Mark Twain's daughter Susy wrote: "Papa...doesn't like to go to church at all, why I never understood, until just now, he told us the other day that he couldn't bear to hear any one talk but himself, but that he could listen to himself talk for hours without getting tired, of course he said this in joke, but I've no dought [sic] it was founded on truth."
Here is one of the great autobiographies of the English language - exuberant, wonderfully contemporary in spirit, by a man twice as large as life who-he said so himself-had no trouble remembering everything that had ever happened to him and a lot of things besides.
Nothing ever happened to Mark Twain in a small way. His adventures were invariably fraught with drama. Success and failure for him were equally spectacular. And so he roared down the years, feuding with publishers, being a sucker for inventors, always learning wisdom at the point of ruin, and always relishing the absurd spectacle of humankind, which he regarded with a blend of vitriol and affection.
©1959 Charles Neider (P)1995 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"It is worth reading because the man is in it." (Saturday Review)
"A book filled with richnesses of humor and tragedy of disappointment and triumph, of sweetness and bitterness, and all in that unsurpassed American prose." (New York Herald Tribune Book Review)
"Magnificently alive." (Library Journal)
Mark Twain is a great writer whose powers of narration in his novels and reminiscence of Life on the Mississippi are great reading. This work, written at the end of his life,should have been closely edited into a smoother narrative rather than peppered with accounts of tedious irritations that the old man worried about at the end of a very successful life.
Did he really need the money? He seems to have thought that this rambling self-centered pot boiler may well have brought hm some dollars but does little to enhance his reputation.
"Hours and hours of delight"
This long book would have been the endless meanderings of a bizarre mind except for his amazing words. The book is filled with eternal phrases, ("There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.") And his discriptions of people and places are brilliant ("His hair hung like curtains around his face.") I laughed continuously.
"The story of a man centuries ahead of his time."
Not only is Mark Twain one of the most entertaining men of his time, this book made me realize how exceptional he truly was. He understood people so well that he was immune to the racism of his time, and he possessed such a skeptical (almost scientific) mindset that he'd have been even more at home today as back in his time. Truly a remarkable man and life story.
"Heartbreaking and introspective"
It was interesting peeking inside this great mind. He was upfront about his business failings and you understand why he wanted a century to make sure everyone was long dead when he told the whole story. The losses in his life were painful to read. Very insightful.
"Long and Boring "
my god I finished this long boring book not one of my favorite it kept putting me to sleep.
"a great book to keep company with"
excellent narration for an iconic voice in literature. sometimes dry but often entertaining and touching.
"Not what you expect from Twain or a biography"
This is not at all what you would expect from an autobiography by anyone, and not at all what you might expect from Mark Twain. There are times when it meanders and it certainly has weak moments, but overall it's a refreshing read that makes sense as Twain's autobiographical venture. I loved it.
"Does not translate well to an audio book"
Love Twain books, but this one does not do well in audio format, reader is a bummer, and not Twain's best work
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