Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #120 - The Prince and the Pauper

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

Perhaps when the story was written it was original in it's premise but I feel it may have been over used in today's society. The basic plot is that a pauper dreams of seeing the prince one day, they meet, exchange clothes and find out they are identical. So much so that no one can tell the difference. The majority of the story then follows the prince as he tries to make his way back to the throne. I thought the story was enjoyable and short enough for a rather simple premise. However, I was disappointed by the end. I felt that the prince had built up some really great grudges by the end of the story and I couldn't wait to see what happened to those people but it was just written off with a few lines. I am also not sure what it is about Twain's writing and his "legacy" but I feel that none of his stories (at least the ones I have read) possess the wit that is supposed to be a hallmark of Mark Twain. The book was well written and fun but I was expecting something a little more clever witted/ humorous. Another problem I had with his writing was that in times when he would simulate a "historical observation" the text was rather dense and confusing to the point that I had a tendency to skim over those parts because I couldn't quite follow what was going on. On a whole, this was a nice, quick, enjoyable story but not one I would call one of Twain's best.

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