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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated book that at times is absolutely hilarious
"A Tramp Abroad" is a humorous account of Mark Twain's travels in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. It is part travel guide, part commentary on European culture, and part tall tale. Like many of Twain's less-known works, "A Tramp Abroad" is rather uneven -- the chapters in the book range from rather boring to laugh-out-loud funny. Yet on balance, the humorous moments...
Published on November 14, 2004 by Paul H

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, But Don't Buy Quill Pen Classics Version
First of all, this is a great book that has made me laugh countless times. I live in Germany and Mark Twain's observations are so insightful and witty that this book is truly timeless.

I give one star to the 2008 version published by "Quill Pen Classics." The typesetting in this book is atrocious. It's like someone printed it on their home computer. It is an...
Published on August 20, 2010 by J. Nussbau


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated book that at times is absolutely hilarious, November 14, 2004
By 
Paul H (Illinois, USA) - See all my reviews
"A Tramp Abroad" is a humorous account of Mark Twain's travels in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. It is part travel guide, part commentary on European culture, and part tall tale. Like many of Twain's less-known works, "A Tramp Abroad" is rather uneven -- the chapters in the book range from rather boring to laugh-out-loud funny. Yet on balance, the humorous moments make up for the dull moments, and the majority of the less humorous chapters are still interesting. Apart from a few slow chapters, it provides a good read from beginning to end.

Some of the highlights of "A Tramp Abroad" are Twain's exaggerated account of his ascent of the Riffelberg (a mountain in the Swiss Alps), his comments on the peculiarities of the German language, and a hilarious episode in which Twain spends half an hour pretending to know a woman who remembers him though he doesn't remember her.

I have read most of Twain's works, and in my opinion "A Tramp Abroad" is not his best work, but it is definitely one of his most underrated books. It is not as good as his most popular works of fiction (i.e., Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), nor is it as good as "Life on the Mississippi." But I found it to be the most entertaining of his purely travel-oriented books (the other books in that category being "The Innocents Abroad" and "Following the Equator"). The bottom line is that if you are a fan of Mark Twain's style, then you should find this book to be well worth reading.

Finally, if you are going to read "A Tramp Abroad," I highly recommend obtaining a version that contains all 328 of the original illustrations. While I normally would make this recommendation for any of Twain's works, it is especially important for this book since the text makes several references to the illustrations, and since some of the jokes in the text would not make sense without the illustrations. The only current edition I know of that definitely contains *all* of the original illustrations is the Oxford Mark Twain edition (ISBN 0195101375). Also, the Modern Library Classics edition (ISBN 0812970039) apparently has retained some of the original illustrations, since it contains a note stating that "... some illustrations have been omitted" (thus implying that some have not been omitted). I would assume that this edition has retained those illustrations which are essential to the humor, but I can't say for sure since I don't actually have it.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A matchless eye with an acidic pen, October 3, 2001
America's post-Civil War years brought a renewed interest in the European scene. Journeys
known as Grand Tours led tourists to take ship to the Continent. They fanned out across the
landscape with the intent to "know Europe." Their return home resulted in a flurry of
published accounts. Twain satirizes both the tourists and their writings with delicious
wit. Ever a man to play with words, his "tramp" refers to both himself and the walking tour
of Europe he purports to have made. By the time you've reached the end of the account of the
"walking tour" incorporating trains, carriages and barges, you realize that the longest "walk"
Twain took occurred in dark hotel room while trying to find his bed. He claims to have
covered 47 miles wandering around the room.
Twain was interested in everything, probing into both well-known and obscure topics. His
judgments are vividly conveyed in this book, standing in marked contrast to his more
reserved approach in Innocents Abroad. A delightful overview of mid-19th Century Europe,
Tramp is also interlaced with entertaining asides. Twain was deeply interested in people, and
various "types" are drawn from his piercing gaze, rendered with acerbic wit. Some of these
are contemporary, while others are dredged from his memories of the California mines and
other journeys. He also relished Nature's marvels, recounting his observations. A favourite
essay is "What Stumped the Blue-jays." A nearly universal bird in North America, Twain's
description of the jay's curiosity and expressive ability stands unmatched. He observes such
humble creatures as ants, Alpine chamois, and the American tourist. Few escape his
perception or his scathing wit. This book remains valuable for its timeless rendering of
characters and the universality of its view. It can be read repeatedly for education or
entertainment.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Barometer Soup, August 3, 2000
By 
JOHN ANDREW ABEL (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
I have not read Twain since High School twenty five plus years ago but a friend on a newspapers book forums got me to read him again and A Tramp Abroad is the first book I picked. For the current generation this book may drag but for those of us who grew up reading books instead of playing computer games this is Twain at his best. One has to actually read into his writing to appreciate a lot of the irony but when this book is really on like the mountain climbing near the Matterhorn ,Twain makes Seinfeld seem like he's talking about something. A brilliant travel essay and by the way the Penguin Classics edition of this book in paperback is 411 pages long, not 670 pages .
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great travel writing, though not Twain's best, August 21, 2003
By 
In this book, the master satirist and illustrious travel writer Mark Twain embarks on a walking tour through Europe. This is done Twain style, of course, so anyone familiar with the author's travel writings will not be surprised that most of his `walking tour' is actually accomplished by coach, train, or vicariously through an agent. As is usual for his travel writings, Twain's descriptions are vivid and detailed, and his accounts of certain sites are simply marvelous. In fact, in my opinion, the only thing not up to Twain's standards in this book is the humor.
Don't get me wrong, this book is funny. His account of his mountaineering expedition, together with a staff of almost 150 people, is hilarious, as are many of his anecdotes (which, incidentally, are randomly inserted). Still, this book is not nearly as amusing as "The Innocents Abroad" or "Roughing It"--but that should not come as a surprise. Most of Twain's best work came early in his career, before his pessimism took over and before he was deprived of his entire family through death. This work fits somewhere in the middle of Twain's career, before he completely burned out but after he had already lost a bit of his incredible zest for life and capacity for humor.
All in all, this is an excellent book by one of the greatest writers the North American continent has ever produced.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, But Don't Buy Quill Pen Classics Version, August 20, 2010
This review is from: A Tramp Abroad (Paperback)
First of all, this is a great book that has made me laugh countless times. I live in Germany and Mark Twain's observations are so insightful and witty that this book is truly timeless.

I give one star to the 2008 version published by "Quill Pen Classics." The typesetting in this book is atrocious. It's like someone printed it on their home computer. It is an uneven eyesore and very unpleasant to read. Actually the cover of mine looks like the one available for the Kindle version, but it is a 2008 version from "Quill Pen Classics." Apparently this company takes books in the public domain and sells overpriced, poor quality versions of them. $16.95 is a crime both to the consumer and to Mark Twain.

I will not buy another book from "Quill Pen Classics" without looking inside first. I suggest you do the same.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As an American living in Germany, this was a HILARIOUS read, August 17, 2006
It's fascinating to compare my own experiences, having lived now 3 years in Germany, to those of an American from 125 years earlier. I've been learning to speak German, and his Appendix on the "awful" German language was hilarious. In poking fun at German grammar (e.g., long sentences), he purposely commits the same errors in his own writing. The scene "riding" the glacier down the Alps was so funny I had tears running down my face. It's amazing to think that it was written in 1879, when America was barely a century old, and the insights and perceptions then can be incredibly, eerily similar to either my or "typical" American's attitudes today.

I'd recommend it to anyone, but particularly to anyone visiting or living in Europe. It's way funnier than his "Innocents Abroad", which is also a good read on travel in Europe.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars FRAUD!!!!!, January 29, 2012
This review is from: A Tramp Abroad (Paperback)
This book, at $18.95 + shipping, was printed the same day I ordered it. (The back page contains a barcode & printing date.) It is "published" so amateurishly as to make it practically unreadable--unless, that is, you consider a computer printout as readable as an actual book.

In my view, something not professionally typeset & bound & designed by a professional press does not actually even constitute a book, so Amazon carrying this item amounts to fraud. This vendor calling itself 'CreateSpace' publishing is taking public domain texts & mass printing & fake binding them at a hefty profit. Look closely at the cover & font, and you will see that this is true. Please don't get taken like I did. When I finally picked it up three months later to start reading it, I realized, to severe chagrin, that I had been cheated. I hope that's not repeated for others.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain: Always a pleasure..., October 12, 2005
By 
nto62 (Corona, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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A Tramp Abroad, Mark Twain's tongue-in-cheek, semi-fictionalized account of his second European trek, is, despite it's 600+ pages, a lightning quick read. Twain's singular wit is on full display engaging the reader to such an extent that pages swiftly fly by. Though not his best piece of travel writing (see Innocents Abroad), I devoured this book in large chunks eager to see where Twain wandered next. When he arrives in the Alps, A Tramp Abroad vaults from an amusing piece of travel writing to a supremely satisfying form of entertainment.

If there was any disappointment it occured with Twain's unexpected exit from the stage. A Tramp Abroad covers Twain's travels in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, but concludes quite suddenly with mere mention that the Netherlands are next on the docket. Yet, wishing a book to continue confers no blackmark on an author. It is further confirmation that A Tramp Abroad easily merits 5 stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a very cheap edition of a great classic, October 8, 2011
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This review is from: A Tramp Abroad (Paperback)
This book was produced by a printer whose main concern was to save paper. There isn't even a table of contents! Still, compared with other books I've bought from Amazon, the price was hefty, so this was a shock.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor proof reading,, March 1, 2011
By 
Viola Rodriguez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Tramp Abroad (Kindle Edition)
Excellent writers also have bad days. The travel accounts are often repetitive.
I have not seen a paper copy of this book so I wonder,where are the pictures mentioned throughout the book? Add poor proof reading, and you get stuff like this that another reviewer wrote for a different book: "I too would like to mention the FACT that emphasized WORDS are all CAPITALIZED in this version as AMAZINGLY annoying." I confess I skimmed over a LOT of this book.
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A Tramp Abroad
A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain (Paperback - November 1, 2006)
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