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The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
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The Innocents Abroad (1869)

by Mark Twain

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,206262,943 (3.85)112
  1. 20
    A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Both have equivalent high-doses of hyperbole, sarcasm, irreverence.
  2. 20
    Roughing It by Mark Twain (hathaway_library)
  3. 10
    When the Going Was Good by Evelyn Waugh (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: The keen observations and satirical humor are similar.
  4. 10
    Mark Twain: A Life by Ron Powers (John_Vaughan)
  5. 10
    Following The Equator: A Journey Around the World by Mark Twain (John_Vaughan)
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English (25)  Spanish (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This book could be described as a wonderful guided tour of another time and place, and place, and place -- In 1867, Mark Twain joined a cruise of American tourists to France, Italy, and other exotic locales, culminating in an extended visit to Palestine. The cruise lasted for several months, and Twain reported on his progress in a series of newspaper columns sent back home. This book is based on those articles, was very, very, popular in his lifetime. Now, it is less familiar than his novels, but it remains a delight -- and a very funny delight. Twain's voice -- skeptical, secular, and sarcastic -- comes through loud and clear, in particular when he is describing his own countrymen. It is a voice of its own time, which means that some of his views would be extremely offensive were they expressed today. But imposing current day standards on the writings of the the past is a good way to miss a lot. This book is one that should not be missed. ( )
  annbury | Apr 19, 2014 |
A free audiobook is available from https://librivox.org/ ( )
  captbirdseye | Mar 3, 2014 |
I didn't read the whole thing. I enjoyed what I read -- Azores, Gibraltar, Morocco, France -- but as biting as Twain is, satire seldom works for book length. I moved on to Pudd'nhead Wilson.
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
I gave up on the audiobook about 3/4 in. The narrator's voice has an annoying combination of atonal hoarseness and nasalness that never stopped bothering me.

I enjoy Twain's use of language and dry humor, but had not yet read his travelogues. Since they predate his famous novels, it's interesting to see his early style, which is less assured than it would become but still confident.

I'd characterize this narrative as less racist than xenophobic, though Twain is clearly sometimes truly unhappy and at other times exaggerating for comedic effect. Sometimes the object he's aiming for is to poke fun at the American tourist's narrowness of thought and ethnocentrism.

In the context of the first real pleasure cruise (a side-wheel steamboat, if memory serves), Twain and companions were remarkably adventurous, defying quarantine, for example, and scrambling for hours at night over crumbly Greek hills and through dog-patrolled vineyards in order to see the Parthenon.

Having visited many of Twain's destinations (and many of that number by ship), I thoroughly enjoyed his observations, whether or not I agreed about places, peoples, or cultural quirks. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
This book is waiting to be reread after 30 years. ( )
  CaptainHaddock | Mar 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
The idea of a steamer-load of Americans going on a prolonged picnic to Europe and the Holy Land is itself almost sufficiently delightful, and it is perhaps praise enough for the author to add that it suffers nothing from his handling. If one considers the fun of making a volume of six hundred octavo pages upon this subject, in compliance with one of the main conditions of a subscription book's success, bigness namely, one has a tolerably fair piece of humor, without troubling Mr. Clements further. It is out of the bounty and abundance of his own nature that he is as amusing in the execution as in the conception of his work. And it is always good-humored humor, too, that he lavishes on his reader, and even in its impudence it is charming; we do not remember where it is indulged at the cost of the weak or helpless side, or where it is insolent, with all its sauciness and irreverence.
 

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Twainprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cardwell, Guysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fiedler, Leslie A.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To
My Most Patient Reader
and
Most Charitable Critic,
MY AGED MOTHER,
This Volume is Affectionately
Inscribed
First words
For months the great Pleasure Excursion to Europe and Holy Land was chatted about in the newspapers everywhere in America, and discussed at countless firesides.
Quotations
The guides deceive and defraud every American who goes to Paris for the first time and sees its sights alone or in company with others as little experienced as himself. I shall visit Paris again some day, and then let the guides beware! I shall go in my war-paint - I shall carry my tomahawk along.
They showed us a portrait of the Madonna which was painted by St Luke, and it did not look half as old and smoky as some of the pictures by Rubens. We could not help admiring the Apostle's modesty in never once mentioning in his writings that he could paint.
But perhaps the most poetical thing Pompeii has yielded to modern research, was that grand figure of a Roman soldier, clad in complete armor; who, true to his duty, true to his proud name of a soldier of Rome, and full of the stern courage which had given to the name its glory, stood to his post by the city gate, erect and unflinching, till the hell that raged around him burned out the dauntless spirit it could not conquer.
if you hire a man to sneeze for you, here (Nazareth), and another man chooses to help him, you have got to pay both. They do nothing whatever without pay. How it must have surprised these people to hear the way of salvation offered to them 'without money and without price'.
The citizens of Endor objected to our going in there, They do not mind dirt; they do not mind rags; they do not mind vermin; they do not mind barbarous ignorance and savagery; they do not mind a reasonable degree of starvation, but they do like to be pure and holy before their god, whoever he may be, and therefore they shudder and grow almost pale at the idea of Christian lips polluting a spring whose waters must descend into their sanctified gullets.
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Disambiguation notice
Der zweibändige Werk ward 1875 zum ersten Mal auf deutsch in zwei Bänden aber ohne Folgenummern herausgegeben. Der erste Band hieß Die Arglosen auf Reisen. Der zweite hieß Die neue Pilgerfahrt, nach dem Untertitel des englischen Werkes. Deshalb sind die zwei übersetzten Bände einzeln aufgeführt.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451525027, Mass Market Paperback)

Innocents Abroad began as a series of travel letters written by Mark Twain mainly for the Alta California, a San Francisco paper that sponsored his participation in the trip to Europe and the Holy Land in 1867 aboard the steamship Quaker City. On the excursion from New York to Palestine they traveled a distance of over 20,000 miles by land and sea through France, Spain, Italy, Morocco, Russia, Turkey and Egypt. Through his humorous and insightful writings, Twain describes countries, nations, incidents and his amazing adventures.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:18 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

"The Innocents Abroad is one of the most prominent and influential travel books ever written about Europe and the Holy Land. In it, the collision of the American "New Barbarians" and the European "Old World" provides much comic fodder for Mark Twain - and a remarkably perceptive lens on the human condition. Gleefully skewering the ethos of American tourism in Europe, Twain's lively satire ultimately reveals just what it is that defines cultural identity. As Twain himself points out. "Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.""--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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Audible.com

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The Library of America

An edition of this book was published by The Library of America.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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