Pudd'nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins (Barnes & Noble Classics) : Written during Mark Twain's so-called pessimistic period, Pudd'nhead Wilson is a darkly comic masterpiece that exposes the wounds of racism in America and the absurdity of judging character based upon class or skin color. Set in a small Mississippi River town in the state of Missouri before the Civil War, the novel begins when Roxana, a beautiful slave who can pass for white, switches the child of her master with her own infant son, now called Tom, who grows into a cruel and cowardly man. When Tom's uncle, Judge Driscoll, is found murdered after a botched robbery attempt, suspicion is cast upon two former sideshow performers, Luigi and Angelo Capello, a pair of good-looking and charming identical twins from Italy. Meanwhile, David "Pudd'nhead" Wilson is a wise but unorthodox lawyer who collects fingerprints as a hobby. Shunned as an eccentric, he ultimately wins the respect of the townspeople when he solves the murder mystery and reveals the true identity of the killer.
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