Genre: American Novel

Published: 1894 - Read:

Pudd'nhead Wilson

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Pages: 368


Perhaps my favourite Twain novel, partly because I tend to go for the neglected works of an author. I first heart this read on the radio by Kerry Shale. He was brilliant and really bought the book to life. There is humour and pathos in this book, and as always with Twain life on the Mississippi River is the backdrop. Twain's satire pokes fun at everything from local politics, religion, and slavery and racism.

The book is set in the fictional town of Dawson's Landing on the Mississippi early in the 19th century. A young lawyer called David Wilson comes to town. An attempt at a witticism of his is misunderstood by the locals so that they all think he is an idiot ('pudd'nhead'). His collects fingerprints, which the townsfolk think very odd, and he taken for a simpleton and an eccentric. His law practice is shunned... The story that unfolds is entertaining and enthralling. It might even be claimed to be an early detective story.