Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Twain loved to put sugar coatings on very bitter pills" -- Kurt Vonnegut.

Like its subject, Ron Powers' Mark Twain: A Life is funny, smart, and ultimately tragic. Twain's greatest ambition was to be a Baptist minister -- "I had everything required," he liked to say, "except faith." And yes, one of his closest friends was a pastor.

But losing a brother in a steamboat accident made him bitter -- and when people told him how "providential" it was that he'd escaped himself . . . well, it didn't help.

Then his wife died.

And two of his three daughters.

As a result, the man who wanted to be a minister ended up writing an extended apology for Satan

No, this is not a faith-building book --just the opposite. But it's honest. It's funny. And as pastors, maybe we can learn something from it.

Click on the title of this post to order this book from Powell's.

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