First off, happy new year all. I hope your year started off on the right foot. For our first blog post of 2015 we’ll be looking at a rather strange little book called The Diaries of Adam and Eve which is “translated” by Mark Twain.
Yes, Mark Twain is saying that he translated diaries that Adam and Eve wrote despite a whole slew of things that point out that that would’ve been impossible. Well, literature and all that.
As the tittle says, these are diary entries “written” by Adam and Eve. Mostly Eve because Adam apparently didn’t have much to say. This may have to do with the fact that Twain wrote a whole bunch of entries from both and this edition (FairOaks Press) only has a select few. The few that are included here are, sadly, not very interesting.
You see, there are plenty of books written in diary form that are worth reading. Dracula and Go Ask Alice are the most obvious examples. Hell, if you want a non-fiction example, The Diary of Anne Frank. These are great examples because what happens to the people writing them are interesting. Hell, Anne writing about what amounts to her dirty thoughts is fun to read.
That’s what Twain fails to do here. Eve reads like the typical 19th century not very bright woman. Hell, Twain even makes her say that she is not very strong or smart for that matter. This is despite the fact that Eve names all the animals and things. If Twain was going for childish curiosity them, in a way, he did succeed.
Adam on the other hand is the typical male brute. He thinks more with his muscles than with his brain. And that’s all we know about him.
That’s another problem: Yes, these are characters based on biblical icons, but you can still give them more personality than a wet noodle. Both characters are just boring and uninteresting.
There are some crazy things that Twain puts in that are obviously his beliefs. One, he agrees with the biblical scholars who say that Adam and Eve had more than two kids. In fact, he says they had nine kids. He also bashes the bible saying that there was no way for Adam and Eve to know that eating the apple would’ve had bad results. He claims that if God gave them that knowledge first they wouldn’t have done it. It’s like telling a little kid not to do something because it’s bad without telling him why.
Oh, and Twain believes that Adam is still alive today despite the fact that the bible says he died at around 900.
Does this book have any literary merit to it besides being written by Mark Twain? Not really. Yes, it is one of the first Adam and Eve stories, but it reads more like 19th century fan fiction than anything else. In fact, this has to quite possibly be the worst thing Twain has ever written.
Yes, I said it: Twain wrote a book that sucked. Hate me all you want, but the fact of the matter is you’re better reading the required school reading Twain books ( Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.) Hell, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is worth looking at.
In all, skip this book and read Twain’s other books. It’s not even worth looking at if you’re a religious scholar or even a Twain fan.