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The Innocents Abroadby Mark Twain
Synopses & Reviews
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut
The Stolen White Elephant
The £1,000,000 Bank-Note
The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg
The Five Boons of Life
Was It Heaven? Or Hell?
The Mysterious Stranger
The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories unites nine of master American humorist Mark Twain’s most accomplished works. From tall tales of con men’s tricks, such as the classic that brought him instant fame, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” to a man with no money (other than a £1,000,000 banknote that no one can cash), to an exposé of greed and hypocrisy in perhaps his greatest short story, “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg,” Twain showcases his notorious humor—skewering policemen, clergymen, politicians, bankers, and others—and displays his changing attitude toward human nature. The finale is the novella The Mysterious Stranger, a rarity for Mark Twain in which he turns his sardonic, freewheeling wit on eternal evil in a distant time and place—and conjures a memorable, tormenting conclusion.
In 1867, Mark Twain set out from New York City for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle-steamer Quaker City. The result of that trip was The Innocents Abroad, a travel book unlike any that had gone before it. Irreverent and irrepressible, Twain pokes fun at officious tour guides and
offensive tourists alike. The book offers a glimpse of a major writer when he was young and just beginning to flex his muscles, and also serves as an enduring no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler to Europe and the Holy Land. The trip stimulates Twain to meditate on how the new world is
different from the old and engenders reflections on what a society must be like to be thought of as genuinely civilized. The Innocents Abroad is alternately profound and profoundly entertaining. Twain may find himself exasperated or exhausted--but the story he tells is never dull. It is no
wonder that the book was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
This book offers a glimpse of a major writer when he was and just beginning to flex his muscles, and also serves as an enduring no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler of Europe and the Holy Land.
For nearly two decades before Mark Twain published his finest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was refining his craft and winning tremendous popularity with his short stories and sketches. This richly entertaining and comprehensive collection presents sixty-five of the very best of Mark Twain’s short pieces, from the classic frontier sketch “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” to the richly imaginative fable “Extract from Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven.” Compiled by Pulitzer Prize–winning Twain scholar and biographer, Justin Kaplan, this collection represents some of Mark Twain’s wittiest and most insightful writing.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court
Cracked on the head by a crowbar in nineteenth-century Connecticut, Hank Morgan wakes to find himself in King Arthurs England, facing a world whose idyllic surface masks fear, injustice, and ignorance. In this acclaimed tour de force, Mark Twain moves from broad comedy to biting social satire, from the pure joy of wild high jinks to deeply probing insights into the nature of man. Considered by H. L. Mencken to be the most bitter critic of American platitude and delusion that ever lived,” Twain enchants readers with a Camelot that strikes disturbingly contemporary notes.
With an introduction by Leland Krauth
And an afterword by Edmund Reiss
About the Author
Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and died at Redding, Connecticut in 1910. In his person and in his pursuits he was a man of extraordinary contrasts. Although he left school at twelve when his father died, he was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Missouri, and Oxford University. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He made fortunes from his writing but toward the end of his life he had to resort to lecture tours to pay his debts. He was hot-tempered, profane, and sentimental--and also pessimistic, cynical, and tortured by self-doubt. His nostalgia helped produce some of his best books. He lives in American letters as a great artist, the writer whom William Dean Howells called "the Lincoln of our literature."
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