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Month in review

Reviews:
The Altman Code by Gayle Lynds
The Art World Dream by Eric Rudd
The Autobiography of Malcolm X retold by Alex Haley
Bare by Elisabeth Eaves
Being Committed by Anna Maxted
Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K Dick
Giorgio by Anita Benarde
GIS: Socioeconimic Applications by David Martin
Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood
Headache Relief for Women by Alan M. Rapoport and Fred D. Sheftell
Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
In the Beginning... Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson
The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
The Mother's Recompense by Edith Wharton
Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann
Mrs. P's Journey by Sarah Hartley
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
Sacred Flowers by Roni Jay
Sacred Symbols: Ancient Egypt by Thames & Hudson
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Spooky California by S. E. Schlosser
Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Ward No. Six by Anton Chekov

Miscellaneous
Baby Teeth and Eating
Dinner with Sean
Eight Facts About Me
Eight Months Old
Happy Monkey's Day
Harriet at 8 1/2 Months
Heat Wave
Ian's Teeth
Maxine Runs Cold
Maxine Runs Hot
New Jeans
New Postal Rates
No Swimming and Other Stuff
Swimming
Swimming Again
Toast
The Wooden Spoon

Vacation
Traffic
South Pasadena

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8


Comments for Pudd'nhead Wilson

Sixteen Short NovelsPudd'nhead Wilson: 05/08/07

I picked up Sixteen Short Novels at the September BookCrossing meeting last year. Yes; I went a week postpartum and Harriet went too. My goal is to read and review each of these short novels but if I do it all at once I'll only get this one massive book read for quite some time. Instead, I'll concentrate on each novel separately and count each one as its own book just as I did for the four novellas in Four Past Midnight. At that rate I figure I can read about three of these short novels a month and I should have the book ready for release by Harriet's first birthday.

Mark Twain is one of my favorite authors but I am not overly fond of his southern dialect novels. In fact me least favorite of his works are Huckleberry Finn and Pudd'nhead Wilson. Both these books are important pieces of American literature and draw attention to underbelly of Southern society. But I still don't like them.

That being said, Puddin'head isn't the protagonist of the novel which bears his name. He is a stand in for Twain. He's the social bumpkin who refuses to take part in "polite" Southern society. He is the Greek chorus to this tragedy.

The actual protogranists are Tom and Chambers. They share the same birthday and are nearly identical. There's only one problem: Tom is white and Chambers is black (although he's light skinned enough to pass as white). In an act of deseperation to save her son from being "sold down the river", Chamber's mother (and Tom's wet nurse), switches her son for Tom (the master's son).

The rest of the book is the unfolding results of this initial switching. It's a story of nature vs. nurture. But this morality tale is sloppily and hastily written. While it avoids the heavy melodrama of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

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Comment #1: Thursday, May, 17, 2007 at 15:10:33

dew

"That's one of the most interesting takes on the book that I've seen. Neat insight!"



Comment #2: Thursday, May, 17, 2007 at 12:15:18

Pussreboots

"The meeting is only five (maybe eight) miles away. My husband did all the driving. I just had to sit and enjoy seeing my friends and of course showing off Harriet!"



Comment #3: Friday, May, 18, 2007 at 01:25:15

Michelle

"Really? Online since 1997? REALLY? That's got to be a record."



Comment #4: Thursday, May, 17, 2007 at 10:36:33

Pussreboots

"Yes indeed! August 2 will be my 10th anniversary. I've been doing web design since 1995 but have only had this site since 1997."