´´The American Claimant is enormous fun. I´m here to celebrate the mad energy of this strange novel. In it we have the pleasure of seeing Mark Twain´s imagination go berserk,´´ writes Bobbie Ann Mason in her introduction. The American Claimant is a comedy of mistaken identities and multiple role switches--fertile and familiar Mark Twain territory. Its cast of characters include an American enamored of British hereditary aristocracy and a British earl entranced by American democracy. The central character, Colonel Mulberry Sellers, is an irrepressible, buoyant mad scientist, Mason writes, ´´brimming with harebrained ideas. Nothing is impossible for him.... He´s totally loopy.´´ His voluble wackiness leaves the reader reeling in the wake of inventions that prefigure DNA cloning, fax machines, and photocopiers. Twain uses this over-the-top comic frame to explore some serious issues as well--such as the construction of self and identity, the role of the press in society, and the moral and social questions raised by capitalism and industrialization in the United States. A unique melange of science fiction and fantasy, romance, farce, and political satire, Twain´s least-known comic novel is both thought-provoking and entertaining.