Voices in the Dark

The Five Boons of Life

by Mark Twain - 1902 -- first published in Harper's Weekly, July 5
Mark Twain's story about a person allowed to choose between the five boons of life: fame, love, riches, pleasure, and death.
HQ MP3 - Download - 2.5MB, 5:55 (6736) - read by Sean Puckett
LQ MP3 - Download - 777.9KB, 5:55 (1613) - read by Sean Puckett

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Tears on my cheeks

By dancestoblue - Austin Texas - 2006-03-03 08:30

Tears on my cheeks as I write these words to you, whoever you may be.

Twain was brilliant, he lived, lived it all, and wrote about it, told us about it. Those who try to put the writings of his last years as those of an embittered fool are of course correct - who walks the earth having lost loved ones and tasted of life and have not become embittered and foolish. None.

I read Twain young and I read him still and I will until reason leaves me, the wanton insult of old age which I have just watched my father pass through. Twain is not a liar, reading him is not like a hollywood movie, it's not all happy endings, it's life, the good and the bad. Don't read him unless you want to risk tears, but don't miss his writing unless you want to miss a side of life not often written, almost never written well.

He is one of Americas best writers, he and London, and Lincoln - if you've not read Lincolns writing stop what you're doing and go and read the words of the best American of all, our greatest hero, Americas answer to Joan of Arc. Miller wrote well but the time was different, he could say then what could not be said in the 1800s, hard to imagine London freed of the constraints of his day, the words he could have laid down, express his lust and his joy and his sorrow.

But Twain said it anyways, got it all down regardless the time, he expressed life in words as beautifully as it can be done.

Listen to this, then go out and get a copy of Twains later short stories and essays, laugh until you hurt - I do not know of a writer with a sharper sting for the ridiculous, his satires of foolishnesses are brutal. Also you'll cry in the recognition of life told truly and beautifully, certainly you will if you're sitting in this chair, this keyboard in your hand.

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Re:Tears on my cheeks

By shalu - shalini.mydreams@gmail.com - 2011-01-03 07:52

hi sir...

i didnt heard this story till now.. but after reading ur comment,i found tears on my cheeks..thats y i downloded this story and im starting to read..

Thank you for Twain and Texas

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Re:Tears on my cheeks

By ROSALIA MAGANA - 2013-12-09 20:17


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By ROSALIA MAGANA - 2013-12-09 20:18


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