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Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World Hardcover – January 28, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0559932656 ISBN-10: 0559932650 Edition: Reprint

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Twain began his career in letters as a printer's apprentice at the age of 12. He worked as a typesetter and hack writer until a trip down the Mississippi inspired him to become a steamboat pilot. Twain was a popular humorist, a failed silver miner, an inventor, a pacifist anti-imperialist, and a vegetarian. He had a strong interest in the paranormal. Twain's novel Huckleberry Finn has profoundly influenced the development of American storytelling. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

When Mark Twain took off by ship for a round-the-world lecture tour, he took along a sharp eye, a notebook, and his renowned wit. Michael Kevin reads Twain's narrative of his experiences with a Southern-inflected drawl and an unhurried pace that sound just right. He also offers amusing individual character shadings for many of Twain's fellow passengers, whom the great writer often quotes as well as skewers. The book is full of everything from onboard whist games to tiger hunting. Twain's opinions are many, often mercilessly funny, and frequently ahead of their time--except when he is suddenly of his time. The result is a fully developed self-portrait, nineteenth-century mores and all. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife; Reprint edition (January 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0559932650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0559932656
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,928,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The paperback is the best buy.
Alan B. Taylor
Some summaries of history, like Australia as a penal colony, or the great mutiny of India.
H. Schneider
Added later: A great companion piece to this book is Mark Twain: Words & Music.
Cindy Lovell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Ed Hott on May 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a treasure. Twain's story-telling is laced with subtle humor recounting his meandering journey (as in no great hurry to get to a particular destination) around the world. I suggest you read this book in small doses, kind of like a daily conversation with a [really interesting] neighbor where stories are exchanged. I often read stories from this book to my children (ages 8 & 6) at bedtime. Clearly written in another era, Twain's sense of humor cracks me up, but some comments would today be considered politically incorrect so I make some real-time "adjustments" when reading it to the kids.
I credit Jimmy Buffett with pointing me to this book through a reference on a CD although I don't share the opinion that Buffett's book is in the same league. As cited earlier, you can open this book anywhere, just read a chapter and it makes sense. My copy has no bookmark in it. We just hop around. Twain takes us places we've never been. Great book.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Lovell on March 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Any reader who loves a good book will relish the vicarious experience of traveling with Twain, his wife, Livy, and Clara, one of their three daughters as they tour the world on the lecture circuit. It's important to understand the necessity of the trip: Twain was 60, facing bankruptcy, and signed on for the lecture tour in order to pay off his debt. The grueling schedule and unpredictable travel accommodations take no toll on his writing, however. Prepare to laugh - hard and often. Was it hot in India? "I believe that in India 'cold weather' is merely a conventional phrase and has come into use through the necessity of having some way to distinguish between weather which will melt a brass door-knob and weather which will only make it mushy." Teachers - do not pass on the opportunity to laugh and learn and share the world with your students. Geography, history, culture, language, climate, language arts (oh, his choice of words and phrases!), politics, time zones, botany, geology, biology, religion - all are explored and described and relevant today. Jimmy Buffett's "Remittance Man," "That's What Living is to Me," and "Take Another Road" all spring from this book (especially the remittance man, a character you'll meet early in the book). There is also an "unfinished story" with which you can challenge your students. I worked with nineteen 4th and 5th grade gifted students one summer, and they spent two weeks reading, scripting, and animating a 70 minute video of this book. They loved it, and so will your students if you plan accordingly. A good accompanying video is "On the Trail of Mark Twain" with Peter Ustinov, but only as a companion - NOT as a replacement! Go for it...Read more ›
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
A highly entertaining read. Twain's classic storytelling and embellishing descriptions of people, places and events will make you laugh out loud! It is truly a sad day when you have reached the end of this book. Strongly recommended for readers worldwide.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James S. Dodds on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
The only thing I would add to the other positive reviews is that the book is just riddled with political and social commentary - wonderfully scathing, far ahead of its time, and subtely presented at that. Jingoism is derided, missionary zeal seen from the perspective of the injured convert, colonialism unmasked, feminism promoted .... other ills rought by the west are put in perspective as well through good storytelling and Twain's trademark humor. A great travel tale, but also a work of wicked and broad-reaching social commentary backed up by solid history and first-hand accounts.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Savannah on May 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
This isn't your typical Mark Twain book. In journal style Twain takes you along with him as he circumnavigates the world. He not only shares experiences he had but includes what he learned of the differint contries cultures, customs, and people. Very educational. You will see the world through Mark Twains eyes. Pay attention to catch the hidden humor. Another great peice by Mark Twain.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book made me quit my job and follow my dreams. Twain tells the tale in elaborate detail. If you have ever dreamed of traviling the world read this book!!! I also recomend Jimmy Buffet A priate looks at fifty I bet it will also be a classic.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alan B. Taylor on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is Da Bomb! If you have any imagination at all, you will revel in the splendors of Mark Twain's globe-trotting true-life adventures as he humorously observes humankind of the 19th century and brings it to life here in the 21st century.
Pssst! The paperback is the best buy. Steer clear of the hardback version, it is overpriced and a big disappointment.
A definite collector's item for Twainers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Randy Keehn VINE VOICE on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Following the Equator" leaves me in the position of having read nearly everything published by Mark Twain. I'm only short "The American Claimant" and a speech or essay or two. I'll deal with those shortly but, in the meantime, I'll savor the last of the truly noteworthing writings of America's greatest author. Towards the end of the journey "The Guilded Age" was a struggle and "The Prince and the Pauper" was good but not if the measuring stick was the works of Mark Twain. I wasn't sure what to expect of "Following the Equator" because I had heard so little about it. In addition, I had found "The Innocents Abroad" and "A Tramp Abroad" to have been tedious at times. Of the four travel books, this one ranks above the two aforementioned books and below "Roughing It". (I do not count "Life on the Mississippi" as belonging in this class). I rate this book with only 4 Stars because there are works of Twain well beyond this level. Too bad he doesn't have his own weights and measures rather than being compared to mere humans.

"Following the Equator" made me laugh out loud as well as ponder in silence; qualities that are my yardstick when measuring Twain. The laughs come early and fast but every lengthy voyage by sea involves some doldrums and they appear in here as well. Most of those ocur when Twain is in his lecturing mode. He gets excited about a lot of history, geography, zoology, and anthropology along the way. Unfortunately he is often more excited than we are. Adding to the effects of these literary speed bumps are periodic lengthy quotations to relate the history he wants us to know. Twain should have known that he could summerize better that most (if not all) of the first-hand accounts we suffered through.
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