Mark Twain: A Life

Mark Twain: A Life

by Ron Powers
3.4 17

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Mark Twain 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the interest of full disclosure, I need to say at the outset that I'm a lifelong admirer of the subject of this lively, witty biography. Born and raised in Missouri, Clemens' home state, I, like many country boys of my generation, dreamed of floating down the Mississippi on a raft. I even tried to build one it sank, which was likely for the best. But I digress. Ron Powers evidences great sympathy for his subject without coddling or sugar-coating the crusty curmudgeon with the wild white mane. His prose is appropriately tongue-in-cheek at times--as Twain would have wished, I think--and his research is scrupulously thorough without adopting the plodding pace that plagues so many scholarly biographies. He allows the reader to marvel at the Sage of Hannibal as he glitters in all his brilliance... and as he curdles in his own self-centered blindness. Best of all, Powers illuminates to great advantage Mark Twain's pointed social satire and political commentary, uncovering what was, for me at least, the important and previously unknown record of Twain's scathing critiques of U.S. expansionism and colonialist exploitation in places like the Philippines during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Steaming upriver against the popular currents of the day, Twain anticipates by decades--and, in some ways, lays the groundwork for--the rhetoric of dissent that would become prominent in the 1960s. For Twain junkies like me, or for anyone interested in the rise of the uniquely American literary voice before and during the Gilded Age, MARK TWAIN: A LIFE is a better find than the loot stashed in Injun Joe's cave.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissLucy42 More than 1 year ago
This is an enjoyable, accessible biography of Mark Twain...a good place to start if one is interested in learning about Twain. I found it more oriented to the developement of his persona than others I have read about Samuel Clemens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Um.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So far Samuel didn't have an easy childhood but there is a lot of very interesting information about his family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EggmanJV More than 1 year ago
Fills in the gap: what happended after he said it, or after he wrote it. Alternates back and forth between very interesting and very hilarious. Etremely well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not agree more with the assessment of "Perfect bio for Twain". It is well written and comprehensive! The audio version is particularly entertaining!
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MargaretofBrighton More than 1 year ago
This was quite good, although it was tedious in the middle and I found myself thinking I'd never get through it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to read. written as if he was Clemens then using modern slang. Was a waste of time a chore to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For the period is annoying. I have read serveral much better bios. The problem is always trying to make more personall the writings of a professional writer the professional writer collects scraps of everything and like a quilter pieces into a new quilt.what i was surprised to kearn in one of the bios was that he helped grant write his bio when he was dying and couldnt finish . If you read grsnt's there are very likeable parts that seem not quite grant especially about his boyhood and selling a horse for his father and buying one also parts about his little boys twain' humor was really not funny and he seemed lijed many humorists to suffer depression. m.a.