We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson | [Mark Twain]

The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson

Two half brothers look so similar as infants that no one can tell them apart. One, the legitimate son of a rich man, is destined for a life of comfort; the other is condemned to be a slave, as he is part black. The mother of the would-be slave is also the nurse of the other boy, and to give her son the best life possible, she switches the two. Soon, the boy who is given every advantage becomes spoiled and cruel. He takes sadistic pleasure in tormenting his half brother.
Regular Price:$19.59
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Twain's 1894 novel of two nearly identical brothers raised on opposite sides of the race line (one as white, one as black) isn't nearly as strong as his more famous works. The author's political ambitions - critiquing American attitudes on race and class - are too nakedly displayed, and the plot creaks like an old melodrama. But it's still Mark Twain, and that means more wit than half a dozen other authors, delivered in shrewd, folksy language. And it's possible that Michael Prichard's delivery works better than reading it on the printed page. Prichard shifts dialect to match Twain's acute ear for regional differences, and he brings a widely diverse cast of characters vividly to life.

Publisher's Summary

Two half brothers look so similar as infants that no one can tell them apart. One, the legitimate son of a rich man, is destined for a life of comfort; the other is condemned to be a slave, as he is part black. The mother of the would-be slave is also the nurse of the other boy, and to give her son the best life possible, she switches the two. Soon, the boy who is given every advantage becomes spoiled and cruel. He takes sadistic pleasure in tormenting his half brother. As they grow older, the townspeople no longer notice that the boys look similar, and they readily accept that each is born to his station.

A local lawyer, David Wilson, has had a similar experience. On his first day in the village, he made an odd remark about a dog, and the townspeople gave him the condescending name of "Pudd'nhead". Although he was a young, intelligent lawyer, he is unable to live down this name and toils in obscurity for over 20 years. Finally, he is presented with a complex murder trial and is given the chance to prove himself to the townspeople and shake his unjust label.

This complex murder mystery is a psychological study that explores how perceptions shape character. Twain combines biting satire with his trademark scenes of farce and levity.

©2002 Tantor Media, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (19 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.5 (10 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.3 (9 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 05-18-12
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 05-18-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    161
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    70
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "twin brothers x 3"

    twain originally wanted to write a story about twins
    he started with european twins visiting america
    he then contemplated using siamese twins as characters

    he eventually used racial twins switched at birth to tell his story
    persistent echoes of the european and siamese elements are audible
    and to be fair they do weigh the tale down a bit

    this is a punchy, short, plot driven jewel of a book
    insightful observations win out over character development
    humor is used to bring us the dark truth of post civil war america









    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.