This is one of those £1 Penguin classics, that offer a cheap chance to read classic authors without having to commit to read an entire book. I’m not sure it entirely works however. This was my first Mark Twain, and I didn’t find it particularly mind blowing, but maybe you need to sit down with a novel of his to ‘get’ him?
The Stolen White Elephant is the main and best story in this little collection, with a couple of others just there to fill up the extra space I think. The Stolen White Elephant is the story told by a man who was to deliver a gift of the eponymous white elephant from the King of Siam to the Queen of England- because that’s how things worked back then I guess….
Twain is renowned as a ‘humorist’ which is an interesting tag, not funny but humorous…There was only one exchange really that seemed amusing to me:
‘He would not care if they were fresh of not; at a single meal he would eat five ordinary men.’
‘Very good; five men; we will put that down. What nationalities would he prefer?’
‘He is indifferent about nationalities. He prefers acquaintances, but is not prejudiced against strangers.’