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The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg (The Art of the Novella) Paperback – October 1, 2007
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—Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer
—Time Out London
"[F]irst-rate…astutely selected and attractively packaged…indisputably great works."
—Adam Begley, The New York Observer
"I’ve always been haunted by Bartleby, the proto-slacker. But it’s the handsomely minimalist cover of the Melville House edition that gets me here, one of many in the small publisher’s fine 'Art of the Novella' series."
—The New Yorker
"The Art of the Novella series is sort of an anti-Kindle. What these singular, distinctive titles celebrate is book-ness. They're slim enough to be portable but showy enough to be conspicuously consumed—tiny little objects that demand to be loved for the commodities they are."
—KQED (NPR San Francisco)
"Some like it short, and if you're one of them, Melville House, an independent publisher based in Brooklyn, has a line of books for you... elegant-looking paperback editions ...a good read in a small package."
—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
In demand, Twain wrote prolifically and lectured far and wide. He also founded a publishing house, publishing the memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. But when an investment in an early typewriter failed, he fled the U.S. for Europe—a trip that saw the death of his daughter. His wife died soon thereafter. Twain overcame his financial troubles, but not the loss of his loved ones, and his last writings were dark works stretching beyond his homespun narrative to fantasy, science fiction, and scathing political commentary. He died in 1910.
Top Customer Reviews
Like most great works, "The Man" is many things and works on many levels. Nearly everyone can enjoy it, not least because it has an excellent premise that pulls us in immediately and keeps us intensely focused until the last word. Few works have a more intriguing central mystery or are as supremely suspenseful.
More importantly, Twain is one of very few artists who can write this engagingly while having very meaningful - and even didactic - themes, and this is an exemplar. The story is a bitter human nature denunciation; Twain mercilessly tears into moral weakness, hypocrisy, greed, and other detestable qualities with a tent evangelist's fire. Few works are more thoroughly or persuasively misanthropic; anyone with a positive view of human nature going into the story can hardly have one afterward. The blow is so crushing that it is almost painful to read - but we keep reading because the writing is so interesting. The extreme heavy-handedness means this is far from Twain's greatest work in the purely artistic sense, but its eternally relevant message is undeniable and should not be ignored.
The story is well worth reading in itself, but the fact that it is in many collections - such as The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain - makes a standalone hard to justify. The important thing at any rate is to get it in some form.