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Extended Audio Sample The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories Audiobook, by Mark Twain Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 54.03 out of 5 4.03 (39 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Twain Narrator: Jonathan Kent Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2009 ISBN: 9781400179220
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“The Mysterious Stranger,” Mark Twain’s fantastical last novelette, took him twelve years—and three long drafts—to complete. Based on boyhood memories of the Mississippi River Valley and of the print shops of Hannibal, the story is set in medieval Austria at the dawn of the printing craft. It is a psychic adventure, full of phantasmagoric effects, in which a penniless printer’s apprentice—a youthful, mysterious stranger with the curious name 44—gradually reveals his otherworldly powers and the hidden possibilities of the mind. Ending on a startling note, this surprisingly existential tale reveals a darker side to the author’s genius.

“The Mysterious Stranger” is a rarity in the work of Twain—a story in which the author turns his sardonic, free-wheeling wit to the problem of Eternal Evil in a distant time and place. In the other stories presented here, Twain debunks his Gilded Age; he ransacks the backyards of daily life and fable to find his notorious, sometimes preposterous metaphors. He is as apt to deal with the great minds of the law hunting a wayward elephant as with a man who has a bank note no one can cash.

In addition to “The Mysterious Stranger,” this volume includes

  • “The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg,”
  • “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,”
  • “The Story of the Bad Little Boy,”
  • “The Diary of Adam and Eve,”
  • “Edward Mills and George Benton,”
  • “The Joke That Made Ed’s Fortune,” and
  • “A Fable.”
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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 2/19/2014

    " The first thing Missouri ever gave me...well other than the chlymadia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lis | 2/12/2014

    " collection of short stories. mark twain can really tell some stories. some were quick, a few ended real quick, and a few had a theme of favoring death over life's sufferings. overall, of course, mark twain hardly disappoints. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 R. Joy Helvie | 2/10/2014

    " Only giving it 3 stars 'cause it includes the improper version of "Mysterious Stranger." Everything else is amazing, but of course it's Mark Twain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tommy | 2/9/2014

    " I liked it. The 3 short stories were interesting, with "the 1,000,000 bank note" the one I preferred. The longer final story was much better and a dark critique of humanity. I found it intriguing, though the ending closed the story rather quickly and in a way that I found less then satisfying. I'd recommend "The Mysterious Stranger". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucky | 2/4/2014

    " I really like Mark Twain "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie Lowenthal | 1/22/2014

    " The Mysterious Stranger is a morality tale of sorts that has taken up permanent residence in my semi-consciousness.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 1/20/2014

    " The Mysterious Stranger is singularly absent of Twain's usual humor, but his wonderful ability to alter the reader's perspective in areas previously taken for granted, such as one's views on good and evil, is patently present. The "other stories" fortunately were humorous and lighthearted and went a long way to lifting the depressions of the Mysterious Stranger. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie Lisle | 1/5/2014

    " A wonderful sample of Mark Twain's satire in the form of short stories. A little dark and a little humorous - a must read for any serious fan of Mark Twain! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tree | 1/4/2014

    " Guess there are two versions of this book. I read the one where Satan is one of the main characters. I really enjoyed reading this short story except for the very last chapter (which is only 2-3 pages). I felt like it was rushed and way out of context with the rest of the story. However, I heard that book was never really completed or something... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Johnson Caucci | 1/2/2014

    " Come on! This man's genius is unparalleled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Johnson Caucci | 12/18/2013

    " Come on! This man's genius is unparalleled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellie Lowenthal | 12/14/2013

    " The Mysterious Stranger is a morality tale of sorts that has taken up permanent residence in my semi-consciousness.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 12/7/2013

    " I was surprised by this -being that it was written by Mark Twain. Different and deeper for him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lucky | 11/20/2013

    " I really like Mark Twain "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian L. | 11/5/2013

    " Who am I to judge Twain? It reminded me how Twain's style will never grow old. This novella aptly combines he's talent for wit and drama. I'm recommending it to all my friends. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 R. Joy Helvie | 11/5/2013

    " Only giving it 3 stars 'cause it includes the improper version of "Mysterious Stranger." Everything else is amazing, but of course it's Mark Twain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mainrun | 10/24/2013

    " This has been my "in between" book. If I finish a book but don't get to the library to check out the next one this is the book I would read. I am not a big fan of short stories but this wasn't too bad. Around 12/25/210 (CHRISTMAS!) decided to finish th "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 10/21/2013

    " A novelette that is very different from Twain's more popular works. Twain plays with some philosophical and religious views that makes for some entertaining dark humor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 jamie | 10/19/2013

    " My favorite of Twain's works so far. i've read huck fin, tom sawyer, diary of adam and eve, on the decay of the art of lying, but this story is his most imaginative, insightful and cynical. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 7/24/2013

    " I felt guilty for never reading anything written by Mark Twain but then I came across this for free on my iBooks so I couldn't go wrong. And I didn't; he is an amazing author and his writing is extremely compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyler | 7/16/2013

    " I felt guilty for never reading anything written by Mark Twain but then I came across this for free on my iBooks so I couldn't go wrong. And I didn't; he is an amazing author and his writing is extremely compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misty Moseley-Helber | 2/10/2013

    " I found some of the stories boring and senseless, some morbid and sad (I really hated "A Dog's Tale") but most were thought provoking. However, the whole book is worth plowing through to get to "The Mysterious Stranger". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marman | 1/17/2013

    " I really enjoyed this even though I found out later that it is not the version that Mark Twain intended to be published. The commentary about the "Moral sense" I thought was quite intriguing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher Roberts | 12/18/2012

    " I almost gave this five stars but a couple of the stories seemed flat to me and the novella The Mysterious Stranger is obviously an unfinished work. Still, you get some of Twain's best work here. The Five Boons of Life, is wonderfully cynical and one of my favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mainrun | 11/18/2012

    " This has been my "in between" book. If I finish a book but don't get to the library to check out the next one this is the book I would read. I am not a big fan of short stories but this wasn't too bad. Around 12/25/210 (CHRISTMAS!) decided to finish th "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 11/1/2012

    " I was surprised by this -being that it was written by Mark Twain. Different and deeper for him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 jamie | 10/21/2012

    " My favorite of Twain's works so far. i've read huck fin, tom sawyer, diary of adam and eve, on the decay of the art of lying, but this story is his most imaginative, insightful and cynical. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 8/21/2012

    " A novelette that is very different from Twain's more popular works. Twain plays with some philosophical and religious views that makes for some entertaining dark humor. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian L. | 8/18/2012

    " Who am I to judge Twain? It reminded me how Twain's style will never grow old. This novella aptly combines he's talent for wit and drama. I'm recommending it to all my friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wes Weinhold | 7/31/2012

    " what is reality? what do the neughbors think? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 6/21/2012

    " The first thing Missouri ever gave me...well other than the chlymadia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lis | 6/26/2011

    " collection of short stories. mark twain can really tell some stories. some were quick, a few ended real quick, and a few had a theme of favoring death over life's sufferings. overall, of course, mark twain hardly disappoints. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lis | 12/28/2010

    " collection of short stories. mark twain can really tell some stories. some were quick, a few ended real quick, and a few had a theme of favoring death over life's sufferings. overall, of course, mark twain hardly disappoints. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 12/22/2010

    " The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County - 2 stars
    The 1,000,000 Pound Bank Note - 3 stars
    The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg - 2 stars
    The Mysterious Stranger - 0 stars "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 9/25/2010

    " Twain is one of my favorite writers,
    some of his full length books are my all
    time favorites. But these stories
    for the most part did not do it for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 2/24/2010

    " MOre Read book 2010

    Collection of Twain's short stories. The title story is almost sort of a combination of the Screwtape Letters and Huckleberry Finn. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 12/29/2009

    " A varied selection of stories. I feel these are more interesting as a window into Twain's mind than as stand-alone stories. The only one I really loved was "The £1,000,000 Bank-Note," and that's probably because I'm a sucker for fairytales! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg | 9/22/2009

    " Someone left this at my bookstore so I took it home. It was listed by Vonnegut as one of his favorite collections of Twain because he wrote it when he was older and his sense of humor became darker.

    I read it when I pooh. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hannah | 5/21/2009

    " I would force everyone to read this if i could. A must is the Mysterious Stranger. "

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About the Author
Author Mark Twain

Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel L. Clemens (1835–1910), was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. He attended school briefly and then at age thirteen became a full-time apprentice to a local printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal Journal, Samuel became a compositor for that paper and then, for a time, an itinerant printer. With a commission to write comic travel letters, he traveled down the Mississippi. Smitten with the riverboat life, he signed on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot. After 1859, he became a licensed pilot, but two years later the Civil War put an end to the steam-boat traffic.

In 1861, he and his brother traveled to the Nevada Territory where Samuel became a writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and there, on February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous account with the pseudonym Mark Twain. The name was a river man’s term for water “two fathoms deep” and thus just barely safe for navigation.

In 1870 Twain married and moved with his wife to Hartford, Connecticut. He became a highly successful lecturer in the United States and England, and he continued to write.

About the Narrator

Jonathan Kent is a published narrator of children’s books. Some of his narrated works include Aesop’s Fables, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and White Fang.