Published by Hesperus Press on July 1, 2002
This is Mark Twain's imaginative series of diary entries by Adam and Eve. At first, Adam is puzzled by this new arrival, Eve, in the garden, and he is suspicious of her disturbing appetite for fruit. Eve, believing herself to be some sort of experiment, is curious about another experiment in the garden, perhaps some sort of reptile or possibly architecture. Eve gives names to everything, much to Adam's annoyance. He tries to ignore her, so she seeks companionship among the animals particularly with a certain snake. Adam and Eve grow to love each other and, in the end, an elderly Adam is filled with a realization of that love as he stands at Eve's grave.
The Diary of Adam and Eve is like the book “Men are from Mars Women are from Venus”. Adam and Eve are polar opposites with a complete misconception of what the other thinks of them (Eve especially). Adam would prefer to be left in peace where as Eve has gone all Snow White with the animals and refuses to shut up leaving anyone with a migraine headache. Even though I am not religious (and by judging from the prologue neither is Mark Twain) I always pictured the first man and woman to be eggheads with a vast vocabulary and knowledge. Instead, they age like a baby enthralled by the world around them.
Eventually, Eve finally shuts up enough for Adam to tolerate her and they begin to form a family. When Cain was born the two have no idea what this creature is, varying from a fish to a baby kangaroo. After several years the couple finally realize that it is a mini-me but after a new child is born the process starts over.
I found Twain’s depiction unique, Adam brilliantly came up with Niagara Falls as his place of residence but Eve, stubbornly renames it Eden, placing “Stay off the grass” signs every which way, giving the feel of an amusement park.
After that fateful day, which comes off like an Indiana Jones movie minus the moving boulder, the couple are sent to what I pictured to be very desert-like place to live out the rest of they day in semi-happiness (because let’s face it, the serpent made sure they wouldn’t live in Pleasentville).
I had never, ever read anything by Mark Twain before, partially because it was not in the school curriculum but I believe it is also due to a boring weekend in Hannibal when I was eleven. Either way, I have discovered him now and after recognizing his dry sense of humor hope to read more of him.