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The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories

By: Mark Twain

"The Mysterious Stranger" is a very odd story. Satan (or, at least his minion nephew, a surrogate dark angel as presented here) is more or less the hero; humankind and religion come in for a deserved blistering drubbing for the race's cruelty, ignorance and hypocrisy. The story takes place in Austria in 1590; it's told from the viewpoint of a boy (actually a grown man reminiscing), who along with his friends are dazzled by and befriended by Satan; they come to realize that Satan is more an observer and agent than a purposely malicious being - sort of the way predators are in the wild. It is only man who preaches morality and in the same breath commits malicious, sadistic cruelty with relish.

The Mysterious Stranger is a novel attempted by the American author Mark Twain. He worked on it intermittently from 1897 through 1908. Twain wrote multiple versions of the story; each involves a supernatural character called "Satan" or "No. 44". All the versions remained unfinished (with the debatable exception of the last one, No. 44, the Mysterious Stranger).

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Mark Twain

United States

Twain was fascinated with science and scientific inquiry. He developed a close and lasting friendship with Nikola Tesla, and the two spent much time together in Tesla's laboratory. Twain patented thre...

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