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Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 by…

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1

by Mark Twain

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1,682326,855 (4.03)18
Presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave as he intended.
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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
In many ways, it's like sitting by the fire and listening to your amazing grandfather talk about his amazing life. ( )
  dasam | Jun 21, 2018 |
If you like Mark Twain's writing then you should like this. I have found it a fun read and picked up some great quotes along the way. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
This is a great book, but just too large to consume in a 2 week library check out! I was so enjoying Twain's description of his visits with U.S.Grant, that I didn't even dip into the autobiography section. Don't let the doorstop quality of the book intimidate you, it is very readable.
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
Mark Twain is too wonderful a writer for me, a simple reader, to find tedious, but guess what? I found him tedious. An autobiography written this way, in anecdotal spurts, I found strange and often off-putting. Some sections were hilarious (the servant nicknamed "Wuthering Heights", the observation about German compound words), some were heartbreaking (how he did miss his wife after her death and his daughter), and others were petty and mean-spirited. An interesting glimpse into a icon's life, but I won't be reading parts 2 and 3. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
I love Mark Twain's stories. He has a very engaging way of writing. His autobiography took a bit to get through however. He jumped around from topic to topic (he'd start talking about one thing, mention it reminded him of something else and go off on a tangent). That took some getting used to.

Seeing the correspondence he had with his contemporaries was really interesting. When he started talking about his daughter Suzy and the biography she had written about him when she was younger, you could feel the love and adoration he had for her. ( )
  oraclejenn | Dec 15, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (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 editionscalculated
Griffin, BenjaminEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, Harriet ElinorEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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.
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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!
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University of California Press

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

Editions: 0520267192, 0520272250


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