Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894)

Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the wellspring of the American vernacular novel; as a result, Twain is sometimes cited as the father of the hardboiled novel—never mind the fact that there’s nothing much hardboiled about Huck Finn, especially by the time that you reach its famously weak ending. Much darker, though less vernacular, is a later Twain work, Pudd’nhead Wilson, whose laughs counterbalance the book’s ultimately noir impulse. Grade: A-

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