Life on the Mississippi
158 Installments—Entirely free
Before he became one of America's best-loved authors, Mark Twain lived out his own adventures as a steamboat captain on the Mississippi River. The waterway that would run through the heart of some of his most famous novels defines this autobiographical work. We read of formative experiences on the river and we revisit the Mississippi many years later with Twain as he travels aboard a steamboat, reflecting on the changes he has witnessed in a growing, developing, nation. Twain's signature "tall tales" feature prominently throughout this integral American work, sure to be enjoyed for its most unique blend of nonfiction, autobiography, and pure fancy.
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Born Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain (1835-1910) was and is an American legend. A prolific journalist, essayist, and writer of short stories and novels, Twain had a unique gift for capturing and often laughing at the young American nation he knew. Growing up in Missouri, Twain spent his early years on the Mississippi River, which would figure prominently in the world of his later fiction. Twain worked as a riverboat pilot as a young man, but headed west when the Civil War broke out. His trip across the country and eventual years in Nevada and California became fodder for some of Twain's best works. Settling eventually in Connecticut, Twain enjoyed many fruitful years of writing, travel, and family life until he left the world, as he had vowed, with the return of Halley's Comet in 1910. Perhaps best known for his novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huck Finn, Twain is the author of many other works, including Life on the Mississippi, Letters From the Earth, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and Innocents Abroad.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
THE Mississippi is well worth reading about. It is not a commonplace river, but on the contrary is in all ways remarkable. Considering the Missouri its main branch, it is the longest river in the world--four thousand three hundred miles. It seems safe to say that it is also the crookedest river in ...Back to top
Reviewed by giveGodtheglory on Aug 18, 2012
Reviewed by wsimpson3144 on Mar 24, 2009
For a Twain Piece, this was incredibly difficult to get through. i almost dreaded having to read this, especially with the entire beginning consisting of a historical account of the river that was almost written in purple prose.
Reviewed by rhibowman on Mar 4, 2009
I love Mark Twain, but I'm stuck. His work requires more concentration than I have to give right now. I'll be back, though. So, this one is ON HOLD.
Reviewed by threefour on Jul 17, 2008
It's Twain, Of Course It's Good
I'm not going to comment on the quality of the writing, it's Twain. The sheer amount of interesting observations about the river is surprisingly thorough and insightful, though the tangents he often goes on do make the text rather long, and ends up with more installments than I could always read.
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Ratings for 'Life on the Mississippi' by Twain, Mark