I had to read this for an english class in college, I really enjoyed it, one of Twain's better novels.
It's the essence of Mark Twain.
its a great read if you like twain.
If you want Mark Twain's version of a sociopath, this is the book for you. Tom Driscoll may be Twain's most evil villain.
The other reason to read this is that what opens each chapter is a quote or two from "Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar," which contain some of Twain's best-known and funniest bitter one-liners.
******************SPOILERS START HERE********************
OK, so everyone talks about how bitter Mr. Twain was in this book. But I think it's not bitter enough. Tom Driscoll should have gotten off. In real life, he would have, and nobody would have believed the switch-at-infancy happened, nor that the fingerprints on the knife proved anything. People don't let go of their beliefs that easily.
In real life, Charlie Chaplin lost a paternity suit when blood tests proved he was not the father of the child in question. Why? Because the science was new, and people wanted him to be found 'guilty' (in quotes because it was a civil trial, but in the public's mind a criminal one).
In real life, O.J. Simpson got off although Ron Goldman's blood (proven by DNA) was in O.J. Simpson's Ford Bronco. One of the jurists after the trial said that could have been anybody's blood.
In real life, Pudd'nhead's clients could have gotten off if the D.A. was a decent man who recognized he was prosecuting the wrong guys. But convicting Tom Driscoll? No way.
I must admit, though, that the twist at the end where Tom Driscoll was treated differently because he was property and not a person was a nice, bitter twist. Although in real life they would have just lynched him.