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The Portable Mark Twain (2004)

The Portable Mark Twain (2004)
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4.13 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
0142437751 (ISBN13: 9780142437759)
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English
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penguin books
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The Portable Mark Twain (2004)
The Portable Mark Twain (2004)

About book: Cannibalism in The Cars by Mark TwainCan you combine horror, cannibalism and…humor? Looking at the title, we must expect ghastly, descriptions of gore, humans at their worst.But the name of the author suggests another approach, as we wouldn’t expect the author of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Jumping Frog and other humorous tales to engage in a saga of blood and humans eating men’s flesh.The story begins with an innocent, if puzzling introduction, with some talk on political activities, which engage the attention of a character who stars his story within the story-A group of politicians had been travelling on a train, in the winter snow. They get stuck and this is where their ordeal starts. They spend days in the snow, without food- the snow provides them with water.As in other stories we have read or seen as films, the issue of eating one of them arises. The fact is that now we get such stories in the news, albeit not every day, there are few people eating each other literally. Figuratively speaking, the Russians are eating up the Ukraine, slowly and with its supposedly willing Russian speaking militias.There is the infamous case of the South American airline which crashed in the mountains with a group of survivors having to eat human flesh to survive. In that case the people eaten had been dead, killed by the crash and their flesh helped the surviving party to come back home alive, over the mountains and after a very tough journey.The politicians make their death game funny by turning the “election” of breakfast and supper into an uproarious enterprise with votes, expression of fondness for the good bodily weight of one and disillusion of the apparent toughness of the meat on the bones of another.The narrator expresses delight at the meal made from one colleague and disappointment at the taste of some other congressman. We are both repelled and entertained by this “Hunger Game”.It was puzzling to read about them repeating so often and cooking so many of them. I expected a brake of at least a few days between sacrifices, but once started the culinary show went on uninterrupted. Or didn’t it?There are some issues which cast some doubt, but I will not talk about what happens towards the end, only to say that the finale is entertaining and in a degree surprising.It is an impressive feat to be both hilarious and scary. It happens in this very short saga, without the popular vampires of today.
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