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Mark Twain Message Board 1/25/2005 1:09:14 PM
Talk about the novels, new and used books that Twain has written!

Author Twain's Book Reviews

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
In this short novel, Twain undertook to make an enjoyable story for children that also highlighted a couple pet peeves of his own. First, the "courtly honor" of knightly times was, to him, a delusion that led directly to the destruction of several hundred thousand men in the US during the Civil War. He despised Sir Walter Scott and his whol set of Waverly novels with what he considered to be the pernicious themes of knightly honor. Here, he undertakes to...
Letters From the Earth
Think of this as Twain outtakes. These essays and partial pieces were edited by Bernard DeVoto 30 years after Twain died, but the widow demurred, so they were not published until 1962, after the editor's death as well. In the title set, Satan visits Earth and writes back to his buddy angels about what a crazy place it is, and how odd a creature is man. This was probably pretty daring in Twain's time, but now seems a bit obvious and would appeal mainly to...
Life on the Mississippi
The author who would become famous as Mark Twain started out in life as Samuel Clemens. Born and raised along the Mississippi River, Clemens would start out in life as a steamboat pilot. This book, which was written after he was a famous writer, tells the story of his life on the river. In the first part, he is a cub pilot under his mentor, Horace Bixby, who teaches him how to navigate the treacherous river. Then he gets his own license and starts ...
Pudd'nhead Wilson
A witty, quirky Everyman character makes use of his spare time (during working hours for his law practice!) defending a neighbor charged with the horrifying murder of a neighbor in his village in 1830 Missouri. But the path to solution of the crime has countless comical interludes with make reading this novella a particular treat. Pudd'nhead Wilson is literature's first mystery solved by human fingerprints. ...

Twain booklist

Roughing It (Thriller/Action)
The semi-autobiographical "Roughing It" is Mark Twain's somewhat fictional account of his real-life adventures in the 19th-century American West. He went west by stagecoach, to serve as his brother Orion's personal secretary. Orion had secured the position of being Secretary of the Nevada Territory. In this exciting, adventure-filled book, Twain recounts his experiences as a frontier newspaper reporter, a prospector, and a writer. By reading this boo...
Roughing It (Biography)
In 1861, Samuel Clemens was still years away from becoming the famous author known as Mark Twain. He'd been working as a steamboat pilot, but lost his job when the Civil War broke out and traffic stopped going up and down the Mississippi River. So when his older brother Orion was appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada, Sam Clemens jumped at the chance to take a trip out West. Roughing It - which covers the years 1861-1866 - tells ...
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
This book picks up where The Adventures of Tom Sawyer leaves off. After Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn get to keep the treasure they've found, Huck Finn gets adopted by a widow who lives in their small town on the Mississippi River. She invests his money for him. This is going to prove a problem when his drunk father shows back up in town demanding his son and his son's money be turned over to him. For a time, the bad "Pap" is going to keep Huck locked u...
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Tom Sawyer is a mischievous boy being raised by his Aunt Polly in a Missuri town right on the Mississippi River. When the book opens, he's gotten in trouble at school and as punishment is supposed to spend his Saturday whitewashing her fence. But instead he's convinced his friends the job's so fun that they're trading him stuff just for the chance to slap the whitewash on. When Becky Thatcher moves to town, Tom falls for her hard and they get "engag...
The Innocents Abroad
Mark Twain was already a famous author when he undertook a journey from the United States to Europe, the Middle East, and Hawaii, and he had long-ago demonstrated his journalistic skills. When he proposed that a major newspaper underwrite the proposed journey in exchange for weekly reports of the expedition, the newspaper jumped at the offer. Later, Twain published these accounts of his travels, as the semi-autobiographical, partly fictional book, "The...
The Prince and the Pauper
In the Prince and the Pauper Twain took his very sharp pen and skewered the very idea of nobility by premising the relationship of a Prince with his courtiers on their opinion of who he was, rather than the reality of who he was. While the story is another one that is good for children simply as an exciting adventure story, his main focus, and the "teaching" of the book is on society and the false trappings of royalty or upper-class attitudes....