Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Perennial Classics / Harper Collins
Release Date: February 17, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-051865-0
Format Reviewed: Paperback
Buy it at Amazon
Read an Excerpt
Genre: Nonfiction / Literature - Classics / Criticism
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Carisa Weeaks
Reviewer Notes:  

Letters from the Earth
Uncensored Writings
By Mark Twain

Edited by Bernard DeVoto

   In the 1800’s, Samuel Langhorne Clemens took on the pen name of “Mark Twain” and became known as America’s greatest satirist. He was always considered racy and was occasionally banned, but no one ever considered that he could’ve written something even more “over-the-top” than that.

    In Letters from the Earth, Mark Twain explores the ideas of God, angels, and mankind by writing letters from the angel Satan, (who has been banished from Heaven for a celestial day, one thousand earth years) to his fellow angels, St. Gabriel and St. Michael, from the curious creation called Earth about the experiments (man and animals) that the Creator had placed there.

    There are also other writings, “Papers of the Adam Family,” an excerpt from Methuselah’s diary, and a letter entitled “Letter to the Earth,” from the Office of the Recording Angel to a coal dealer in New York.

    The second half is full of short stories, writings, and sketches that had been left out by the original editor, Bernard DeVoto, who put this book together in the late 1930’s.

    Clara Clemens, Mark Twain’s daughter, felt the book presented a distorted view of her father’s ideas and attitudes and forbade its publication since 1939. She finally changed her mind and the book has been printed, with both notes by Mark Twain and DeVoto, distinguished by their initials.

    I absolutely loved Mark Twain’s blunt, satirical writings, especially this book. It’s an honest, candid view of his feelings about Christianity and his views on the world of his time. I highly recommend this book for anyone with an open mind and the ability to laugh at the absurdities of our own natures.