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The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories

Mark Twain

Book Overview: 

Here’s a Mark Twain story that’s very unlike those he became famous for. It concerns the deeply religious residents of a small village in Austria during the late sixteenth century, and what happened to several of them when a strange man began to visit their insulated homeland. There’s little of Twain’s humor here; this is a horror story, a parable. . . and a warning.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . to come out and "tell the truth;" and promised they wouldn't ever tell, but only wanted to know for their own satisfaction, because the whole thing was so curious. They even wanted to buy the secret, and pay money for it; and if we could have invented something that would answer—but we couldn't; we hadn't the ingenuity, so we had to let the chance go by, and it was a pity.

We carried that secret around without any trouble, but the other one, the big one, the splendid one, burned the very vitals of us, it was so hot to get out and we so hot to let it out and astonish people with it. But we had to keep it in; in fact, it kept itself in. Satan said it would, and it did. We went off every day and got to ourselves in the woods so that we could talk about Satan, and really that was the only subject we thought of or cared anything about; and day and night we watched for him and hoped he would come, and we got more and more impatient all the time. We hadn't any . . . Read More

Community Reviews

This review will contain spoilers.


The Mysterious Stranger is a short novella, in which Mark Twain, (it would seem), embodies his hatred of Christianity, condemnation of mankind, and ultimate nihilism. The story takes place in a remote village in late 16th century Austria; the village of Eseldorf,

A number of Mark Twain’s lesser-known stories remain virtually unheard of - not because they aren’t good – but because they’d offend too many people.

His short novel The Mysterious Stranger, published posthumously in 1916, certainly qualifies in this regard. It’s not going to be on any of the officia

The rough narrative structure of this novella reminds us that Twain never got around to editing and polishing a final version before he died. Unfortunate.

It was only just last year that I read Milton's "Paradise Lost." From my theological training, I immediately saw that his epic poem was a kind of

The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain

The Mysterious Stranger is a novel attempted by the American author Mark Twain. He worked on it intermittently from 1897 through 1908.

In 1590, three boys, Theodor, Seppi, and Nikolaus, live relatively happy simple lives in a remote Austrian village called Eseldor

This is said to be Mark Twain's least known work - and the last he had ever written. Reading the book, I finally understood why it never became as popular as the stories of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyers. This is a book of a silent yet profound contemplation of humanity. It is a comedy of sorts, and the

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Youthful Frolicking: "The Mysterious Stranger" by Mark Twain

(Original Review, 1981-04-17)

“The Mysterious Stranger” by Mark Twain which presented a very bleak and troubling vision of humanity. It had some Huck Finn style youthful frolicking

دنیاومافیها مانند هر رویایی سخت و به آشکار نامعقول است. خدایی دارد که به همان آسانی که می تواند بندگان بد بیافریند به خلق بندگان خوب نیز توانا است، و معذالک آفرینش بندگان بد را ترجیح می دهد؛ می تواند همه آنهارا خوشبخت کند، و معذلک حتی یک نفر را برای نمونه خوشبخت نمیسازد؛ آنها را وا می دارد که به این

In the first act, Mark Twain introduces a mysterious stranger to town, and the way he does it is twisty and thrilling and, well... Mysterious. And then there's the antagonist, the evil Astrologer, who lives in the crumbling tower on the outskirts of town and has a man imprisoned for the sake of stea

The Mysterious Stranger is not a success. Twain never published it, and with good reason, for his approach to his title character in particular and the whole project in general is tonally ambivalent, philosophically inconsistent, and thematically scattered. Add to this the fact that the setting of t

Τέταρτο βιβλίο του Μαρκ Τουέιν που πέφτει στα χέρια μου, μετά τα δυο κλασικά και τρομερά βιβλία με τον Τομ Σόγιερ και τον Χακ Φιν που διάβασα το 2005, στις αρχές της εφηβείας μου δηλαδή (πως περνάνε τα χρόνια ρε!), και την νουβέλα "Ο Τομ Σόγιερ ντετέκτιβ" που διάβασα το 2010. Το μικρό αυτό μυθιστόρη

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