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A Modern Mephistopheles
By Louisa May Alcott
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A Modern Mephistopheles

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A Modern Mephistopheles
By Louisa May Alcott
Ardent Writer Press - Reprint (2016)
ISBN: 978-1-9386-6748-0
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by Angela Evans - January 29, 2016

Mention the name of Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), and for most people will think of the book Little Women. While this is perhaps her best-known work, she was a prolific author who wrote in a variety of styles. One of her least known works is entitled, A Modern Mephistopheles. One of the reasons that is it is seldom associated with her is that she published it anonymously in 1877. (By comparison, Little Women was published in 1868.)

Unlike her lively and more sedate young adult novels for which she is best-known, A Modern Mephistopheles is much more 'modern' in that it deals with such gritty issues as drug use, greed, lust, and other lurid foibles that one would not expect to have flown from Alcott's pen. The book would perhaps best be compared with a gothic novel, one which is filled with suspense and evil. It follows the story of the poet Felix Canaris who has failed to make a name for himself and hungry not only for fame - but also for such basic necessities as food. To feed himself, and to achieve his dreams, he makes a deal with a man who is so controlling, he might just be the devil.

Many of Louisa May Alcott's books are in the public domain and can be downloaded, free and legally, from Project Gutenberg. You can download the books in a variety of formats including plain text, HTML, ePub, Kindle, and more, thereby enabling you to read them on your computer or with your preferred reading software or device. Unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, A Modern Mephistopheles is not currently available from Project Gutenberg, but you may be able to locate a copy from another eBook resource, or you can order a physical copy of the book from most of the large online retailers.

No matter what form your copy of this book takes, you are in for a treat, as it provides a unique glimpse into the writing ability of a woman who is often seen as just a writer of 'sweet' narratives. After reading A Modern Mephistopheles, you'll never think about, or read, Little Women in the same light again! Best yet, cover up the name of the author and give this book to someone else to read. Then have them try to guest the name of the author. Odds are they never will, unless they happen to be a literature major who wrote their thesis on Alcott ;-)


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