The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories

The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories

Streaming Audiobook - 2009
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This delightful collection of lesser-known gems by Mark Twain begins with the story of a town called Hadleyburg, which prides itself on the honesty of its citizens. One day a citizen of Hadleyburg offends a stranger passing through, who vows to take his revenge by revealing just how corruptible the sanctimonious town really is. Twain is at his best here, poking fun at common hypocrisy as the self-satisfied pillars of the community are done in by their own greed. Other stories in the collection include: ?The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,? ?The One Million Pound Bank Note,? ?Edward Mills and George Benton: A Tale,? ?The Stolen White Elephant,? ?Cannibalism in the Cars,? ?The Man Who Put Up at Gadsby's,? ?The Story of the Good Little Boy,? ?The Story of the Bad Little Boy,? ?Baker's Blue Jay Yarn: What Stumped the Blue Jays,? and ?A Double Barreled Detective Story.?
Publisher: [United States] : Blackstone Audio, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2009
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781433298660
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (7hr., 42 min.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: Cast, A Full
hoopla digital

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Jun 26, 2014

I've never been a fan of Twain's fiction prose, and these short stories -- most of which I hadn't come across before -- didn't change my mind. I suppose the old South folksy, archaic language structure and matching "good ol' boys" plotlines are supposed to be charming, yet rebellious. Twain appears to be attempting to subtly challenge existing social mores, but in an indirect way. Here's the thing: In 2014, it doesn't work. It comes across as manipulative. And tedious. There's still some good to be had here though. The final track -- ''A double barreled detective story" -- while suffering from some of the faults mentioned, features Sherlock Holmes and is still a pretty good story and worth a listen. The "Hadleyburg" story has some interesting plot ideas too, but it drags on far too long. If you want to experience Mark Twain at his best, my recommendation is to stick to his non-fiction work. His book "Roughing It" for example -- about his 1860's stagecoach journey across the old West to Virginia City and the San Francisco -- is Twain at his most brilliant.


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