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Letters from the Earth

Narrated by: Carl Reiner
Length: 6 hrs and 31 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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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.

Public Domain (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 listeners say about Letters from the Earth

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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......

10 people found this 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.

5 people found this 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.

4 people found this 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!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-18

A perspective I didn't expect

a series of unconnected stories. By themselves they are interesting, as a collection it didn't work for me I have to say. most of the stories were unfinished and an editor used his notes to complete.

1 person found this 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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William J.
  • 31-07-20

BEST American writer of the last century.

I have never read anything by ****Sam***, that I didn't love! ****Mark Twain***give 'em Hell!

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  • david donovan
  • 30-12-19

Very Strange Book.

This is more an almost random collection of unfinished stories first published in 1962 and collected by Bernard DeVoto. Atheists would love the parts where Twain was making fun of the Bible and Religion. But... those parts were written in a personally “dark” period. And are only about half the volume. The remainder are parts of stories that nothing to do with each other.

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  • Martha Meyer
  • 08-10-19

The Unknown Mark Twain

Extraordinary and mind blowing ! still controversial after over one hundred years. try to find it at alibrary.

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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.