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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning narrator Mike Vendetti narrates "The War Prayer", a short story or prose poem by Mark Twain, a scathing indictment of war and particularly of blind patriotic and religious fervor as motivations for war.

The structure of the work is simple: An unnamed country goes to war, and patriotic citizens attend a church service for soldiers who have been called up. The people call upon their God to grant them victory and protect their troops. Suddenly an "aged stranger" appears and announces that he is God's messenger. He explains to them that he is there to speak aloud the second part of their prayer for victory, the part they have implicitly wished for but have not spoken aloud themselves: the prayer for the suffering and destruction of their enemies. What follows is a grisly depiction of hardships inflicted on war-torn nations by their conquerors. The story ends with the man being ignored.

Public Domain (P)2015 Mike Vendetti

What members say

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  • gander
  • River Falls, Wi
  • 07-05-16

Brilliant writing! Brilliant reading!

Would you consider the audio edition of The War Prayer to be better than the print version?

Very well read but this work will always stand out.

What does Mike Vendetti bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A ringing tone which reverberates throughout the piece with conviction.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely.

Any additional comments?

This is one of the hidden gems among Twain's works. The last line truly marks this as Twain at his most cantankerous.