Life on the Mississippi

Life on the Mississippi

Signet Classics
by Mark Twain
Publisher: Signet Classics
Mass market paperback, 359 pages
Price: $4.95

Hannibal, Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi River, was host to riverboat travelers from around the world, providing a vigorous and variable atmosphere for the young Samuel Clemens to absorb. Clemens became a riverboat pilot and even chose his pen name—Mark Twain—from a term boatmen would call out signifying water depth at two fathoms, meaning safe clearance for travel. It was from this background that Life on the Mississippi emerged.

At once a romantic history of a mighty river, an autobiographical account of Twain's early steamboat days, and a storehouse of humorous anecdotes and sketches, Life on the Mississippi is the raw material from which Mark Twain wrote his finest novel—Huckleberry Finn. It is an epochal record of America's growth, a stirring remembrance of her vanished past. And it earned for its author his first recognition as a serious writer.

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Exodus Rating:
FLAWS: Mild language, bawdy humor
Summary: One of the funniest books ever, this collection of anecdotes from Mark Twain presents the history of the Mississippi and Twain's personal impressions of it.

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