Book Review: The Diaries of Adam and Eve – by Mark Twain

The Diaries of Adam and Eve is a classic by a classic writer. I would never have thought of picking it up had it not been for Wolfgang’s recommendation:

Kennst Du das “Tagebuch von Adam und Eva” von Mark Twain (Diary of Adam and Eve)? Herrlich! Weltklasse! Diesmal keine Übertreibung!

[Do you know the “Diaries of Adam and Eve” by Mark Twain? Glorious! Worldclass! This time no hyperbole!]

So I picked up the book. It’s a very short book and a quick read.

Adam comes back from a tracking trip near Niagara Falls and is baffled by the presence of another creature that suddenly appeared in his life and won’t stop chattering – Eve. Then eventually, we get to read Eve’s point of view, which is entirely different than that from Adam’s. When they get expelled from paradise, they end up in Tonawanda – or something like that. Then the first baby comes along, and Adam thinks it’s a fish at first, then a bear, and it takes him a very long time to figure out Cain is a little human.

This book is a classic, written by a master. I love Mark Twain’s writing. But I could not make sense of The Diaries. I absolutely do not know what to do with it. The story is puerile. Perhaps he wrote it for youth and their amusement. I can’t tell if the whole thing is supposed to be a fable, or sarcasm, a parody, or just pure fun. To me, it’s none of the above. To me, it was just silly.

I have a hard time rating a book by one of America’s great writers poorly, but honestly, I don’t know what to do with The Diaries of Adam and Eve. I can’t, in good conscience, recommend that anyone bother to read it.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Diaries of Adam and Eve – by Mark Twain

  1. barbara carlson

    Anything to do with Adam and Eve is silly. Saw this today on God in Retrograde site —

    If evolution is true, the creation story is a myth.

    If it’s a myth, Adam and Eve never existed.

    If Eve didn’t exist, she never ate the forbidden fruit
    which caused original sin.

    No original sin, no reason for Jesus to be sent to die on the cross.

    No Jesus = no Christianity.

    but science and faith are still compatible, right?

    1. Well, it’s fiction, so it’s ok. Rabbits talk in Watership Down, and that’s a great book. Read Illusions by Richard Bach. It’s a book about Jesus (or the Messiah). I am not religious, but I loved that book. So just because Adam and Eve never existed does not mean that Twain’s book can’t be a classic. Well, it is a classic. It just happens to be one that I didn’t connect with – and it was not due to the subject matter.

      1. barbara carlson

        Of course I agree — but just thought I’d bung in that quote about them from an amusing site. Stay crispy.

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