Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
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He was Sam Clemens, steamboat pilot, before he was Mark Twain, famous author. His better-known name originated with the lingo of navigation, and much of his writing was informed by his shipboard adventures on one of the world's great rivers. In this classic of American literature, Twain offers lively recollections ranging from his salad days as a novice pilot to views from the passenger deck in the twilight of the river culture’s heyday.
Under the tutelage of the most celebrated pilot on the Mississippi, young Twain acquires the skills to navigate a constantly changing riverscape, avoiding potential collisions with other boats and traversing winding channels in the dead of night. The vivid and ever-engaging narrative encompasses tales of riverside town feuds, the professional vicissitudes of a riverboat gambler, dramatic accounts of life in Vicksburg as the city lay under siege during the Civil War, and many other scenes from a now-vanished way of life. These antebellum visions take on a bittersweet cast with the author's postwar return to the region, when railroad competition has largely doomed the commercial steamboat and the old ways of life are passing into history.
A testimonial to Twain's repute as the most popular humorist of his day, these reminiscences crackle with comic anecdotes and energetic witticisms. Engrossing and entertaining, this volume will captivate devotees of Twain, steamboat buffs, lovers of Americana, and students of American literature.


About Mark Twain

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Samuel Langhorne Clemans, known to most as Mark Twain, has been hailed by many as the father of American Literature. His two most famous works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), are considered two of the greatest American novels of all time. Twain was born in Florida, Missouri on 30th November 1835. He grew up in the town of Hannibal on the Mississippi River, which would eventually serve as the basis for the place where Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn would live. Twain grew up in Missouri at a time when it was a slave state. After the American Civil War broke out, he became a strong supporter of emancipation, and staunchly believed that the slave trade should be abolished. Though he began as a comic writer, the tribulations he faced in his personal life perhaps served to turn him into a serious, even pessimistic, writer in his later years. He lost his wife and two daughters, and his ill-fated life never really allowed him to recover. Twain passed away in 1910, but he is still one of the best-loved writers around the world.
Published February 5, 1985 by Penguin Classic. 317 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure, Professional & Technical, Political & Social Sciences, War, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Humor & Entertainment, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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The Paris Review

Samuel Johnson, surely one of the great readers of all time, claimed to feel guilty because he almost never read a book to the end—but still, he didn’t.

May 24 2016 | Read Full Review of Life on the Mississippi (Dove...

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