Twain's literary and social life and showing us how that colorful world affected the temper of his mind. I learned things I never knew while racing through this book." - Hal Holbrook"

About the Author

Shelley Fisher Fishkin is Professor of American Studies and English at the University of Texas, Austin. Starting in September, 2003, she will be Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Stanford University. She is the author of Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture (1997); Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices (1993), selected as an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice; and From Fact to Fiction: Journalism and Imaginative Writing in America (2000), winner of a Frank Luther Mott/Kappa Tau Alpha Award for outstanding research in journalism history. She is also the editor of the 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain and the Oxford Historical Guide to Mark Twain.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Delightful bit of Fun from Mark Twain! 13 Oct. 2004
By Gwen Geisinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I must preface my review with the truth that I am totally and hopelessly Twain obsessed. I won't say that only a Twain lover will "get" this play but it certainly wouldn't hurt! I enjoyed it immensely and laughed out loud many times. Theatre was one of Twain's passions and he struggled all his life to write a successful play with variable results. This effort is delightful!

I found the interactions between the two couples sweet and touching and the comeraderie between the group of artists was good natured and engaging. But the best part was the gender reversal which was the funniest part of the play. It is amazing that Twain wrote this upbeat and optimistic piece as he was clawing his way out of a deep depression after his daughters death. The introduction and afterward are fascinating, both produced by the excellent and much appreciated Bancroft Library Mark Twain Project. I can't wait to see what they publish next!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
absolutely hysterical 20 Feb. 2008
By Fashion Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
this is one of the greatest plays i have ever read/seen. i laughed so hard during act II that i almost could not continue. mark twain really hit something brilliant here and it is a shame it is not more well known. i am also a fan of humerous plays such as "the importance of being ernest" so if you like satire such as that, you will absolutely love this. also i greatly recommend seeing this at a playhouse if at all possible, it is spectactular on the stage!
Close but no cigar...see the play 9 Mar. 2010
By 216Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this after seeing the play "Is He Dead?" done live in stage at The Beck Center in Lakewood. Well, I usually enjoy the book more than the movie/play and expected the same here. Wrong. While enjoyable for Twain-ites (myself), the play onstage is much more entertaining and funny as it is substantially edited content-wise and shorter. So, if you are a Twain collector- buy this, read it and treasure another piece of Twainia. If you are a casual fan...see the play. It's a night well spent.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TWAIN on stage 27 Jun. 2009
By T. G. Harpster - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll be stage managing IS HE DEAD in November, and I needed to read the
script now. Although it is slightly different from the Acting Editon used on Broadway, I got the essence of what the story is about, and the number of characters on stage. Thanks! TERI
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Is He Dead? 5 Feb. 2010
By W. Sabater - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Condition of the book was just as stated, cost was reasonable and delivery was timely. I would do business again with this vendor.
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