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Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography by…

Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography (edition 1991)

by Justin Kaplan

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339432,414 (3.84)11
Title:Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography
Authors:Justin Kaplan
Info:Simon & Schuster (1991), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography by Justin Kaplan



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This is a fascinating biography of the two characters invented by their author: Samuel Clemens & Mark Twain---and the Jekyll and Hyde relationship between the two. Clemens/Twain was a great humorist and at his best in some of his writings or onstage, something Hal Holbrook seems to capture well. But he was a bitter and angry man, too. If you want to read behind the personae created by Twain, this is a good and deep exploration. ( )
  dasam | Jul 25, 2017 |
An excellent warts and all biography of a legend. I am most struck by what an utter shame it is that his business dealings and failures prevented him from writing so much more. He was a man of his times, though. Writing was work. He was from the Gilded Age where men struck it rich on a whim. Little did he realize what riches he had in Livy, Suzy, Clara, Jean, his friends -- Howells in particular. He lived a full rich life but he never appreciated what he had, not even his talent. An enigma. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 22, 2014 |
This was a slog. I "speed-read" several passages. Howard Mumford Jones on the back says, "The richest, most subtle, and best-sustained analysis of Mark Twain anywhere to be found..." He may be right, but that's the trouble - this is a sustained analysis. The relentless psychological analysis bogged down the fascinating narrative of a complex life. Some books are written by scholars for other scholars. Others are written by scholars for general readership. This is one of the former. This book could have been half its length and five times more entertaining, if Kaplan had spent more time on the story of a life, rather than psychological underpinnings. A little "why" goes a long way when you're interested in the "who" and "what." ( )
  MarysGirl | Sep 7, 2010 |
3147. Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain, by Justin Kaplan (read Jan 15, 1999) This won the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for biography, which explains why I read it, since I have a sort of plan to read all the winners of that, too. This book starts when Twain is 31, and so omits some of his most interesting years--tho we find out about them as the book proceeds. I found the book of passing interest, tho Mark Twain has never been a special favorite of mine. ( )
  Schmerguls | Dec 8, 2007 |
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