The Diaries of Adam and Eve

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Overview

This gloriously funny dialogue between the first man and woman is presented along with a number of other Twain pieces on Adam and Eve?including excerpts from his letters and diaries?as well as extracts from Eve?s autobiography. By giving a voice to Adam and Eve and hitting all the notes on the literary scale?from the intimate to the comical, from the journalistic to the idyllic?this classic volume displays the brilliance and wit for which Mark Twain is rightly considered one of ...

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The Diaries of Adam and Eve

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Overview

This gloriously funny dialogue between the first man and woman is presented along with a number of other Twain pieces on Adam and Eve—including excerpts from his letters and diaries—as well as extracts from Eve’s autobiography. By giving a voice to Adam and Eve and hitting all the notes on the literary scale—from the intimate to the comical, from the journalistic to the idyllic—this classic volume displays the brilliance and wit for which Mark Twain is rightly considered one of the greatest satirists of all time.

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Editorial Reviews

Brandon M. Stickney
If Adam could get Eve to stop talking for just one minute, he could appreciate her beauty and fall in love with her. So opens this curious set of intertwined diaries of Earth's first two human inhabitants as "translated" with humor, compassion and understanding by Twain. Written on and off in Twain's last years, the fascinating "Extracts from Adam's Diary" and "Eve's Diary" are combined here as a powerful and tender narrative exploring what it might have been like to be the first person(s) on the planet. Twain captures the silliness of the biblical concept with ease and broadens the story with the pair's dialogue and opinion - something left out by the writers of the Old Testament.
Eve and Adam couldn't be more different. Adam is a lazy lunkhead who's perfectly happy to live and not question anything. Eve, however, is scientific and considers herself "an experiment" placed on Earth by an unknown force. She pursues Adam with vigor, following him around the garden and thwarting his attempts to escape from her. "This new creature (Eve)," Adam relates, "is a good deal in the way. It is always hanging around and following me. I don't like this. I'm not used to company. I wish it would stay with the rest of the animals." She is trouble from the beginning. Eve enthusiastically involves herself in the lives of all the animals, including a talking snake she eagerly befriends. "She talks to it and it talks back. I can finally get some rest," Adam says, relieved. While Adam is away exploring one afternoon, he sees a field of peaceful animals suddenly turn on each other in battles to the death. He knows immediately what Eve has done back in the garden.
Eve contemplates her actions many years later, after the two have established a home and have had children. Their son Abel has died, which has left great a void for Eve, bringing her mind back to the day she sinned. She reflects, "We could not know it was wrong to disobey the command, for the words were strange to us and we did not understand them. We did not know right from wrong-how should we know? To punish us because we did not do as we were told-ah, how can that be justified?" The diaries are accompanied by biographical narration from celebrated newsman Walter Cronkite, who parallels Adam's expressions of love for Eve to Twain's love for his wife, Olivia Langdon. For Adam and Twain the company of both women was an inspiration and a security, just like being in Eden.
Foreword
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780965881159
  • Publisher: Fair Oaks Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 425,296
  • Product dimensions: 5.55 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835–1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, satirist, social critic, lecturer, and writer. Twain is most noted for his novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    READ IT!!! EXCELLENT BOOK!!!!

    This is one of the best stories by Mark Twain I've ever read.
    This is always my 'go to' book when I want a book that I can just fall into and forget about everything except laughing and enjoying myself.

    I have read this story (the Diary of Adam and Eve) at least 15 times and will likely read it at least 100 more in my life. :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2008

    The last great valentine gift of mankind

    To understand this book it is in the best interest of the reader to step away from the absolute destruction of Genesis and all the other biblical stories and read this from the point of view of the worst pick-up line ever uttered in a bar "If I was the last man on earth and you were the last women on earth, we would...". This book is what I consider the greatest valentine gift to ever give a women in you life. This book conveys the very essence of love from a totally brilliant man's point of view... Thank god for Sunday's, "I pulled through". I will mutter when laying in bed with my wife "whereever shall be Eve, shall be Eden", conveys a meaning of love that I cannot express in words, but as I gave this book to my wife when we were dating, she TOTALLY understands what I am meaning. When Eve gives her last statement, and if you are not feeling sentimental, I feel sorry for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2008

    A beautiful book for all Twain lovers to enjoy

    The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain is an enchanting account of a biblical tale told in the most non-biblical fashion imaginable. Twain inserts his unmistakable wit in a hilarious story, and throws the reader completely off guard in the friendliest way possible: he takes Adam, the lazy, boring male looking for relaxation and enjoyment and pairs him up with Eve, the inquisitive, curious girl who is searching constantly through her thoughts and is looking for a deep connection with Adam. There is a constant humorous interplay between the two figures, as Eve is constantly croaching upon Adam and dying to know whats going on in his mind, while Adam just wants a day off and wants Eve to stop nagging him. This book is also a touching love story. Adam and Eve find themselves to be the only human beings around, and are a constant symbol for the traits of a typical male-female relationship. There are countless misunderstandings through gender roles, and disagreements so big that they make the earth shake (quite literally, the disagreement over the apple did exactly that)...they even find a baby and have disagreements over him and what their goals are to nurse him. The book, in many ways, is also a comment on Mark Twain's perception of religion. He takes the very traditional and elemental story of Adam and Eve, the ultimate story of man and woman and their traditional places in society, and throws it out of proportion, making it funny, enjoyable, and truly as nonreligious as possible. Religion is scarcely mentioned in the book, if at all, which is one of the main reasons Mark Twain so daringly chose the topic of Adam and Eve to express his disinterest in religion. In fact, the characters, specifically Eve, question their existence and the perception of religion themselves, mostly substituting Mark Twain's own thoughts on the topic. Naturally, both the accounts of Adam and Eve are incredibly different, Adam's being a short, lazy description of his days in the Garden of Eden, and Eve's being a meticolously detailed description and fascination with the environment around her. However, despite the shocking differences between the two, the final conclusion of the book is one of complete and total love from both sides, closing the book in a wonderfully pleasant and heartwarming way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2007

    Amazing!

    An outstanding piece of literature written by Twain, creating believable points of view of Adam and Eve. I was put on an emotional roller coaster, laughing, crying, sympathizing and reasoning. I think this is a classic masterpiece one that should be a school requirement even! You will surely enjoy this quick read and soon be passing it along to others!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2007

    I had ...

    never even heard of the book before I saw it in the library. I got it and read it within a couple of hours. Amazing book. I love how Twain's mind works and how he understood the thinking of both men and women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2004

    huh.....never knew......

    Loved this audio book! Funny, Insightful, and enticing! This book held me captive and could not put it down for a second. Twains creativeness is awesome. At times, I'd forget Adam and Eve were the very first couple. Twain describes Eve, and all woman kind, wonderfully and to a T. An awareness came over me about how we (women) truly are. No mention of Gods scoldings or conversations with Adam and Eve. I would have liked to have heard HIS voice calling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2002

    classic

    This is a literary classic not to be missed. Easily read over just a few hours, it is delightful and thought provoking. A great introduction to Twain if you haven't read him before.

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    Posted November 20, 2008

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