• Pudd'nhead Wilson

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Lee Howard
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Pudd'nhead Wilson

By: Mark Twain
Narrated by: Lee Howard
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Publisher's Summary

At the beginning of Pudd'nhead Wilson a young slave woman, fearing for her infant's son's life, exchanges her light-skinned child with her master's. From this rather simple premise Mark Twain fashioned one of his most entertaining, funny, yet biting novels. On its surface, Pudd'nhead Wilson possesses all the elements of an engrossing nineteenth-century mystery: reversed identities, a horrible crime, an eccentric detective, a suspenseful courtroom drama, and a surprising, unusual solution. Yet it is not a mystery novel. Seething with the undercurrents of antebellum southern culture, the book is a savage indictment in which the real criminal is society, and racial prejudice and slavery are the crimes. Written in 1894, Pudd'nhead Wilson glistens with characteristic Twain humor, with suspense, and with pointed irony: a gem among the author's later works.

©2019 Mark Twain (P)2019 Page2Page

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One of Twain's Hidden Gems!

I picked this book up almost reluctantly, since I am expected to teach it to my AP students soon. I was pleasantly surprised by the complex plot and stunning social commentary Twain offers here! His satire and wit are on point, as usual. It has been such a long time since I've read any of his work, that I'd forgotten how biting his digs can be. He was truly a genius in that realm. To top it off, he documents here one of the first small town court cases to use fingerprint evidence!

*A word of warning: the use of the "N" word, with a hard "r" is frequently used in this text. Even though I know Twain was anti-racist, and used his tales to point out how ridiculous and random prejudice is, it still took some getting used to hearing that word and feeling it's weighty connotations. I had to keep reminding myself how much books like this aided social progress in the fight for justice and equality by demonstrating the absurdity of racist beliefs.

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meh

Required book for my lit class. The premise of the story is great- mistaken identity, murder, mystery...but I could not get into Twain's style of writing.