John's Reviews > The Prince and the Pauper

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
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's review
Oct 07, 2011

liked it

Having thoroughly enjoyed both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, I don't know why it's taken me so long to read this - I suppose the slightly twee concept made me suspicious that it would be a disappointment.

What's most interesting is that Twain takes what is a hugely unlikely series of coincidences and fashions a pretty realistic narrative from it. He never ducks the absurdity of everyone falling for the swap - embraces it, in fact, and makes a point of how people see what they are expecting to see - and tells a story that is exciting enough for kids without making rational adults splutter too much about the implausibility of it all.

Having said that, some of the things that occur certainly WOULD have come down to us in history, so this cannot be passed off as a standard historical novel; best to treat it as an alternative history.

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