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A Tramp Abroad

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,424 ratings  ·  153 reviews
An American in Heidelberg. His tour through Germany in 1878
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1880)
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Lorenzo Berardi
I bought this book by mistake in one of those charity shops that make any idle and rainy Saturday in Oxford a treasure hunt.
What I thought I had found was actually "Innocents Abroad" by the same Mark Twain, but somehow the word "tramp" was left out of my raptorous glance.

Well, "A Tramp Abroad" revolves around pretty much the same topic of "Innocents Abroad" which is Mr Twain touring Europe proud of being an American but at the same time eager to get all that the Old Continent has to offer to h
First, I'm glad I've already read The Innocents Abroad, or else at some point I'd have little to no idea what Twain is talking about when he refers to incidents on that trip, which happens occasionally. This seems a slightly more 'serious' book than that, too, which shows me some of the changes (not to mention growth) in Twain himself, which adds interest.

Beyond that, there's no easy way to categorize this book: humorous travelogue, social critique of both Europe and the U.S. (in which neither h
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Funny, but not hilarious. Mostly tongue-in-cheek hyperboles, Mark Twain recounts here his 15-month walking trip through Central Europe and the Alps in 1878-1879. I have only one kind of test for humorous, or supposedly humorous, books: the sound test. Five stars if it made me laugh out loud; four stars if it made me chuckle; three stars if it made me smile; two stars if it just made light up inside; a star if I found it funny without any change in me, or if it wasn't funny at all.

In his Introduc
Mar 29, 2007 Jesse rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Travellers
This is by far my favorite of Twain's works. When you go to Europe you need this book. "Paris and Venice are the two greatest lies ever told." Brilliant. Cause they are. When you read this you must realize that Twain is a sarcastic American debunking all the European myth and glory. Most of what you know about Europe has been sold as a marketing campaign. Twain realizes that reality lays not in a travel brochure but in the real travel and observation of that place. Excellent.
Very interesting reading this on the heels of "The Dharma Bums' by Jack Kerouac. There is a key phrase from "A Tramp Abroad", "comparisons are odious" which has always struck me. It appears notably in both of these books. "A Tramp Abroad" is really interesting as a travelogue, a glimpse into 19th century Europe from a sharp and acute observer. Twain's descriptions of villages, hotel's, hotel customs, restaurant fare, mountains and mountain climbing, art and artists, architecture are joys to read ...more
This is an enjoyable read but scattered in its organization. Mark Twain is proud of his own wit and sprinkles it all over his descriptions of European culture and landscapes. This book was particularly meaningful for me because I am living in Germany and have had similar experiences as he did well over one-hundred years ago. For example, his descriptions of Heidelberg and its castle ruin are just like my experiences there: the rolling, forested hills above the Necker river; the castle on the hil ...more
Ryan Milbrath
When I think of Mark Twain I think of my sophomore year English class in High School. We read Huckleberry Finn. In eighth grade I remember reading Tom Sawyer. In both cases I remember the teacher engaging us in lengthy discussions of youth, naiveté, racism, American culture during the 1800’s, and Samuel Clemens own tramp-like background. Ever since those “teachable moments” in literature I wanted to meet this Mr. Twain. He seemed like my kind of person: witty, tongue-in-cheek, mischievous, ideal ...more
Mark Twain is considered one of the great American writers of the 19th century, yah yah, you’ve heard it all before. While most people know him from the tales of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Twain also wrote non-fiction. In “A Tramp Abroad”, Twain writes about his experience travelling through Europe in the 1880s. It’s actually his second trip, the first trip he wrote about in “Innocents Abroad”.

Then an innocent, now a tramp. Nice.

It didn’t take me long to make up my mind, Twain is dope. His
"A man accustomed to American food and American domestic cookery would not starve to death suddenly in Europe; but I think he would gradually waste away, and eventually die.

He would have to do without his accustomed morning meal. That is too formidable a change altogether; he would necessarily suffer from it. He could get the shadow, the sham, the base counterfeit of that meal; but it would do him no good, and money would not buy the reality.

To particularize: the average American's simplest and
S.P. Moss
Published in 1880, 'A Tramp Abroad' is a mix of autobiography and fiction covering the author's travels in Southern Germany, the Swiss Alps and Italy.

The title sets the tone for the book in that "tramp" - in either sense of the word - is a deliberate misnomer, as Mr Twain/Clemens rarely travels by foot, taking advantage of the transport available at the time - trains, rafts, carriages, steamers, mules - and the services of that all-important courier.

This is a very long b
Patrick Hadley
Twain is absolutely hilarious. His satire is always firmly focused on pretension, and it never misfires. I was laughing out loud throughout the entire book. When there was nobody to humble and no pretension to mock, he could in turn give wonderful descriptions of scenery, peoples, and customs. As imaginative and bitingly hilarious as Swift, but with one foot always firmly on the ground.
Fascinating, fraught and hilarious. I'm pretty much besotted by that part of the world anyway and I enjoyed travelling back in time. This is the book which contains the famous essay "The Awful German Language" - read it for that alone - and it relates an episode which will put you off forever from attempting to scale the Matterhorn.
Jack Hrkach
I had received the Kindle version (a free Gutenberg book, which for some reason repeats the entire 50 chapters) before my recent 3 weeks in Germany, Switzerland and Strasbourg France. Mark Twain took a tramp abroad and WAS a tramp abroad. He is of course a great storyteller, and while sometimes serious is at times brilliantly comic here.

However, unless you're a great fan (or like me want to compare your trip to his) you may be a tad disappointed in the author of Huckleberry Finn, which I, like m
I'm only on page 20 but blown away by similarities in Twain's observations of the beer-drinking hijinks of university students in His day in Heidleberg and my own observations of modern day university students and their quest of the same sorts of drunken prowess.
Uneven in parts but oh so good. It's his travels through Europe "on foot." Some of the best bits: failure to see the sunrise in Switzerland, meeting other American tourists abroad, his friend Harris' Protestant dislike of Catholic glaciers.
Rich Griese
A tour de force! Twain has a great witty writing style. No matter what he writes about I find myself reading or listening with a smile on my face. Broke out laughing multiple times at Chapter 37. A jewel from a time gone by. The forerunner of both travel shows and situation comedies. Incredible writing. A delight for the ears.

Probably more popular when people had less to do. Today, I think people feel they are too busy to do anything that can't be done in 5 minutes. So, sitting and listening to
Twain is indeed a funny man- something I never fully believed until reading this work!
A Tramp Abroad is my first 'factual' Mark Twain book and I'm not completely sure how I feel about it. Initially difficult to get into, the first few chapters are an odd blend of observations, hearsay, retelling of local myths and flannel. Once the style settles down, I thought the book flowed more but it's still quite hit and miss - a bit like watching a Monty Python episode. There are very funny anecdotes that are probably greatly exaggerated or mostly made up but with satirical grains of truth ...more
Sarah-Lambert Cook
I love to see a new place by walking in it. It's one of the best ways to experience the unfamiliar since it gives you time to explore and absorb the scenery. Maybe that's why I found it fascinating to read one of Mark Twain's lesser known works about his walking travels in Europe around the alps while I'm here in Germany. Twain's descriptions of university life in Heidelberg aren't so different from the way things are now even if they are a little more the 19th c variation.

What I really love is
In terms of Twain travelogue, I would say this is ultimately the weakest of the lot – although, bless, that still leaves a lot to enjoy. A Tramp Abroad starts out strong in Germany and builds thrills in Switzerland before sputtering to over-lingering in the Alps and plummeting to an abrupt conclusion in Italy so startling that I had no idea that I was going to be finishing the book until I was halfway through the chapter. You can tell that Twain was tired of traveling and lecturing with this boo ...more
"I heard a Californian student in Heidelberg say, in one of his calmest moods, that he would rather decline two drinks than one German adjective."

The best part of this book is Twain's essay on Die schreckliche deutsche Sprache. Despite having spent a large part of last year travelling around the same parts of Germany and Switzerland as he did, I found that his discourse on language was the only part I could really relate to. An earlier Bill Bryson he may be, but with markedly less humour and a d
What I have is the abridged edition [300 pp only] of 1977. In his intro [which I found not terriby well written], Charles Neider gives highly useful context for the book. Twain wrote this book because he had to, he needed the money to support his family. Neider thinks it is better and funnier than Innocents -- in places. But very uneven, and that's why he produced this abridged version. I have never read Innocents, and perhaps need not attempt to...

The chapter making fun of the German language i
Nicholas During
Mark Twain's voice does seem the quintessential American voice. I haven't read The Innocents Abroad: or, The New Pilgrims' Progress, so I'm not sure if there is much difference, but I loved this book.

First is the voice, which is a strange, and hilarious, melange of the real Twain (I guess...), his protagonist (a fool), vivid descriptions of the sights, events, and people meet and seen on the way, and opinions that veer between complete humor and ironical common sense. And it is not just the narr
I read this book just after returning from a vacation to Germany and Switzerland; I wrote a travelogue about our experiences, and discovered that Twain had written about many of the same places we'd visited, especially Heidelberg.

A Tramp Abroad highly entertaining, semi-fictional account of an extended vacation in southern Germany, the Alps and Italy. Twain relates his adventures touring central Europe by foot, boat and train, accompanied by his agent (in actuality, the story is drawn from a sab
Mark Allen
Mark Twain is my favorite author of all time, having earned a permanent place in my library for his hilarious and blasphemous autobiography. I'm on a mission to read his other works, one by one.

A Tramp Abroad purports to be Twain's semi-fictional account of a "pedestrian" journey or "tramp" around continental Europe in the late 1870s. For a man who writes in the first sentence of the book that he plans to walk around in Europe, he certainly doesn't do much walking! Most every chapter opens with
John Harder
I love Twain’s travel books. They are a perfect outlet for me. Reading about exotic and interesting places is much cheaper and easier than actually going there. Unfortunately people do not also write about uninteresting places, so I am compelled to actually visit only citadels of boredom. My tour of the lower Midwest springboarding from Kankakee IL begins August 30th – formal dress or toothbrush not required.

A Tramp Abroad (no not that type of tramp) has Mr. Clemens traveling through Italy, Ger
I my have made the mistake of reading the Tramp before the Innocence, but I still enjoyed this book. Twain grabs you with is story telling and humor. I found myself shaking my head and sometimes laughing out loud at his stories. Having been to several destinations he describes, I took joy in reading his encounters. I love how they set out to tramp "walk" the tour, but virtually never walk. I will definitely be re-reading this book shortly as I enjoyed it and his ridiculous stories and stretching ...more
yeah , i guess this might have gotten him fired

these are the actaul newspaper articles twain sent to 'daily alta california' in 1867-68. editor painstakingly chronicles how and where twain changed these stories for his book of same subject The Innocents Abroad the package excursion made stops in azores, spain, france, italy, syria, palestine.
twain is ruthless in caricaturing himself, other american 'pilgrims', and all the residents, customs, history and art of the countries he visited.
but man,
This is one book that would have welcomed the efforts of a hard working editor. At times Twain's brilliance and humour come shining through, especially in his fascinating observations of the lives of Germans and the tourists who walk through their midst. But too often he gets sidetracked with less stellar tales that belong in another book: drifting back to the US for "A Tramp at Home", recounting legends and folk tales that feel ripped from another writer's guidebook, and complete fantasies of h ...more
For me, it's hard NOT to like Mark Twain. Although in my opinion, he spent too many chapters talking about glaciers and mountains in Switzerland. And it took me almost a year to read it (because life, not because boring), so it's hard for me to remember how I felt about it as a whole book.
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Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

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 work
More about Mark Twain...
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, #2) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, #1) The Prince and the Pauper A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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