Letters from the Earth
by Mark Twain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Letters from the Earth / 0-06-092105-6
Whatever else may be said about Twain, it cannot be denied that the man had a biting satirical sense of the foolish and he displays his wit most superbly in this posthumous collection of his musings.
The religious commentary here is biting and is worthy of a place next to Russell. Twain alternately employs his cutting wit to the foolishness of certain beliefs (most men desire sex to the point of risking heaven to achieve it, yet they imagine a heaven - the most wonderful place possible - as a place with no sex; most men prefer never to sing and never ever to sing in public, yet they imagine a heaven of ceaseless, eternal singing; etc.) and his scathing moral outrage to other points of conflict in the Old Testament (Twain particularly cuts on the passages encouraging genocide, rape, and particularly violent rape).
This collection isn't just limited to religious commentary - one of the best bits involve a Manners Manual detailing the 'proper' way to rescue people from a burning building, including the appropriate order to help rescue them (Mother-in-laws are last on the list). If you ever needed to know the 'appropriate' manner in which to propose to a beautiful young lady whilst rescuing her from a fiery conflagration, Twain is here to help!
~ Ana Mardoll
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