Emily's Reviews > Roughing It

Roughing It by Mark Twain
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's review
Aug 23, 2012

liked it
Read from August 23 to September 14, 2012

As other reviewers have said, this should have really been a much shorter book. It's about Twain's time in the Nevada territory, with some short excursions to other locales, but the last third of the book (and it's over 500 pages total) is about living in other places and doesn't really flow with the beginning. I really enjoyed it right up until he left Nevada for San Francisco, sort of enjoyed the San Francisco part just because I am often there, and then was super bored and struggling to make myself finish the rest. In a way it's comforting to know that Twain, who's often held up as a super-enlightened-genius, also had some horribly racist views early in his career. Not because it's nice for anyone to be racist, but because it's nice that no one's a perfect super-enlightened-genius all the time. Does that make sense? Anyway, I wonder how he felt about what he wrote about Hawaiian natives later in life, or if he even thought about it. There's a lot of jokes at their expense, the idea of which are basically "can you believe these people don't act exactly like European/Americans? They don't naturally know how shirt fronts work! HOW UNCIVILIZED!" So I guess I would recommend the first 2/3 of this book.
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