Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Autobiography of Mark Twain ∙ Complete &…

Autobiography of Mark Twain ∙ Complete & Authoritative ∙ Volume 1

by Mark Twain

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,221246,528 (4.02)16
Recently added byKinen, jimocracy, branadain, 20Taylor13, weird_O, private library, SLOMByrd, etborg
  1. 20
    A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: The ranting of a disgruntled American humorist.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I tried skipping through this to get to the autobiography. I kept running into an amazingly boring & repetitive account of HOW this was written, who published what before, & why. Never did find the actual autobiography. Finally got frustrated & quit after 1.5 or 2 hours.

Not what I was hoping for at all. I expected Twain to be interesting. This wasn't, but then it wasn't Twain's writing, just some boring guy talking about Twain's writing. Worse, this is just 1 of 3 volumes. I can't take it. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Twain shows his other side: a disenchanted, bitter cynic. There is much that is humorous, but for the most part, this book caused me to take him off the pedestal on which I had placed him. He was, after all, a human being with moods, biases and some cruelty. But what a true American man. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
This book was pure Mark Twain. I made me long for childhood summers past, living abroad, and a time I never knew. His wit and sense of humor are completely wonderful. It's really REALLY good.

I bump it down to four stars for the editors long winded notes and prologue. The work speaks for itself, there's no need to beat it to death before it even begins. There were about 2.5 discs of this. Perhaps it wouldn't have bothered me as much if I'd actually read the book instead of listening to it. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
This autobiographical collection of writing isn't presented in the most appealing or convenient way for the reader. The counter-intuitive structure Twain uses sets it apart markedly from his fiction, which so easily and consistently engages the reader's interest and steady attention. This reading experience can consequently prove jarring at first and ultimately disappointing to readers who are fans of Twain's other books.

Once I saw that this collection was somewhat unwieldy according to my personal standards, I gave myself carte blanche to read selections from this out of order and as rigorously or scantily as the subject being discussed warranted for me. To avoid a let down, I advise Twain fans to give this and/or any other type of partial, improvised reading approach a try when engaging with this material. I enjoyed my read of this work quite a bit. Please be advised I read a free copy of this book that I won in a Goodreads giveaway.
. ( )
  kara.shamy | Jan 9, 2014 |
I've gotten halfway, and have read as much of this as I'm going to right now. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the material here is first rate Twain (mostly the bits and pieces in the beginning). But then you have long, long deserts of mind-numbingly boring ramblings. I just don't have the energy to sort the wheat from the chaff any more. Maybe after all three volumes come out, someone will do that sorting and produce an abridged edition. Until then, I remain kind of disappointed. ( )
  EricKibler | Apr 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
That century has passed now and here it is, Volume 1 of “The Complete Authentic Unexpurgated Edition, Nothing Has Been Omitted, Not Even Scandalous Passages Likely to Cause Grown Men to Gasp and Women to Collapse in Tears — No Children Under 7 Allowed to Read This Book Under Any Circumstance,” which made Sam front-page news when all three volumes of the “Autobiography of Mark Twain” were announced last spring. The book turns out to be a wonderful fraud on the order of the Duke and the Dauphin in their Shakespearean romp, and bravo to Samuel Clemens, still able to catch the public’s attention a century after he expired.

He speaks from the grave, he writes, so that he can speak freely — “as frank and free and unembarrassed as a love letter” — but there’s precious little frankness and freedom here and plenty of proof that Mark Twain, in the hands of academics, can be just as tedious as anybody else when he is under the burden of his own reputation. Here, sandwiched between a 58-page barrage of an introduction and 180 pages of footnotes, is a ragbag of scraps, some of interest, most of them not....
Occasionally, maybe once in 50 pages, the old man will go on a little too long. His dreams, dietary problems and complaints about stock-market reversals are as boring as yours and mine. Many of the news stories he fixates on seem dated now. On the whole, however, this volume is hard to stop reading. Twain's prosody is so sure, and his powers of observation and selection so great, that he can take the most unpromising material—a real-estate deed, a letter from a would-be author—and make it glitter, like dull stone that turns out to be quartz or even diamond. Like Nabokov, he knew how to "caress the details, the divine details."
Mark Twain is his own greatest character in this brilliant self-portrait, the first of three volumes collected by the Mark Twain Project on the centenary of the author's death. It is published complete and unexpurgated for the first time. (Twain wanted his more scalding opinions suppressed until long after his death.) Eschewing chronology and organization, Twain simply meanders from observation to anecdote and between past and present. There are gorgeous reminiscences from his youth of landscapes, rural idylls, and Tom Sawyeresque japes; acid-etched profiles of friends and enemies, from his 'fiendish' Florentine landlady to the fatuous and 'grotesque' Rockefellers; a searing polemic on a 1906 American massacre of Filipino insurgents; a hilarious screed against a hapless editor who dared tweak his prose; and countless tales of the author's own bamboozlement, unto bankruptcy, by publishers, business partners, doctors, miscellaneous moochers; he was even outsmarted by a wild turkey. Laced with Twain's unique blend of humor and vitriol, the haphazard narrative is engrossing, hugely funny, and deeply revealing of its author's mind. His is a world where every piety conceals fraud and every arcadia a trace of violence; he relishes the human comedy and reveres true nobility, yet as he tolls the bell for friends and family--most tenderly in an elegy for his daughter Susy, who died in her early 20s of meningitis--he feels that life is a pointless charade. Twain's memoirs are a pointillist masterpiece from which his vision of America--half paradise, half swindle--emerges with indelible force.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly
Before his death in 1910, Mark Twain left instructions that his autobiography, on which he'd been working by fits and starts, be left unpublished for 100 years. Now, at the century mark, from the army of Twain scholars at the University of California's Mark Twain Project, comes the dazzling first volume of the ultimate, authoritative three-volume 'Autobiography of Mark Twain' With no fear of reprisals, always in the center of mid-19th-century America's political, social, and cultural life, and acquainted with everyone of note, Twain wrote briskly and both favorably and fiercely on how he felt about people and events. Twain's writing here is electric, alternately moving and hilarious. He couldn't write a ho-hum sentence. Disappointed with other systems of organization, Twain settled on writing on a topic that interested him before switching to another when it so moved him. To read this volume is to be introduced to Twain as if, thrillingly, for the first time. A 58-page introduction, 138 pages of 'Preliminary Manuscripts and Dictations,' 176 pages of 'Explanatory Notes,' and a section of 'Family Biographies' (all freshly fascinating) round out the volume. VERDICT: Enthusiastically recommended. This may overwhelm Twain newcomers, but it is essential for specialists.
added by sduff222 | editLibrary Journal, Charles C. Nash

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Twainprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Griffin, BenjaminEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, Harriet ElinorEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This LT work is Volume 1 of the complete, uncensored Autobiography of Mark Twain, withheld from publication for 100 years after Samuel Clemens' death (1910) and first published by the University of California Press in 2010. Please do not combine it with any other edition(s), excerpt(s) or selection(s) from the Autobiography of Mark Twain. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (5)

Book description
Pendant les dernières années de sa vie , Mark Twain - écrivain le plus célèbre de son temps - s'est consacré à l'écriture d'une immense autobiographie ...

With 450 pages of biography and another 200 pages of notes, I sure am glad this thing has an index!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0520267192, Hardcover)

Autobiography of Mark Twain READER'S EDITION Now Available! Half the Size, All the Twain! ISBN 978052027255
"I've struck it!" Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. "And I will give it away--to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography." Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion--to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment"--meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent," and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind." The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone and in honor of the cherished tradition of publishing Mark Twain's works, UC Press is proud to offer for the first time Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography in its entirety and exactly as he left it. This major literary event brings to readers, admirers, and scholars the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.
Harriet E. Smith, Benjamin Griffin, Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, Sharon K. Goetz, Leslie Myrick

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.

» see all 4 descriptions

Legacy Library: Mark Twain

Mark Twain has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Mark Twain's legacy profile.

See Mark Twain's author page.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
540 wanted
4 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.02)
1 3
2 6
2.5 1
3 13
3.5 4
4 34
4.5 11
5 34


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

University of California Press

2 editions of this book were published by University of California Press.

Editions: 0520267192, 0520272250


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,569,498 books! | Top bar: Always visible