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Mark Twain
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The 1,000,000 Pound Bank-Note

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  972 ratings  ·  90 reviews

When a greeting card is too little and a dozen roses is too much, a Greetings Book is the perfect gift. Features a full-color foil binding attractive enough to leave unwrapped, an inscribed removable bookmark, ribbon tie, and delicate full-color illustrationsall enhancing a classic and enduring short story.

Hardcover, 0 pages
Published October 31st 1995 by Crown Publishing Group (first published 1893)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Pramod Nair
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, humor
Imagine for a second that you have accidentally acquired an object of immense value, or a stash of immense wealth; a fortune that is not legally yours and one you can only admire privately; a fortune, which you cannot personally sell or encash for the fear of getting caught up in legal muddles; a fortune that will have no takers even if donated freely; then what will be this fortune to you? It will be an immense burden, right? Nah Not for Harry Adams.

So who is Harry Adams? Well, he is the hero
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. Who knew that Mark Twain wrote a Victorian era version of the Eddie Murphy movie Trading Places ... or at least half of it? This novella is an amusing, quick read.

Henry Adams, a young man working a clerking job in San Francisco, is lost at sea, picked up by another ship and taken to London. When he arrives he is ragged and penniless. It just so happens that a couple of rich brothers have bought up a one-of-a-kind bank note for a million pounds. They make a bet about whether, if they
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very short and delightful novella that plays around with the concept of perceived wealth and how it can literally change your life. Twain is great with getting into the foibles and weakness of society at the time, and in this case, not much has changed now. The story is set in London during Victorian times (of course!).

Henry Adams has just got off the boat and wonders how he is going to make ends meet in this most expensive city. But while he is foraging for food in the dustbin, his life
Tristram Shandy
The Story Bounces

Written in Florence in 1893, The £ 1,000,000 Bank-Note may well be said to rank among Mark Twains best-known works, but Id say it is hardly one of its best works. Not anywhere near the mark.

The story of an honest, plucky American castaway who ends up in London, with not a penny in his pocket, and is made the subject of a bet by two eccentric millionaire brothers is really lame for mark Twains standards. Considering that he could have used the idea to point out how all the world,
Stephanie Anze
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"I had nothing in the world but a million pounds."

Henry Adams winds up in Victorian London completely broke and with his clothes in tatters. With nothing to his name, he is on the streets hoping to find a morsel of food when he is spotted by two wealthy and eccentric brothers. The brothers have in their possesion a rare one million pound bank note and decide to place a wager. They pick Henry and give him the note. One brother wages that Henry will be at loss at what to do with the note and find
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-fiction
Just great! Reminiscent of the film "Trading Places", starting out about money but ending as a love story. A bit of humor... a bit of depth... and an unexpected twist at the end; like a fairy tale! Lovely stuff from the great Mark Twain.

Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, okay
3.5 stars!
What a clever man :D Simple but great story!
Reynar Swan
I've always been a big fan of Twain, his writing style and ability to tell a story, especially witty ones. Man was no stranger to humor. Having read most of his writing, The Million Pound Bank Note remained on my to-be-read list until tonight. Got into a short-story frame of mind. This...mmm, yeah, it's one of Twain's weaker stories. It's short, so the dryness doesn't get too bothersome. Meh, read it if you're like me and a bit OCD in that you have to read everything someone you admire as a ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry Adams was alone in the world and regularly enjoyed a sail in the bay when one day he was carried out to sea in a storm and feared that his life would be lost. However, a sailing boat picked him up and he worked his passage until the boat docked in London. He had only one dollar in his pocket so for 24 hours he went without food and shelter.

Then one day as he walked along Portland Place he followed a child and its nanny because the child had dropped a pear and he longed to pick it up and
Apr 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
Have anyone heard of the saying "To get a loan you first need to prove that you don't need one" ?

This story by Twain emphasizes this fact more than ever.

I was waiting for some ironical situation to emerge or some tragedy to befall the protagonist. But it never happened.

Twain could have gained some brownie points by providing some more twists and turns. The ending is a little drab for a reader who has been hooked for the entire story just to see how things would pan out in the end.

An ironical
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Read this story in my 11th grade Honors English class as a part of our short story unit. I thoroughly enjoy Twain's writing in this story, an opinion that I probably wouldn't have while reading Huck Finn. I did not expect the twist in the end, and I enjoyed seeing a bit of a sociological experiment done in such an early time period. Half a star taken off for the way Portia is portrayed in this story.
Anahit H.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anahit by: Tatevik Najaryan
Shelves: cen-19
I read the whole thing in Tahani's voice from The Good Place and it was incredible.

Thanks T. for the recommendation.
Michael Jennings
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
"Could I afford it? No; I had nothing in the world but a million pounds."
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the good fortune of rich - a satire on how world perceives the poor carrrying a rich note!
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very short and light-hearted and fun story about a man who makes a great success out of simply having in his possession a one million pound note that he cannot spend because when people see it in his possession they immediately believe him to be very rich and try to curry favor with him.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
Overall a pretty amusing story and a solid part of Mark Twain's literary collection.
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished with the short story collection. I liked the stories but sometimes it got so complicated.
3.5/5 ☆ stars.
Tatevik Najaryan
One of the stories when the film is as good as the book!
Daniel Zhang
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humanity
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jon Norimann
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The million pound note is dated, pointless and trivial. A story about a man being given a million UK pound note to live on for a month is an artificial setting. After a series of descriptions of daily events with an artificial twist caused by the large note the story comes to an end with a final twist.This always was a pointless story and Twain doesnt manage to make it any more than that. For its brevity and occasional funny moment it goes up from 1 to 2 stars.
In this short story, which requires a very short time to read, Twain includes all social commentary, parody and a little adventure. Or at least it would be one if the story weren't as incredibly fast paced. What the author does choose to tell is well distributed and conveys the idea all the same, but I'm glad that the film adaption of this story (The Million Pound Note from 1954) lingers more on the details, granting the option to relish in the many possibilities the story has to offer even by ...more
Interesting short story about a young man given a million pound bank note and having to survive with no other money. Henry Adams reminded me of Eddy Murphy in the movie Trading Places subject to the bet of 2 old men.
silk ☾
I actually read this for class a few months ago, but forgot to add it here.

I honestly found it quite boring, but it wasnt terrible, and some of the ideas were quite fascinating.

(Nope, totally not making up excuses to finish my Goodreads challenge by 12! Hehe)
Joe Sahli
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting short reading i had never read english short stories this was my first
It's well written
Almost fairy tale-esque. Not as wry as his normal fare.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books, short
Well, that turned out better than I expected.
Akshay Parakkote
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little piece of fiction that indirectly shows being rich but not forgetting where you have come from will only make things better and better on every aspects ...more
Loved it. Absolutely thrilling story :)
Nasrin Shila
Interesting but predictable. The Portia part was too cheesy.
Dani A.
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intersting and short
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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

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“-Henry, I'm ashamed of you. You don't half thank the good gentleman. May I do it for you?'
-Indeed you shall, dear, if you can improve it. Let us see you try.
She walked to my man, got up in his lap, put her arm round his neck, and kissed him right on the mouth. Then the two old gentlemen shouted with laughter, but I was dumfounded, just petrified, as you may say.”
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