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The Signet Classic Book of Mark Twain's Short Stories
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The Signet Classic Book of Mark Twain's Short Stories

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  113 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The humorous story is strictly a work of art-high and delicate-and only an artist can tell it.-Mark Twain, How to Tell a Story For nearly two decades before Mark Twain published his finest novel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, he was refining his craft and winning tremendous popularity with his short stories and sketches. This richly entertaining and comprehensive collect ...more
ebook, 832 pages
Published May 2nd 2006 by Signet Classics (first published June 28th 1980)
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I've read this cheap collection so long that the paper has yellowed. And I shall probably pick it up from time to time, still seeking some wheat among the chaff. But It's mostly chaff.

In fact, Twain wasn't that good. He was hailed in his day as insightful and witty, but mostly he was cynical--and we have that in spades today. He did adept at spotting curious or potentially informative situations, but--I assume he was paid by word count--extends the telling so long as to ruin the effect.

I would
Carla Diot
What was interesting about Mark Twain’s short stories was the journalistic tone that made all of these stories seem much more like memoirs than fictional stories. These accounts ranged from people that the narrator had known, such as in “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. In this, the narrator listens to the story of Jim Smiley and his frog, who continue to celebrate racing victories until his frog is sabotaged. The story is told through the narrator who hears the story from someo ...more
What I liked about it: Much like myself, Twain was a natural skeptic with a sense of humour so dry it cracked in several places (cynical people might call us 'sarcastic'), and that comes out in his stories. It's also pretty clear that he was disgusted by the morality tales of his day, in which good little children are rewarded by the universe and bad little children are punished, as evidenced by 'The Story of the Bad Little Boy' and 'The Story of the Good Little Boy' in which the opposite happen ...more
David Allen
As the short story wasn't Twain's metier, these sketches, fables, tall tales and sentimental fiction won't make anyone forget Poe and Hawthorne. Yet Twain was a born storyteller. "The Invalid's Story," about a man in a train's baggage car who mistakes a shipment of Limburger cheese for a rotting corpse, is a jaw-dropper. So is the scathing "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg," which takes aim at human folly and scores a bull's-eye.
Enjoyed The Million Pound Bank Note best.

Liked the quote from How to Tell A Story:

"The humorous story is American, the comic story is English, the witty story is French. The humorous story depends for its effect upon the manner of the telling; the comic story and the witty story upon the matter."

May 11, 2009 Aj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who needs a good laugh
Full of humor and wisdom. I don't know how to begin with this book. Halfway done. I used to read a story a night, and during that time the whole world was full of irony and humor. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, well I say a dose of Twain a day keeps the therapist away. Hoho.
Apr 23, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Mark Twain
I always loved Huckelberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and Life on the Mississippi, I never knew he wrote other books. I loved reading these books from one of my favorite authors. There is a humorous side to them that will keep you laughing and unable to put it down.
This book contains most (but not all) of Mark Twain's short stories and most of them are very good indeed. Superb as an introduction to the great man, unlike his novels many of these stories are flawless and represent Twain at his best.
There needs to be a category for "partially read." I didn't make it through all these stories. Many were enjoyable, but apparently I need a unifying plot to keep me reading.
Oct 07, 2011 Carol marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I read just one short story in this collection,"The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg". It was about this perfect town where there was no temptation.
i love the stories about Adam and Eve at Niagra Falls, and the one about the bullfrog jumping contest.
I had a dictionary at my side the whole time I was reading this, but it was worth it.
Hilarious and dark at the same time. "Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn" was probably my favorite.
Scott Gill
What can I say? It's Twain and absolutely hilarious at times.
clever and funny short stories
Super great. Twain is a treasure.
Mary Tuley
Aug 09, 2007 Mary Tuley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody.
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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 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 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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“I haven't a particle of confidence in a man who has no redeeming petty vices whatsoever.” 14 likes
“Then the cow asked:
"What is a mirror?"
"It is a hole in the wall," said the cat. "You look in it, and there you see the picture, and it is so dainty and charming and ethereal and inspiring in its unimaginable beauty that your head turns round and round, and you almost swoon with ecstasy.”
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