The Return of No.44 (a novel)

Return of No. 44 Kindle Version

Preview, The Return of No. 44

The above link is a complete .pdf  file of The Return of No. 44. Preview and buy, or read/download, even share. Your cost is to write reviews on Amazon and any literary sites possible. Buzz it up on social networking sites and ask your non-digital friends to buy the print version. I maintain all rights. Enjoy.

This novel is my humble homage to Mark Twain’s ability to use picaresque characters and situations to make a substantial, and often darker, social point. In his later years the darker threatened to overshadow the picaresque. His struggles culminated in his darkest work, No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger. It is now attracting increased interest from scholars and lay readers alike. My hope is that the story will bring the character No. 44 into our century and enliven the discourse over the scope of religion in America.


The Return of No.44 (a novel) — 5 Comments

  1. Bob, I managed to log in (obvously!). Coincidentally, I received a copy in the mail of The Return of No. 44. I’m ten pages into it. I had listened to an MP3 of Twain’s Mysterious Stranger, so I get the drift.

    More later.


  2. Jim, I hope you enjoy it. I prefer paper myself, and seldom read long form on computer, though this page has over 100,000 words I’m sure. I’d be curious which version of Mysterious Stranger your heard? There were at least three, since it was not published in his lifetime. The recognized version is published by the U. of California at Berkley I believe. I’d welcome a discussion when you are finished, unless I’m in India and then my responses might be slow. all the best, Bob

  3. Bob, I finished Stranger. I’m still mulling it over, but I am amazed that you wrote from the perspective of women. It was a bold move. What inspired you to write this story?

    I haven’t read either version of MS, but I listened to a free audio book last year. Cheryl has also read your book, and we have been comparing notes.

    Because there is a problem with agreement among the “hes,” she thinks that, at the end, Bette and the young stranger recognize themselves as mother and son. I think Bette and Brother Jim are the pair.


  4. Sorry to be so late in answering, I missed this one while in India. I’m glad you read it, and hope you enjoyed it. I’m curious about where you found a problem with the he’s? I meant neither pairing. The connection with the “real” No. 44, The Mysterious Stranger, his connection with the modern world. Twain presented No. 44 as a Satan character, but a very complex one; I take it a bit further and make him a Jesus character, returned not to save the world, or destroy it, but to, along with the other characters remind us of the truths Jesus wanted us to follow. The Mysterious Stranger to me is an incarnation of the teachings of Jesus. I perhaps aimed a bit deep: this discussion could go on for another book. I really don’t know how many readers got it, but I know of a few who have been offended; too much truth for comfort.

  5. Bob, other than your travel writing, are you doing any other writing? Me, I’ve been kicking around a novel for 25 years. It’s based on a man my father worked for in the 1950s. Other than that, I wrote my autobiography back in 1997, shortly after I retired. Sometimes I do a little editing on it, either correcting errors, adding new info, or fixing infelicities. I’ve also been collecting family pics. The purpose is to leave this work to my sons and grandchildren. Lately, I’ve been preparing a shadow box to hold my father’s Navy portrait, his rating stripes, his medals, discharge papers, a print-out of the Wikipedia entry for his ship, USS Bailey DD-492, and pics and blue prints of the Bailey.

    As for photography, I did some bird photography from my front porch swing. I set up a home-made feeder and wait for action. My cam will also do video.

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