66 Installments—Entirely free
Mark Twain's ironic novel of mistaken identities revolves around race relations in early nineteenth century Mississippi. The beautiful Roxana is a slave, but being only 1/16th black, she can pass for white. After giving birth to a son, she swaps the infant with the newborn son of her master so that her son can never be sold away from her. As a result of her deception, a young man who thinks he is named Thomas Driscoll lives as a white man—but he is in reality 1/32nd black and therefore a slave. Meanwhile, another young man who thinks he is named Chambers has lived as a slave when he is really a free man. These already-confusing plotlines become even more complicated when two sideshow performers claiming to be twins arrive in the town. But when a prominent judge is murdered, there is suddenly a new urgency to sort out everyone's true identity. David Wilson, the eccentric town lawyer, dabbles in fingerprinting technology in an attempt to solve the crime. But when the mystery—which the readers have known all along—is finally revealed, we are left in the dark as to its purpose, for irony and moral ambiguity has overshadowed any clear-cut distinction between right and wrong.
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Born Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain (1835-1910) was and is an American legend. A prolific journalist, essayist, and writer of short stories and novels, Twain had a unique gift for capturing and often laughing at the young American nation he knew. Growing up in Missouri, Twain spent his early years on the Mississippi River, which would figure prominently in the world of his later fiction. Twain worked as a riverboat pilot as a young man, but headed west when the Civil War broke out. His trip across the country and eventual years in Nevada and California became fodder for some of Twain's best works. Settling eventually in Connecticut, Twain enjoyed many fruitful years of writing, travel, and family life until he left the world, as he had vowed, with the return of Halley's Comet in 1910. Perhaps best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huck Finn, Twain is the author of many other works, including Life on the Mississippi, Letters From the Earth, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Innocents Abroad.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
be destroyed by ridicule, howsoever poor and witless.
A person who is ignorant of legal matters is always liable to make mistakes when he tries to photograph a court scene with his pen; and so I was not willing to let the law chapters in this book go to press without first subjecting them to ...
Reviewed by Paracelsus on Feb 14, 2012
Pudd'nhead He Wasn't
It shows what happens when people underestimate a man’s brilliance.
Reviewed by wsimpson3144 on May 1, 2009
Great book. even though i knew how the plot would turn out half way through the book, i still thoroughly enjoyed this book. and i always enjoy the social commentary.
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Ratings for 'Pudd'nhead Wilson' by Twain, Mark