The Trouble Begins at 8 by Sid Fleischman
A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



"Mark Twain was born fully grown, with a cheap cigar clamped between his teeth." So begins Sid Fleischman's ramble-scramble biography of the great American author and wit, who started life in a Missouri village as a barefoot boy named Samuel Clemens.

Abandoning a career as a young steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, Sam took a bumpy stagecoach to the Far West. In the gold and silver fields, he expected to get rich quick. Instead, he got poor fast, digging in the wrong places. His stint as a sagebrush newspaperman led to a duel with pistols. Had he not survived, the world would never have heard of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn—or red-headed Mark Twain.

Samuel Clemens adopted his pen name in a hotel room in San Francisco and promptly made a jumping frog (and himself) famous. His celebrated novels followed at a leisurely pace; his quips at jet speed. "Don't let schooling interfere with your education," he wrote.

Here, in high style, is the story of a wisecracking adventurer who came of age in the untamed West; an ink-stained rebel who surprised himself by becoming the most famous American of his time. Bountifully illustrated.


About Sid Fleischman

See more books from this Author
Sid Fleischman wrote more than sixty books for children, adults, and magicians. Among his many awards was the Newbery Medal for his novel The Whipping Boy. The author described his wasted youth as a magician and newspaperman in his autobiography The Abracadabra Kid. His other titles include The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, a novel, and three biographies, Sir Charlie: Chaplin, The Funniest Man in the World; The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West; and Escape! The Story of The Great Houdini.
Published July 29, 2008 by Greenwillow Books. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Trouble Begins at 8

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Told in a vernacular worthy of the great man himself, the narrative recounts the adventures of Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain from birth through his travels in America’s Wild West, switching nomenclature from Clemens to Twain as the context demands.

| Read Full Review of The Trouble Begins at 8: A Li...

Reader Rating for The Trouble Begins at 8

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review