Think of this as Twain outtakes. These essays and partial pieces were edited by Bernard DeVoto 30 years after Twain died, but the widow demurred, so they were not published until 1962, after the editor's death as well. In the title set, Satan visits Earth and writes back to his buddy angels about what a crazy place it is, and how odd a creature is man. This was probably pretty daring in Twain's time, but now seems a bit obvious and would appeal mainly to a growingly skeptical teen. There are mildly amusing excerpts from Methuselah's diary, and Eve's diary, scraps from a trip to England, the infamous philosophical rant "The Damned Human Race," and the promising fragment of a sci fi novel about a sailing ship crossing a drop of water on a microscope. The book's gem is an unfinished parody of books on etiquette (proper behavior at a funeral, how to address an unknown lady at a fire, etc.) that's a scream. Too bad he never finished it.
This report prepared by David Loftus