Customer Reviews for

Life on the Mississippi: (Starbooks Classics Editions)

Average Rating 3.5
( 63 )
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(26)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Mark Twain on every page.

Mark Twain is my favorite writer and I have read many of his books. So, if you really know what Mark Twain's writing is like, then you will LOVE this book. It's all Mark Twain. Every page--from cover to cover. It's mainly about him growing up as a steamboat pilot--and m...
Mark Twain is my favorite writer and I have read many of his books. So, if you really know what Mark Twain's writing is like, then you will LOVE this book. It's all Mark Twain. Every page--from cover to cover. It's mainly about him growing up as a steamboat pilot--and more. Throughout the book, I felt as if I was just right there with Twain having a conversation with him. Whether he's telling you a hilarious story, a story that fills your eyes with tears, or just his view of the Mississippi river, it's hard to hate this book. It's never boring. It never drifts, it's just fantastic. If you love Mark Twain, you'll love him more, if you hate him, you'll love him after reading this book. Easy 5 stars here.

posted by Anonymous on July 14, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Don't buy this edition

Barnes and Noble should be ashamed that they even offer up this edition. The scanning OCR software did a terrible job of relaying the text. Parts are totally eligible.

posted by Yahoo820 on April 20, 2012

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    This book is a literary masterpiece, painted by the author with superb skill, and on the scenic canvass of the awe-inspiring Mississippi River.

    The heyday of the riverboats might have picked up and left, but this detailed book is all you need to revive it. The age-old memoir, Life on the Mississippi, is masterfully authored by Mark Twain, one of America's greatest authors, and is put into a humorous and detailed set up that takes you back to the time of riverboats. The mighty Mississippi is at full flow, and the riverboats are at full steam. It takes place in his childhood, when he decides to leave home and become a cub-pilot (pilot in training) after most of the town's teenager's leave to take jobs on the Mississippi. However, the road to being a cub pilot and then a pilot of a riverboat is no easy feat. Remember, these boats were at least 200ft long and 50ft wide, and able to reach relativity high speeds on the river. The book describes the lengthy and difficult path that takes determination and perseverance to be willing to learn and a tolerance for your piloting teacher, ".he swore till his face was blue." or " 'I never let a cub pilot fail, even if it almost kills him." I think that this great book goes over everything about the Mississippi that you would need to know, and even a little more. The book is peppered with advanced and old-style vocabulary, and is at higher reading level. And the Mississippi has its fair share of missteps and mishaps, so I'd say it's for 9 and up. Read and enjoy!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2007

    A Book for People Who Can't Get Too Much Mark Twain

    Much of Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI was serialized in the ATLANTIC MONTHLY in 1875. The whole was made a book in 1883, when Twain was 48 years old. Its unifying theme is a nostalgic steamboat trip from north to south and back up again on the Mississippi in the early 1870s. *** LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI is clearly, forcefully and amusingly written. It is also very uneven in quality. If one were to read only one book by Mark Twain/Samuel Langhorne Clemens, this would not be it. This book does not make one want to read more Twain. For unifying structure the author uses the framework of a sentimental river journey by steamboat which he made in the 1870s largely to toss off unrelated comments on many subjects, each with its specialized audience.*** No, LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI is for specialists and for readers who simply can't get enough of the great humorist and satirist. Who should read this book? *** First, LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI is for people who can't read too much Mark Twain. It is autobiographical about his time in pre-Civil War training and practice as a steamboat pilot and gives a reminiscence of growing up in Hannibal, Missouri. Second, the book is for specialists in the ancient and modern history of the mighty Mississippi river itself, 2,000 miles from New Orleans to Saint Paul. It also forcefully brings to life the great age of Mississippi river steam-boating which began in 1811. That period grew in importance through the Civil War and then gradually ceded both passengers and freights to the railroads. In any case this was a longer period than the fabled hey-day of cowboys and trail drives from the 1860s into the 1880s. *** Scholars of the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) swarm on two brief passages in Chapters 45 and 46 in LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI in which Mark Twain variously blames the bad architecture of the state capitol at Baton Rouge on Sir Walter and even gives him a major hand in causing the American Civil War. Even second-rate Southern writers are said to be second rate because they are poor imitators of Sir Walter Scott! Basically, Mark Twain sees the world moving away from superstition and revealed religion into a time of reason, equality of man, individualism and self-starting skeptical personal creativity. Napoleon is this world's engine. Cervantes in DON QUIXOTE almost ended the learned world's fascination with chivalry. But then came Sir Walter and turned back the clock with IVANHOE. It is hard to know whether Mark Twain was being serious or funny. *** This is in a few places a five star performance, Twain at his best. But in too many other passages, e.g. in his dry reproduction of statistical charts, it dips to two star quality, not much more exciting than reading a telephone directory. -OOO-

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    Posted September 6, 2010

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