Marian's Reviews > The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West

The Trouble Begins at 8 by Sid Fleischman
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Oct 04, 09

Read in October, 2009

Pros:
1. A fast read. Surprising for any biographical book regardless of its intended audience.
2. This book largely succeeded in reflecting the adventurous and humorous life of Mark Twain with its writing style.

Cons:
1. I realize if I wanted to learn more about Mark Twain perhaps I should have began with his own autobiography. (Or at the very least Wikipedia.)
2. I'm not sure (even with a more adventurous writing style) this book would interest its intended young audience. As for we adults, I would have liked a little more content and detail.

From Mark Twain himself:
1. When asked if he swears Twain answered, "Not for amusement; only under pressure."
2. On a trip to Nevada, Twain and his brother were allowed only 25 pounds of luggage. His brother insisted on bringing a 6-pound, bulky, unabridged dictionary. After crossing the miserable Salt Lake desert Twain finally became grateful for the dictionary, "because we never could have found language to tell how glad we were, in any sort of dictionary but an unabridged one."
3. "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
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