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A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.


I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

36. The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain


The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg by Mark Twain (5/5)
The Art of the Novella series

1899; 2007, Melville House, 128 pgs.

"Written on hotel stationery while Twain was in Europe on the run from American creditors, soon after the death of his daughter, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg is often cited as a work of bitter cynicism—a statement on America, to some, on the Dreyfus Case, to others—created by a weary author at the end of his career.

Others appreciate the work because it is, simply, Mark Twain at his best. The story of a mysterious stranger who orchestrates a fraud embarrassing the hypocritical citizens of “incorruptible” Hadleyburg. The novella is an exceptionally crafted work intertwining a devious and suspenseful plot with some of the wittiest dialogue Twain ever wrote. And like the most masterful literature, it subverts any notion of easy conclusion: is Hadleyburg ruined, or liberated? Is the mysterious stranger Satan, or a hero? Is this a book of revenge, or redemption? One thing is clear: this brilliant novella is a complex and compassionate consideration of the human character by a master at the height of his form."

Loved this comic yet profound story of a town that held itself to a virtue that it had not allowed itself to be tested against.  When they are tested they're found sadly lacking.  Wonderful humour and satire on the state of the 'holier-than-thou' mindset of some people and yet in the end Twain shows how one can be at one's best when not consciously thinking of putting the other man first for one's own gain.  Yet this is a circular farce as the characters can never be satisfied and find the guilt of being "found out" too strong to bear that they ruin the reputations of each other even when they think they have the best intentions in mind.  Twain's moral is that one cannot overcome temptation if one has never been tempted.  An entertaining and humorous satire. (US) - (Canada) - (Kindle)

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