keith koenigsberg's Reviews > Autobiography, Vol. 1

Autobiography, Vol. 1 by Mark Twain
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Mar 13, 11

bookshelves: biography, non-fiction
Read in September, 2010

Too lengthy, too bloated, too formless, too artless. Occasionally the storyteller in Twain shines through, and occasionally the opinionated man of the world gives us something to think about, but these gems are buried in tons of sludge. Defenders of the volume try to tell us that it's "scholarly". No, I say they are missing the point. A Biography may be scholarly. This autobiography is rambling and crappy. I ended up enjoying this book most by browsing the appendix for topics Twain discussed that I cared about (Theodore Roosevelt, New York City...the guy lived from 1835 to 1910..what did he think of the brooklyn bridge? electricity? cars? Napoleon?) and enjoying the vignettes, and skipping, for example, the copious quotations from his dead teenage daughter's biography of himself. For this purpose, reading it on a Kindle is GREAT.
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