Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain” as Want to Read:
The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  5,884 ratings  ·  175 reviews
For deft plotting, riotous inventiveness, unforgettable characters, and language that brilliantly captures the lively rhythms of American speech, no American writer comes close to Mark Twain. This sparkling anthology covers the entire span of Twain’s inimitable yarn-spinning, from his early broad comedy to the biting satire of his later years.

Every one of his sixty stories

Paperback, Bantam Classic Reissue, 848 pages
Published March 1st 1984 by Bantam Classics (first published 1957)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,884 ratings  ·  175 reviews

Sort order
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is featured on this week's 'Shabby Sunday' @

Growing up in my grandparents home, we had books from wall to wall. My grandfather was a teacher and loved the written word. We had plenty of books to keep us busy. One of the only books that I have left in my collection that belonged to my grandfather is The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain. I can still remember him reading it when I was just a young child.

To me, this is a must-have for any Mark
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: classic, humor, fantasy
To be honest, this was sort of a "desperation" book; one of many that I've picked up from the three for a dollar room at the Boston Book Annex, which is down the street.

At three for a buck I can pick up all sorts of odd books that I wouldn't normally try. The Twain book doesn't really fall into that category, of course; I've read a fair amount of Twain. But the thing about this edition was that it was over 600 pages long with small type; it was very compact.

Anyway, I grabbed the Twain collection
Dec 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kurt by: Amazon Vine
(I wrote a positive review for the Amazon Vine program because the Amazon community tends to leave harsh comments on negative reviews, but this Goodreads review will highlight all of the good points I honestly shared.. with more balance on how bad the bad parts were)

Seriously, this is over 700 pages of folksy humor and wisdom. No one needs that much Mark Twain except serious scholars, and the rest of us will be fine flipping through this and enjoying a few stories before displaying it on a shelf
(_.- Jared -._) ₪ Book Nerd ₪
Loved it! I only need read 3 more books and I'd have read his complete works! Woot!

Now I leave you with a harmless lyric:
Conductor, when you receive a fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare,
A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare,
A pink trip slip for a three-cent fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
Punch, brothers! punch with care!
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
Jen Six
Sep 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I was one of those rare people that had somehow never read an actual Twain book. I remember there was a man dressed as Twain who came to our school and did his one man show, that was about the length of my knowledge. My high school AP english teacher got me addicted to finding quotations and I started a binder for them after years of collecting and noticed quite a few were from Twain. So, finally, when my son was born, I went out and bought Huckberry Finn, and Tom Sawyer, but grabbed this book f ...more
Mar 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
All of Mark Twain's stories read all at once was a bit too much. He is so sarcastic that after reading one story after another you begin to feel this negative vibe for the world. Some of his short stories standing on their own were excellent. I enjoyed, A Day at Niagara, Journalism in Tennessee, A Medieval Romance and Buck Fanshaw's Funeral to name a few. Most of the ones I enjoyed, were written early on in Mark Twain's career. My least favorites came at the end when he seemed to become so negat ...more
Alex Telander
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For anyone who’s grown up in the United States, you’ve more than likely been exposed to Mark Twain in one form or another, whether it’s having read one or more of his books in high school, seeing a biographical story about him on TV, or hearing one of the many hundreds of references about him; to many his is the quintessential “Great American Author.” And just a little over a century after his passing, Everyman’s Library has released a beautiful hardcover edition collecting all of his short stor ...more
**This is a review for the Everyman's Library hardcover edition, with an introduction by Adam Gopnik.

I don't know if it's because I'm Canadian and Mark Twain is more an American staple, but I'd never really been exposed to his work. I know of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, but by name only. So I figured reading this collection of short stories would give me a good idea of Mark Twain as a writer.

That said, the 60 stories collected are mostly of the comedy genre, some being downright irreverent.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I started reading this collection as my bedtime reading just after the start of the new year; it took me this long to read the book because Mark Twain wrote a lot of short fiction. I very much enjoyed my reading, and only wish that Twain had not become somewhat bitter as he grew older.

The Introduction to the volume, by Charles Neider, is rather dated (written in 1957), but a good preface to Twain’s writing. The stories begin, of course, with “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, and
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
لن أدفع سنتا واحدا على نظام التنبيه ضد السرقة، وسأشرح لك السبب. كنت قد ادخرت مبلغا من المال بنية التبرع لحملات هداية الظالين، ولكن زوجتي اقترحت شراء إنذار ضد السرقة، فوافقت على ذلك. وهذا مانسميه تسوية. عندما أريد شيئا وتريد زوجتي غيره، نفعل ماترغب هي به وندعوها تسوية.

المهم، استدعينا خبيرا من نيويورك لتركيب الجهاز، وتقاضى مايربو على الثلاثمائة دولار. وأكد لنا أننا سننام في أمان من ذلك اليوم فصاعدا. وذلك ماحدث لبضعة أشهر حتى استيقظنا في أحد الليالي على رائحة دخان تبدو صادرة من الدور الأول. أشعلت ش
Jul 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Last January I made a list of books I wanted to read this year. I came to the realization that I was pretty much in the dark when it came to Twain's short stories. December rolled around and I had still not tackled this 814 page tome. Well, I finally did it!

This collection is conveniently arranged by date of publication, from 1865 through 1916, 6 years after his death. Haley's comet was visible from earth in 1835 when Samuel Clemens was born. It was next visible in 1910, the year he died. Some

May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How much Mark Twain is too much? Eight hundred and fourteen pages is not too much. I have decided that of Satan-meddling-with-the-world-stories, I prefer "The Mysterious Stranger" to _The Master and Margarita_.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
"You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between it and the mirror of your imagination."
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a lot of fun to read, although many of the stories I had already read in "The Mysterious Stranger and Other Tales" and "The Bible According to Mark Twain."

My only complaint about this is that the stories are presented as chronologically as possible - which is all well and good, but as Twain got older and his writing progressed, he also got more and more bitter. So, as a read, it starts off hilarious and fun and light-hearted and then, about halfway through, the stories start getting mor
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Twain completists.
Shelves: 2017
Mark Twain is a very inconsistent author to me. At times, he is brilliant, as I love 3 of his novels. Other times, his work just doesn't resonate with me. Case in point: I've now read the short story "The Celebrated (Notorious) Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country" three times and still couldn't fully recap the story.

The ones in this collection I really enjoyed were: The Stolen White Elephant, A Ghost Story, The Diary of Adam and Eve (absolutely brilliant!), The £$1,000,000 Bank-Note, The Man That
Patrick Oden
Apr 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of good, witty, intelligent short stories
Shelves: fiction
One of the shames of literature in our era is that Mark Twain is primarily taught as and known for his novels, especially Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Now, I'll tell you straight, I found Tom Sawyer boring and Huck Finn almost unreadable. Twain was a decent novelist. His travel nonfiction books are better. He was an amazing short story writer. If you haven't read Twain's short stories you are missing out on his true brilliance, insight, wit, and ability. "Some Learned Fables, For Good Old Boys And ...more
Jeff Beland
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor-satire
I have loved Mark Twains stories for a long as I can remember. I absolutely love is collection. There's only one story that I couldn't really get into and that's Mysterious Stranger. I highly recommend buying two copies one for yourself to read over and over and another one to loan out. I've convinced many people who told me they didn't like Twain because of the stories they had to read in school to give him another try by having them read The Diary of Adam and Eve, the Story of the Good Little ...more
Sandra Strange
Apr 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
What a range--from fun adventure to humorous, gently satirical stories, to bitingly bitter pieces from a "pen warmed up in hell" ! These stories really show Twain in all of his moods, and are really fun reading.
Amanda Marshall
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I love Mark Twains' wit. The way he spins sarcasm and humor makes him one of my favorite writers of all time. I would love to have met this great man!
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Seriously, how can you give this anything less than five stars?
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
classic tale but writing has disoriented anyway
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Now these are stories to live by. Morality and humor. My type of guy.
Jane Bozman
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have a set of these stories passed down from my great grandfather--the COMPLETE in this title is one of Twain's clever little jokes.
Margaret Everett
May 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anyone
I have read this book several times. It is undoubtedly the funniest book I have ever read (parts of it)
I would lay in bed crying it was so funny. The same thing when I read it the second time.
An Odd1
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fan, fantasy
When newspapers serials sell by "continues ..", authors yank up guffaws, groans, titters, tears, tack on more, and more. Start silly #54 "My father was a St Bernard, my mother was a colllie, but I am a Presbyterian" p 489. End sad "the humble little friend is gone where go the beasts that perish 1903" p 497. Begin #51 with an abused wife, add bloodhound specially-abled son who writes her letters of vengeance, push chase over the edge of cliff onto wrong target, slap on Sherlock Holmes, string hi ...more
Paul Groos
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reading this book, one follows the development of Twain as a writer. At first he experiments. Some of the early stories are absurd, over-the-top in their impossible violence and humour. Then Twain comes into his own: funny, witty, cleverly written stories. Well developed plots, often over very few pages, and interesting experiments with the form of storytelling: sometimes like a newspaper article, using a framing story, diaries, court report or made up entirely out of direct speech.
Then, at the
Matt A
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't quite read the whole thing, but some of my personal favorites include:
- The Great Beef Contract
- The Taming of the Bicycle
- The Man Who Corrupted Hadlyburg
- What Is Man
- Letters from Earth
- The Leaping Frog of Calaveras County

I find his short works so enjoyable - Twain truly is to the US what Dickens was to England, or the Brothers Grimm were to Germany, or Dostoyevski was to Russia. He captures the very brightest and the very darkest elements of the American spirit.

Cj Frasure
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There are so many gems in here that I'm almost reluctant to single out more because I wouldn't want to steer anybody toward more of my favorites in case they might miss one that would turn out to be theirs.

For my money, there isn't a funnier short story than "The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm."

The way that Twain turns a phrase will crack me up the next time I read it, and the time after that.
Nicholas Bobbitt
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, owned
"Who needs this much Mark Twain?", some might ask. To them, I say only one word, "ME". This two-volume set from The Library of America is a massive boon to people like me who enjoy Twain's writing style and is amazingly handsome in its bind-up.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had been purchased so that I can read "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" in preparation of being in Angels Camp, CA in early August 2015, where Twain got the inspiration for this story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Best Short Stories of Jack London
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume  #2
  • The Story and Its Writer: An Introduction to Short Fiction
  • The Bulwark
  • The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction
  • Collected Stories
  • Three Complete Novels: Howards End, A Room with a View, Where Angels Fear to Tread
  • The Short Stories
  • The Best Short Stories
  • The Best American Short Stories of the Century
  • The Art of the Tale: An International Anthology of Short Stories, 1945-1985
  • The Politically Correct Ultimate Storybook: Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, Politically Correct Holiday Stories, Once Upon a More Enlightened Time
  • Thirteen Stories
  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Major Authors
  • Twice-Told Tales
  • Short Stories: Five Decades
  • The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • Selected Short Stories
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 work
“There is nothing in the world like persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus.” 8 likes
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.” 2 likes
More quotes…