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The Bible According to Mark Twain: Writings on Heaven, Eden, and the Flood (Political Thought; 3) Hardcover – 1 Jun 1995

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 412 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (1 Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820316504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820316505
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,708,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.


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Review

"A collection that offers readers a fascinating panoply of wit, satire, farce, fantasy, lyricism, heresy, the sardonic, and the controversial."--"Booklist"

About the Author

Howard G. Baetzhold is Rebecca Clifton Reade Professor of English Emeritus at Butler University in Indianapolis and John S. Tuckey Memorial Research Fellow at Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies at Quarry Farm. An advisory board member and contributor to the "Mark Twain Encyclopedia," he is currently an editor of "Tales and Sketches of the Middle Years" and "Tales and Sketches of the Later Years" for the Mark Twain Project. Joseph B. McCullough is Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In addition to a number of articles on Mark Twain, he is the author of "Hamlin Garland," and editor of "Hamlin Garland's Tales of the Middle Border" and "Hamlin Garland's Son of the Middle Border."

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First Sentence
Mark Twain wrote "Adam's Diary" at the Villa Viviani, near Florence, Italy, where the family had moved in late September 1892, after a summer at Bad Nauheim, Germany. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 April 1998
Format: Paperback
The Bible According to Mark Twain gathers together a group of writings by the famous author that were either published years ago or not at all. The writings all deal with Mark Twain's intense study and understanding of the Bible. The book begins with some humorous ideas of what Adam's and Eve's diaries may have looked like during their first days together and then later after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Twain is unable to comprehend how they could be punished for doing something bad (eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge) when they still had no conception of good and bad until they ate the apple. Later works detail some thoughts on Noah and the flood and the importance of flies. It was important to preserve the disease carriers. When Twain takes a walk through Heaven you discover halos, harps, and wings are just for show. And finally he finishes up with a scathing attack on the stupidity of mankind, pointing out that statements like, Thou Shall Not Kill, and committing genocide do not go together. Or how could man conceive of a Heaven as Heaven and leave out sexual intercourse? If sanity is dangerous to your health, don't read this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Feb. 1996
Format: Hardcover
Marvelous. Compelling. Funny. (How rare to review a new work by Mark Twain!) This book is rare, old scotch with just enough ice. It's a fine, black Connecticut cigar. It's a wide tie with a brave picture on it. It's a moonlit sail on the seas of time, and the distant rasping, drawling voice of God, winking at the human race through his prophet Samuel.

Get it. Read it a little at a time. Hope like hell somebody finds some more papers out there in California that nobody has had the chance at, and that the small minded are at lunch and the office boy leaves them in the outbox and they, too, come to print while yet we live.

No one can possibly get past the mythic Mark Twain to a deeper understanding of the great writer and his later passions without a thorough reading of the Eden stories, and an enjoyment of his darker humor. As an anthology, this book is a delight. But this work includes previously unpublished writings, and so it must be in any Twain lover's library. The author of this book is Clemens himself. The editors have, with appropriate reverence and irreverence, expanded the horizons of our understanding.

Hoorays and war-whoops all round.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Anybody looking for a way to deflate the self-righteous, Bible-thumping, polyester-wearing right-wing nuts of our day ought to give them a copy of this book. Not only does this book show how ridiculous the Bible is, it does it in a very comical inoffensive (if you have an open mind it's inoffensive) way. A book every thinking person will love!
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By Philip Deboo on 22 Jun. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutley brilliant. Wonderfully funny,cynical and satirical.He certainly pulls no punches in his critique of Biblical myths.
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