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The Diaries of Adam and Eve: Translated by Mark Twain Hardcover – March 1, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Although the original appearance of this material didn't attract much positive attention, this edition is proof that another look is more than warranted. For many readers familiar only with Twain's tales about mischievous boys or cranky vernacular characters, this work--one of the great love stories of all time--will come as a real surprise. Whether you're interested in Twain or not, if your heart hasn't atrophied, you will love The Diaries of Adam and Eve. . . . In this affecting book, Twain manages to indulge sentiment--personal and cultural--without succumbing to what Huck calls "soulbutter and hogwash." Twain has given the book to us. Give it to someone you love -- Larry Howe, Mark Twain Forum, April 15, 1998

Though many speculate that Eve's voice was Twain's eulogy to his beloved wife, Livy, the Diaries nevertheless contribute something universal to readers. . . . a truly noble treatment of gender and consequence -- Inside Pages, Spring 1998

From the Publisher

The Diaries--written near the end of Mark Twain's life and career--are perhaps his wisest, most personal works. The wry humor we expect is matched by a heartbreaking tenderness found nowhere else in his writings. And it was only in Eve that Twain ever wrote from a woman's viewpoint. An afterword details Twain's fascination with Adam and the parallels between his own marriage and Adam and Eve as depicted in the Diaries.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Fair Oaks Press; Expanded edition (March 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965881199
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965881197
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Twain (1835-1910) was an American humorist, satirist, social critic, lecturer and novelist. He is mostly remembered for his classic novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

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Customer Reviews

It is short, entertaining, witty, and beautifully portreyed.
J.D.M
It is also very insightful into the differences between men and women and how differently they are created.
Christine
There are earlier versions that were published in serial format and are also worth reading.
dcf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Paul Miller on October 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Twain long had an interest in Adam and Eve. His renewed focus on Adam and Eve in 1893 was touched off by his writing calendar maxims for Pudd'nhead Wilson, in which the Edenic couple appear. After that novel, he began Extracts from Adam's Diary, and followed that with Eve's Diary. Now Don E. Roberts has collected these writings along with four others by Twain that concern the Edenic pair in one narrative. For many readers familiar only with Twain's tales about mischievous boys or cranky characters, this work, one of the great love stories of all time, will come as a real surprise. Whether you're interested in Twain or not, if your heart hasn't atrophied, you will love The Diaries of Adam and Eve. Roberts's profound love of the art of the book is evident in every detail, from the illustrated dust jacket, which features a rare 1902 Thomas Marr photograph of Twain at Quarry Farm on the back; to the Smythe sewn binding in gold-stamped Kennett cloth; to the high-quality printing on acid-free paper; to the eight beautiful illustrations commissioned specifically for this volume. I have the book and the CD. If you are just going to get one I would suggest the CD because of Betty Buckley's superb performance reading Eve's part. Twain translated Eve as saying "a loving good heart is riches, and riches enough". After reading this fine volume I'm inclined to agree with her.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kristen A. Criado on December 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Diaries of Adam & Eve is an incredible representation of both sides of Mark Twain. The cynical side that most people seem to know, as well as a softer side that has largely been kept hidden.
From the unflinching stubborn "maleness" of Adam to the innocent yet knowing Eve, this book is an amazing testement of Twain's love for his ailing wife. It was her persuasion that led him to write the sweetly naive character of Eve. The gentleness of the work is very touching and may be a surprise for people who think that Twain was just a tetchy grown-up Tom Sawyer. Adam and Eve both have equal say in various "experiments" in their new world and their wonderful differing interpretations of shared events make the characters pop off of the page and into your soul.
I would also recommend the audio version of this book as read by Mandy Patinkin, Betty Buckley, and Walter Cronkite. The true musical nature of the text and the spirit of Twain's words really come to life in a spoken format and may move you to tears.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Volkert Volkersz on March 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Although Mark Twain uses the story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis as the framework for these "diaries," the biblical couple and his are two entirely different stories. Having said that, Twain's version is such a touching love story, especially as it is rendered in this recording, it is worth hearing (or reading) without making any comparisons to the first Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
I mention this because a high school student recently inquired with me about Twain's views on religion, and thought that these diaries might shed some light in his beliefs. While I encouraged her to read or listen to Twain's account, simply because of the beauty of the story, I don't think they shed much light on Twain's religious views.
I did find it interesting that Twain's Adam and Eve barely mention God at all. Perhaps that is a notable observation on his views of religion after all.
Twain's tender observations on the nature of men, women and love is what makes this a moving tale. Walter Cronkite's commentary at the end makes one appreciate the story even more.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"The Diaries of Adam and Eve" is a sweet, humorous and romantic piece and it had me laughing out loud one minute.......and crying the next. Mandy Patinkin and Betty Buckley are outstanding in their "reading" of Twain's words; actually, it's more a theatrical performance than a simple reading. Their expressive voices give life to Adam and Eve and provide us with complex characters full of wonder, innocence, wisdom, joy, and sorrow. There are so many wonderful passages throughout this book that I find something new to marvel at each time I listen. This recording will touch your heart.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Rasanen on April 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Even Mark Twain's ephemera charms. This well edited collection of separately written pieces creates the whole that Twain himself might have made. It features his most insightful depiction of a female persona, Eve, who is the one truly engaged protagonist in this glimpse into Eden. She is the seeker, the thinker, and the emotionally active partner -- in short, the whole person. It is no wonder that Eve names the animals and discovers fire, while Adam lolls in a tree and complains about her talkativeness. He is remarkably complacent for a miracle of creation. Twain imaginatively and humorously evokes the naivete and sense of wonder of these two innocents as they discover the world and each other -- learn, even, to recognize that they are human. The fact that God is just a voice, mentioned once or twice, and the Fall is the unfortunate incident that changes their lives demonstrates that Twain was not interested in a religious parable. These diaries are his reflection on the nature of male and female personalities and the bond that draws and keeps men and women together. Though it feels somewhat incomplete, the book is an enjoyable quick read. The editor's afterword recounts the history of these writings and connects the diaries to the author's own personal life, affirming its very personal nature. This is a lovely book to give to an engaged couple, a married couple, or anyone who enjoys Mark Twain's unique genius.
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