Life on the Mississippi

Life on the Mississippi

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Overview

Life on the Mississippi is a memoir by Mark Twain detailing his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before and after the American Civil War. The book begins with a brief history of the river. It continues with anecdotes of Twain's training as a steamboat pilot, as the 'cub' of an experienced pilot. He describes, with great affection, the science of navigating the ever-changing Mississippi River. In the second half, the book describes Twain's return, many years later, to travel on a steamboat from St. Louis to New Orleans. He describes the competition from railroads, the new, large cities, and his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy, and bad architecture. He also tells some stories that are most likely tall tales. Simultaneously published in 1883 in the U.S. and in England, it is said to be the first book composed on a typewriter. (Source: Wikipedia)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013151154
Publisher: Granto Classic Books
Publication date: 07/29/2011
Series: Mark Twain , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 987,681
File size: 483 KB

About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910),[1] better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is most noted for his novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called "the Great American Novel."

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, which became very popular and brought nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Customer Reviews

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Life on the Mississippi 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Life on the Mississippi is all about Mark Twain's experience as a steamboat pilot. I learned so much about the Mississippi River, the towns along the river, and about steamboating. It is well told my Twain and the first sentence makes you feel the need to keep reading. Life on the Mississippi is easily one of my favorite books.
DVD More than 1 year ago
I've read almost every Mark Twain novel and this which I read awhile back, is still one of my very faves. There are lots of great little two to three page accounts that across time are universally funny. It is really interesting looking at a snapshot of heartland American steamboat history long forgotten. I find Twain's travel diary type of writing in general to be irresistible and this one even beats "Innocents Abroad" in humor, quirkiness and creative writing ability. This book propelled me on a crusade to read all of Twain's travel diary type stuff and so far, the only other one which matched this one was "Roughing It". In these pages, Twain also manages to paint a wonderfully light, objective picture of various 19th century issues such as slavery and the industrial revolution. It eeks with rainy day interest from the first to the last page.
Waterfall42 More than 1 year ago
I bought this to give to my husband since we are going on a riverboat trip up the Mississippi this spring. Very easy & interesting reading by the great Mark Twain.
CGS_MI More than 1 year ago
This book is written in an almost chatty style that was surprising at first. The technique sprinkles little anectdotes throughout the text, along with quite a bit of period history. Clemen's interest in technology, and descriptions of changes in his lifetime, is a bonus for people interested in technological history. This is the first Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain book I've read since high school, and it shows why he was so popular during his lifetime. It's definitely a shame that most of us are only exposed to a couple of his works. Well worth a read.
Michaelm7b More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not too many OCR problems, but NONE of the appendices are included, which is a huge disappointment. Why weren't they scanned along with the rest of the text?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's what I get for trying to save a buck! This version is screwed up not even in english
mjfreader More than 1 year ago
My husband had read this as an e-book. He enjoyed it so much, we bought it for his Mother, who lives on the Mississippi. It's much more enjoyable than Mark Twain's autobiography, which he also read. Anyone who loves Mark Twain and/or lives on THE river will enjoy this book.
JBreedlove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Considered a classic it described a long gone way of life in the mid and late 19th century book ending the Civil War. An almost frontier life looking back from "modern times" of the late 18th century. It made me realize the amount of non-fiction written by Twain. Not the easiest read at times but certainly enlightening.
vibrantminds on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book is an autobiographical account of Mark Twain¿s growing up along the Mississippi river and becoming a pilot of a steamboat. After being departed for over 20 years he heads back to the river to take a tour of the place he once knew so well. He reminisces back 20 years over his childhood, his early years as an apprentice on a steamboat to becoming a pilot, leading up to the present day (at least when written) and what has become of the river since. Through his dealings with the river he chose his pen name; a term used on the water that basically meant safe clearance for travel. Not his best work but interesting none the less.
alcoholicferrets on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Life on the Mississippi is not really about the river itself, but the people and places on and around it. The first chapter introduces the river and gives various facts and statistics about it, as well as "historical history". The book continues with Mark Twain's personal experiences with the river, starting with his early steamboating days, when he was training to be a pilot. Twain also writes of his trip up the Mississippi years later.The stories here have a loose sense of chronology: they follow Twain through his pilot training and up the river on the trip he takes later, but are often interrupted by stories and anecdotes, as well as Twain's memories and his views on various subjects. The book is often humorous. There were many passages that I wanted to write out, if I was the type of person who writes out passages from books. At one point, Twain argues that Sir Walter Scott is responsible for the Civil War. There are many other stories that are quite funny, it would be impossible to list them all.Something I had trouble with was all the steamboating jargon that went unexplained. I suppose at the time of the books' publishing, people generally knew more about boats and would not be puzzled. Some footnotes would have helped, though.Life on the Mississippi is, overall, a very interesting portrait of 19th century America. It wasn't a period I knew much about, apart from the Civil War.
ben_a on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this up several months ago and read the first 150 pages. Twain is a marvel. What a style! And how quickly he moves from tall tales and nonsense to a boiler explosion which kills his brother. Notable also for his recounting of pre-fight banter that prefigures Ali and Ric Flair. To understand America, read Twain.
jlelliott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every time I look at a river, I think of Mark Twain and his adventures on the Mississippi. His writing, always funny and warm, tells us first of the history and stories of his beloved river, and then of his experiences learning the steamboat trade. I found his description of being a steamboat student very similar to being a medical student: two-hundred years later and in completely different trades, route memorization and gradual responsibility for people¿s lives still have much in common. This book made me want to travel the Mississippi, not as it stands today but as it appeared to Twain in his youth. I feel the same way about Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his Magdalena river. I think it is amazing how these inspired authors can make me love a river I have never seen.
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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.
jgreen19 More than 1 year ago
How does one find the adjectives to describe a book so full of adjectives? The book not only chronicled life on the river but the authors life as well. Anyone with even a slight knowledge of the goegraphy can melt right into the story and understand what he talks about. I highlighted several passages as I read along.
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