Set in the quaint hollow of Deer Lick, a mythical town resembling Mark Twain's Hannibal, Missouri, this bizarre tale chronicles the fortunes of humble farmer John Gray, determined to marry off his daughter Mary to the scion of the town's wealthiest family. But the sudden appearance of a stranger found lying unconscious in the snow not only derails Gray's plans, but also leads to a murder whose solution lies at the heart of this tale.
Original material ©2001 by Richard A. Watson and Chase Manhattan Bank as Trustees of the Mark Twain Foundation; (P)2001 HIghBridge Company
The story itself is pure Twain, narrated in pure Garrison Keillor fashion. It's worth a listen for those reasons. For me, it had a particularly nice surprise at the end, when another of my favorite writers turned up as part of the over-the-top resolution. But as noted in another review, the story itself takes up less than half the audiobook. The rest of it consists of a long and rambling afterword, read (badly) by Roy Blount: it starts off talking about the genesis of the story, but somehow wanders off into Reconstruction, Twain's presidential preferences, the genesis of the Mugwump party, and the ethical background of "Huckleberry Finn." Listen to the story, but do yourself a favor and skip the afterword.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Story itself is very short - rest is rambling tale of how it came to be written, Twain's history and US history... and how they combine. Many quotes from Twain's letters. OK but not what I expected.
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