Posted in Short Stories

Mark Twain’s “A Dying Man’s Confession”

We were approaching Napoleon, Arkansas. So I began to think about my errand there. Time, noonday; and bright and sunny. This was bad – not best, anyway; for mine was not (preferably) a noonday kind of errand.


This no longer comes as a shock but Mark Twain’s short story “A Dying Man’s Confession” is a story within a story within a story.

We have murder and revenge, creepy morgue-like settings along with con-men and swindlers.  I have to question Twain’s choice of titles from time to time but I love the brilliant understatement of this one.

While Twain doesn’t shy away from using ghosts and death in his stories usually they appear in a more satirical fashion. In parts of this story, it’s actually scary. He can give Poe and Hawthorne a run for their money.

2 thoughts on “Mark Twain’s “A Dying Man’s Confession”

  1. Loving all the Twain lately! My Rathskeller book club is reading Innocents Abroad for our 8/10 meeting, and several of us also attended a screening (during the Indy Film Fest) of “Dreamland” dealing with the same journey that Twain chronicles in Innocents. ( )

    One of my Vonnegut Library Book Club colleagues also wrote a book about Twain’s later life & she’s coming to our meeting too.

    1. I have Innocents Abroad and Life on the Mississippi on my shelf. They’ve been there for a long time. I remember buying them at the Indianapolis downtown Borders (I miss that place). Still haven’t read them, though. If I make it through all of Twain’s short stories this year, Those will have to be at the top of my list for next year.

      The film sounds awesome!

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