Val's Reviews > Mark Twain

Mark Twain by Geoffrey C. Ward
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's review
Jul 01, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: autobiography-or-biography, historical-interest, literature, nonfiction
Recommended to Val by: Ken Burns' film
Recommended for: People who are interested in the life of Mark Twain
Read in July, 2009 , read count: 1

I'm a big fan of the Ken Burns' program (and love its soundtrack). This is the audiobook version, so I "lost" the benefit of all the photographs in the print version. But? Mark Twain's words are always best read aloud anyway. AND, this is an unabridged presentation, so that is DEFINITELY a good thing!

The first five discs are the bulk of the book, and the material upon which the Ken Burns film was based. Nothing new to me, though I feel it gives a very thoughtful account of Clemen's life, as juxtoposed against his writings and works. I think a lot of people who do NOT know much about Samuel Clemens will enjoy this very much, as they will find new and insightful things about Samuel Clemens the man that you wouldn't know from Mark Twain the author. It is very fine to hear a Mark Twain's words read aloud (as they are best encountered when read aloud). The sixth disc is selected readings from Twain's works, and the seventh is an analysis of Clemen's life and Twain's words and their impact on literature and on American literature. I could've mostly done without the seventh disc, but overall, I enjoyed this very much and would definitely recommend it to someone looking to find out more information on the creator of "the American voice" in literature.

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Reading Progress

07/01/2009 page 2 "I just finished disc 1 of 7, not sure what that translates to in pages. Enjoying it very much so far. :)"
07/10/2009 page 3 "I'm almost finished with the second disc. I am pondering whether Sam Clemens was responsible for the spiritual downfall of Livy Langdon. :/" 1 comment
07/14/2009 page 5 "I've finished the first 4 discs. I knew about the personal tragedies of Clemens' family life (sad); I'm convinced he was probably bi-polar."
07/16/2009 page 6 "I can't help but think, in-spite of everything, had he been a functional person he would've had so much more to offer."
07/16/2009 page 7 "The 6th disc was collected narrative short pieces by Mark Twain, probably a richer experience this way than reading the actual book as text."

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