|The Mysterious Stranger|
by Mark Twain
This story was published after Mark Twain passed away and it is debated as to whether or not this version is a legitimate version of the story or if the editor had too free a reign with the cutting of text.
Mark Twain can be very hard to read, but this was not the case. Set in Austria around the times of witch burnings, this book sets itself apart from most of Twain's works. There is no phonetical dialogue that he oft uses, and I personally find very hard to read.
Of course I'm not going to actually tell you WHO the mysterious stranger is. That would just ruin it and you wouldn't need to read it for yourself. Though I did spend most of the book wondering if he was who he claimed to be, or if he was actually his namesake.
This story is surprisingly philosophical. While there is a faint religious connotation, it is not heavy handed. How many times have you wondered, or heard others say, "How could there be a God that would allow..." insert any phrase of injustice. While Twain does not specifically phrase it that way exactly he give some great hypotheses as to how one scenario which contains suffering is actually more merciful than an alternative possibility.
Mark Twain also touches on human behavior and the whole "go along to get along" mentality. This book is only 68 pages, a very easy read but provides a LOT of food for thought for such a short volume. I highly recommend it, especially to those who have started to think there is no book written by Mark Twain that they could possibly like.