Monday, February 3, 2014
Book Review: "Pudd'nhead Wilson" by Mark Twain
Pudd'nhead Wilson is one of the residents of this steamboat-landing town on the Mississippi River. He is very smart man, but he made a comment years ago that went right over the townspeople's heads - so they decided he was really a Pudd'nhead. And the nickname stuck. But the story really isn't about him. It is about these two boys, born on the same day - one to a slave woman, the other to her master and his wife. Because the slave herself was only 1/16th African American, the boys were very similar looking. The slave mother - Roxana - switched the babies so that the master would never sell her boy down the river, separating them. This was obviously done secretly... and the book tells of everything that follows.
This is a very short book - probably technically considered a novella - but it doesn't read that way. I am a pretty quick reader, but I still spent more time than I expected to with this one and am happy for that. Twain writes in such a way that you really don't want to miss a sarcastic or ironic remark, and you want to kind of revel in his blatant social commentary and criticism. It really is fun to read, lots of fun quotes to enjoy, and a perfectly ironic ending (that does happen kind of quickly) and all of it about the ridiculousness of racism and prejudice.
by Mark Twain
Dover Thrift Edition (unabridged), 1999. First Published 1894.
Source: Purchased Used
Link to Amazon:
Pudd'nhead Wilson (Dover Thrift Editions)