Bill ’s review of Life on the Mississippi > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Henry (new)

Henry Avila Read all of Twain's 5 travel books, this is one of the best, Bill.


message 2: by Estott (last edited Sep 14, 2015 05:47AM) (new)

Estott Twain had construction troubles in his novels and other long form books- with the possible exception of Tom Sawyer none of them hold together and sustain a narrative from beginning to end. He's always breaking off the thread and going onto another topic. Huckleberry Finn almost makes it to the end, but then the farce with Tom Sawyer almost ruins the book. I think it was in Twain's nature to write short sketches, but novels paid better & most of Twain's life was spent trying to make enough money to make up for his terrible investments. BTW- a case can be made that Puddnhead Wilson is a good sustained narrative, but even Twain admitted that it was a mess until he did a major job of editing and rewriting.


message 3: by Alan (new)

Alan Agree, Tom Sawyer's his best, tho it ends like Horatio Alger…at 5% interest! But TS critiques "English" education, school and church. Hilarious to boot.


message 4: by Evan (new)

Evan I five-starred the book, as I adore it. But, it has been some years since I read it. The book was a real time machine for me and I felt whisked away.


message 5: by Theo (new)

Theo Logos I guess its time for me to re-read this one. Seems that my memories of it are mostly shaped by that first part, although I do seem to recall particularly poignant passage from his Hannible visit.


message 6: by Berkley (new)

Berkley McLean Looking at Twain's bibliography on wiki, I see that he published that first section separately in 1876 as "Old Times on the Mississippi", the complete "Life on the Mississippi" not appearing until 1883. Perhaps he should have kept them as two separate books. That first part is what I mostly recall from my own reading of it many years ago, in my late teens or early 20s, so I agree that it is the most memorable - literally in my case.


message 7: by Richard (new)

Richard Subber I love to see a review of One Of The Great Ones.
Life on the Mississippi is indeed an engrossing page-turner, at least, as you say, the meaty first part.
For my taste, Twain is a never-ending exemplar--he loved language so much, and he was so comfortable using it to good effect.
I think of my favorite story about the blue jays.
Twain is a good storyteller, you betcha.


message 8: by Eric (new)

Eric Sawyer It does sound interesting but always wondered about the gap between Tom and Huck and if Twain avoided the real conflict for fear of losing his prime audience - the family, by avoiding the frightening account he might have written about Mississippi


message 9: by Fergus (new)

Fergus Thanks, Bill. I LOVED that book!


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