am 27. Juni 1997
I hadn't realized what a thoughtful and unusual man Mark Twain was until I read this book. This is a beautifully written book that examines the questions that all thinking humans face concerning God, heaven, hell, etc. It's written with a story line, but that really is just a framework to explore some wonderful and terrible questions. This is a wonderfully painless way to read philosophy. It took a courageous man to write this and stray from the "accepted" philosophy. In this time when so many are required to prove how "God-fearing" they are, this book shows that there always have been, and always will be, questions about religion that disturb
am 20. Juli 1998
Aside from Twain's depiction of God as a malevolent and mischevious deity, the story illustrates Twain's pessimistic view of Christianity in general. There is much vitriol spilled - toward God - at the end of the work. Certainly the death of Twain's daughter had much to do with excentuating this antagonism towards God and religion. Mysterious Stranger, especially the chilling conclusion, is a disturbing tale - as Twain no doubt intended it to be. A worthwhile read but be prepared to have your religious moorings and faith shaken.
am 29. November 1999
This is one of the finest personal allegories I've ever read. I was struck by the literary quality of the work -- quality which wasn't sacrificed by a quantity of painful emotional content. The ending was NOT unhappy or cynical; it was an expression of an artist, an insightful social satirist trying to be honest enough to, at the end of his life, turn that insight onto himself. The result is astonishing, a powerful account of one man retrieving the disparate parts of his self after a life of physical and spiritual fragmentation.