A novel that brings Mark Twain back to life with the 1985 return of Halley's Comet
Carkeet’s skill is equal to his ambition. Once again he has turned a daffy concept for a novel into a stimulating display of wit, erudition, humanity, and narrative force.
Mark Twain, who came and went with Halley’s comet the first time around, is miraculously back on earth in St. Louisan David Carkeet’s dazzling, complicated novel. . . I Been There Before is both an affecting gesture of homage toward our greatest writer and a fine novel in its own right.
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch
I Been There Before is a delightful way to learn more about the “old” Twain . . . while meeting, and falling in love with, the “new.” . . . If there’s a sequel in the works, Mr. Carkeet, please don’t withhold publication until 2061.
--David Bianculli, in The Philadelphia Inquirer
This is a sly, cunning, and devious book. It has the giddiness that can only come from a great comic novel. I Been There Before is also a very sad and touching comment on the tragedies of Twain’s life.
Anyone contemplating an addition to those yards and yards of Mark Twain scholarship should read this book as illustration of how fiction can contain and transcend fact. It wouldn’t hurt the rest of us, either.
--New York Times Book Review
A clever gem, parts of which sound eerily as if Twain himself wrote them.
--Kansas City Star
Uproarious . . . a tour de force of scholarship, parody, and tomfoolery.