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While less familiar to Mark Twain fans than Tom Sawyer, Connecticut Yankee, or Huckleberry Finn, The American Claimant is a delightful tale, told with Mark Twain's trademark American humor, his biting social satire, and his well-drawn characters.
Narrated by American actor and Mark Twain interpreter Richard Henzel, whose "Mark Twain In Person" has been seen over a thousand times in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain.
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By Tad Davis on 10-10-11
Colonel Sellers lives again!
This is a sequel (of sorts) to Twain's novel "The Gilded Age." Colonel Sellers shows up again with another series of idiotic schemes, any one of which (he's convinced) will "make millions - millions!" - or even, if he's lucky, "billions - billions!" Among other things, he believes he's the rightful Earl of Rossmore, and he threatens the current occupant of that title with a lawsuit. But it's not really his story; despite the high jinks, the novel is really a short and sweet love story, with Sellers' daughter and the (bogus?) Earl's son as the protagonists. The Earl's son has shed his identity and moved to America to try to make it on his own merits. The novel is closer in tone and content to Twain's short story "The Million Pound Bank Note" than "The Gilded Age."
Still, Sellers and his impossible inventions and schemes are what keep the novel moving, as it constantly teeters on the brink of a belly-laugh (and often plunges in gloriously and hilariously). Richard Henzel, who has provided excellent narration for a number of Twain novels and stories, does an outstanding job here as well. The characters are all given distinctive voices. The Earl's son has a somewhat shaky English accent, a bit like the King in "Huckleberry Finn" pretending to be Harvey Wilks; but Henzel is so good with the other voices that I'm inclined to think the shakiness is deliberate.
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