Roughing It

Roughing It

3.5 79
by Mark Twain
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Roughing It is a book of semi-autobiographical travel literature written by American humorist Mark Twain. He wrote it during 1870-71 and published in 1872, as a prequel to his first book The Innocents Abroad (1869). This book tells of Twain's adventures prior to his pleasure cruise related in Innocents Abroad.

Roughing It follows the travels

Overview

Roughing It is a book of semi-autobiographical travel literature written by American humorist Mark Twain. He wrote it during 1870-71 and published in 1872, as a prequel to his first book The Innocents Abroad (1869). This book tells of Twain's adventures prior to his pleasure cruise related in Innocents Abroad.

Roughing It follows the travels of young Mark Twain through the Wild West during the years 1861-1867. After a brief stint as a Confederate cavalry militiaman (not included in the account), he joined his brother Orion Clemens, who had been appointed Secretary of the Nevada Territory, on a stagecoach journey west. Twain consulted his brother's diary to refresh his memory and borrowed heavily from his active imagination for many stories in the book.

Roughing It illustrates many of Twain's early adventures, including a visit to Salt Lake City, gold and silver prospecting, real-estate speculation, a journey to the Kingdom of Hawaii, and his beginnings as a writer. This memoir provides examples of Twain's rough-hewn humor, which would become a staple of his writing in such later books as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer(1876), and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889).

Titbits:

U.S. astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell read Roughing It aloud to pass the time aboard NASA's Gemini VII, a 14-day-long Earth orbital mission in December 1965. Borman recalls reading the book during an on-camera interview in the PBS-TV (USA) television program Nova: To the Moon (1999).

Some Quotes From the Classic:
"The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be?--it is the same the angels breathe."

"Wherever he found his speech growing too modern -- which was about every sentence or two -- he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as "exceeding sore," "and it came to pass," etc., and made things satisfactory again. "And it came to pass" was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet."

"The first glance at the pillow showed me a repulsive sentinel perched upon each end of it--cockroaches as large as peach leaves--fellows with long, quivering antennae and fiery, malignant eyes. They were grating their teeth like tobacco worms, and appeared to be dissatisfied about something. I had often heard that these reptiles were in the habit of eating off sleeping sailors' toe nails down to the quick, and I would not get in the bunk any more. I lay down on the floor. But a rat came and bothered me, and shortly afterward a procession of cockroaches arrived and camped in my hair. In a few moments the rooster was crowing with uncommon spirit and a party of fleas were throwing double somersaults about my person in the wildest disorder, and taking a bite every time they stuck. I was beginning to feel really annoyed. I got up and put my clothes on and went on deck.
The above is not overdrawn; it is a truthful sketch of inter-island schooner life."

"This book is merely a personal narrative, and not a pretentious history or a philosophical dissertation. It is a record of several years of variegated vagabondizing, and it's object is rather to help the resting reader while away an idle hour than afflict him with metaphysics, or goad him with science."

Scroll Up and Grab Your Copy!

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781535437523
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
07/22/2016
Pages:
380

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER I.


MY brother had just been appointed Secretary of Nevada Territory - an office of such majesty that it concentrated in itself the duties and dignities of Treasurer, Comptroller, Secretary of State, and Acting Governor in the Governor's absence. A salary of eighteen hundred dollars a year and the title of "Mr. Secretary," gave to the great position an air of wild and imposing grandeur. I was young and ignorant, and I envied my brother. I coveted his distinction and his financial splendor, but particularly and especially the long, strange journey he was going to make, and the curious new world he was going to explore. He was going to travel! I never had been away from home, and that word "travel" had a seductive charm for me. Pretty soon he would be hundreds and hundreds of miles away on the great plains and deserts, and among the mountains of the Far West, and would see buffaloes and Indians, and prairie dogs, and antelopes, and have all kinds of adventures, and maybe get hanged or scalped, and have ever such a fine time, and write home and tell us all about it, and be a hero. And he would see the gold mines and the silver mines, and maybe go about of an afternoon when his work was done, and pick up two or three pailfuls of shining slugs and nuggets of gold and silver on the hillside. And by and by he would become very rich, and return home by sea, and be able to talk as calmly about San Francisco and the ocean, and "the isthmus" as if it was nothing of any consequence to have seen those marvels face to face. What I suffered in contemplating his happiness, pen cannot describe. And so, when he offered me, in cold blood, the sublime position of private secretary under him, it appeared to me that the heavens and the earth passed away, and the firmament was rolled together as a scroll! I had nothing more to desire. My contentment was complete. At the end of an hour or two I was ready for the journey. Not much packing up was necessary, because we were going in the overland stage from the Missouri frontier to Nevada, and passengers were only allowed a small quantity of baggage apiece. There was no Pacific railroad in those fine times of ten or twelve years ago - not a single rail of it.

I only proposed to stay in Nevada three months - I had no thought of staying longer than that. I meant to see all I could that was new and strange, and then hurry home to business. I little thought that I would not see the end of that three-month pleasure excursion for six or seven uncommonly long years!

I dreamed all night about Indians, deserts, and silver bars, and in due time, next day, we took shipping at the St. Louis wharf on board a steamboat bound up the Missouri River.

We were six days going from St. Louis to "St. Joe" - a trip that was so dull, and sleepy, and eventless that it has left no more impression on my memory than if its duration had been six minutes instead of that many days. No record is left in my mind, now, concerning it, but a confused jumble of savage-looking snags, which we deliberately walked over with one wheel or the other; and of reefs which we butted and butted, and then retired from and climbed over in some softer place; and of sand-bars which we roosted on occasionally, and rested, and then got out our crutches and sparred over. In fact, the boat might almost as well have gone to St. Joe by land, for she was walking most of the time, anyhow - climbing over reefs and clambering over snags patiently and laboriously all day long. The captain said she was a "bully" boat, and all she wanted was more "shear" and a bigger wheel. I thought she wanted a pair of stilts, but I had the deep sagacity not to say so.

Meet the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American humorist, novelist, writer and lecturer. Twain's greatest contribution to American literature is generally considered to be his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
November 30, 1835
Date of Death:
April 21, 1910
Place of Birth:
Florida, Missouri
Place of Death:
Redding, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Roughing It 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
jchas More than 1 year ago
I have read this book 3 times over the years. The first time it literally had me laughing out loud as I read it on my lunch hours in the company bresk room. It is a hilarious tale of Twains travel adventure by stage coach from the Mississippi to Californias gold fields with a unique historical perspective of the California gold rush that you wont find any where else. Much more entertaining than his other "travel" books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark Twain is always great. For those who want a trip back into our past, Roughing It is fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who has travelled the areas Twain describes, I can truly appreciate his perspective. Hope its not lost on those that haven't witnessed it first hand. A bit wordy in some areas, but a great book nonetheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining autobiographical book
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has no discernable plot or other literary pretenseions to distract from the fun of seeing Virginia City and the Comstock Lode in their heyday through the eyes of a young Samuel Clemens. It could be subtitled 'Autobiography of a Splendid Liar.' It wanders about, goes nowhere in particular and trails off into idle reminiscences, but it's a great trip.
Guest More than 1 year ago
it is one of the best books i ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Educational, historical,  and hilarious.  Join Mark Twain on his journey across 19th century America.  It makes history fun.
MikeLaville More than 1 year ago
awesome book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This version wasunfortunately unreadable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dranowalker More than 1 year ago
Covers Twain's travels from St Joe, MO to the west coast. Highly entertaining. Must read if you liked Huck and Tom from Twain.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book))
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a full book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AUDONIANO More than 1 year ago
Even that this is a very long book wont get you tire, Twain show how was to travel through the country when he was alive. It was fun to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago