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Summary

Letters from the Earth is a collection of short stories written during a downtrodden period in Twain's life and published posthumously.

Here we see Twain on a somewhat personal level. Penniless and having just lost his wife and one of his children, Twain turns to writing about God, Christianity, and the many curious natures of man. This collection was so controversial that his daughter prohibited its publication until 52 years after his death.

(P)2009 Phoenix Audio

Critic reviews

The pages in this volume range from furious to funny, from deadly earnestness to frothy word-play." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
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  • Charles
  • 28-11-11

A must read for thinking people

Sam Clements didn't want people to read what he actually thought regarding some of the dearest ideas most of mankind hold close. At least he didn't want them read any time
near to when he passed.

It is hard to believe that this many years have gone by since he wrote this kind of material
and still people think he had a "negative attitude".

If one writes the obvious, and the obvious questions belief, where is the harm?

We have been programmed to accept what we have been told, and few are those that dare, or should I dare say, feel compelled to speak the obvious.

Thank God we had Mark Twain to speak for us......

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-16

Brilliant insights

I loved the religion-themed stories at the beginning. Truth! Risky blasphemy! The final story was too science-fictionesque for my taste. It was well-written, but not my thing. Overall, this book is evidence that Twain was at least one hundred years ahead of his time. An absolute genius.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • JRob
  • 21-02-16

Truly great stuff.

Brilliant and hilarious perspectives on humanity. I loved every bit, with the exception of the last story about the voyage in a drop of water. (That one kind of lost me.) But the rest of the content is an absolute must-read for everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Readin' and Rockin'
  • 24-02-15

Want To Read It, Too

A bit hard to follow when listening due to the nature of the work
Otherwise, wonderful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Catie Scarlette
  • 05-07-18

I don't get it and I'm sorry!

Let me first stay that the narration was very good and I'll look for more of it by Carl Reiner. That being said, and knowing that this was written at some very low times in Twain's life, it felt to me like nothing more than a rant against God. It was beautifully written and spoken, but a rant nonetheless.

I see that some reviewers have said they will try it again later, but I won't be doing that. I either didn't "get it" or did get it but didn't like it. SO sad about this because I LOVE all other of his work I have read/listened to.

If you don't want your bubble burst you will pass this one up. It has certainly not soured me on Twain and I will read him again, but not this. I knew him to be a skeptic before this, but this just wan't to my taste.

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  • Mrs. Jake
  • 14-03-18

Incomplete! Does not follow the book

This narration skips large portions. This is not "unabridged". narrator was fine. would not recommend this edition.

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  • the lenz
  • 04-07-17

More included than the title work, but no TOC

What made the experience of listening to Letters from the Earth the most enjoyable?

There is no table of contents so the reader does not know what is being read after "Letters from the Earth. Bad editing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Letters from the Earth?

When I no longer knew what was being read

Have you listened to any of Carl Reiner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He's an excellent reader.

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  • Bryan
  • 19-01-12

So rare for me not to get it but care about it

Without a doubt, the historical aspect is absolutely lost on me without being able to better reference the names by looking at them. That being said it is so easy to lose yourself as a passenger in the hangover of audiobook life and listen to the swashbuckling half-lives, as it were, toward the end. Mean to better reference the names by way of Wikipedia or some such internet, but holding off listening to it a few more times to see if there isn't any interpretive static I can't lick off some futuristic headache in trying.
Listening about the devil's free time can be like that.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful