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Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race Hardcover – October 18, 2004


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Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race + The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations (Dover Thrift Editions) + The Bible According to Mark Twain: Irreverent Writings on Eden, Heaven, and the Flood by America's Master Satirist
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Product Details

  • Series: Jumping Frogs: Undiscovered, Rediscovered, and Celebrated Writings of Mark Twain
  • Hardcover: 221 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition edition (October 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520242459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520242456
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This wonderful book illustrates precisely why we can never have enough Twain. His humor is timeless, his wisdom about all things without equal." - Ken Burns; "If you are wrestling with how to advance stimulating dinner conversation, what to do with unwanted magazine subscriptions, how to deal with the 'odious flummery' of fashion, or whether or not to bring your dog to the next funeral, Twain is here to offer his gentle guidance." - John Boyer, Executive Director of The Mark Twain House and Museum; "A delightful display of Mark Twain's wit and humor. This is the perfect gift book for any aficionado of Mark Twain, any connoisseur of the risible, or any stuffed shirt who needs to lighten up." - Gregg Camfield, editor of The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain"

From the Inside Flap

"This wonderful book illustrates precisely why we can never have enough Twain. His humor is timeless, his wisdom about all things without equal."—Ken Burns

"Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living is a real discovery as well as a delight. It brings us fresh material from an old friend, and rediscovers great moments from the long shelves of his published writings. It's the best, most reliable collection of Mark Twain as social observer, moralist, and comic genius."—Bruce Michelson, author of Mark Twain on the Loose and Literary Wit

"A delightful display of Mark Twain's wit and humor loosely tied together under the guise of an advice book. Containing some things old, some things new, some things borrowed (in parody), but nothing blue, this charming collection of old favorites and new releases will guide you through life's exigencies in fine spirits, if not in fine form. Twain's advice occasionally touches the sublime, but only in the form of the ridiculous. This is the perfect gift book for any aficionado of Mark Twain, any connoisseur of the risible, or any stuffed-shirt who needs to lighten up."—Gregg Camfield, author of The Oxford Companion to Mark Twain

"Twain came to understand himself as 'a moralist in disguise,' and this collection reveals that truth clearly, without jettisoning any of his humor. If you are wrestling with how to advance stimulating dinner conversation, what to do with unwanted magazine subscriptions, how to deal with the 'odious flummery' of fashion, or whether or not to bring your dog to the next funeral, Twain is here to offer his gentle guidance. Old chestnuts and surprising obscurities are provided in a refreshed context through the rich and illuminating annotations of the ever brilliant editorial team at the Mark Twain Papers."—John Boyer, executive director of The Mark Twain House and Museum

This book serves up an elegant taste of Mark Twain's love for the food of the American South, spiced generously with his celebrated wit. Food lovers and humorists alike will revel in the timeless wisdom gathered here.—Nathalie Dupree, television host and author of Nathalie Dupree's Southern Memories

"This is a masterfully edited compendium that does Twain proud. It captures the note-taking, aphorism-creating, angry-letter-writing essence of Twain's brain in a way essential, I think, to understanding the man, and by extension, the history of the United States and the nature of life on Earth."—Dave Eggers, editor of McSweeney's

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Customer Reviews

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See all 23 customer reviews
Great book with lots of his famous quotes that still apply today.
JF
This book will give you a flavor of his writting and perhaps make you want to read more of his writing.
Coug 123
Mark Twain in his writing very often surprises us and makes us laugh.
Shalom Freedman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery on February 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Here are some useful living tips, advice and observations from that quintessential American literary figure Mark Twain, real name Samuel L. Clemens. This compilation contains a delightful mix of humorous writings on the mundane and sometimes very unusual occurrences that reflected his many gifts as a writer/humorist. Many of these snippets are from some of his more famous works, while others are from personal sketches and writings not as well known. The tarantulas escape, a borrowed overcoat, a lecture to a youth group, the use of foul language, a note to a burglar, and so many other little anecdotes, observations, and etc will elicit periods of laughter from the reader, as it did for me. A wonderful little treasure.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nancy E. Turner VINE VOICE on May 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, it's Mark Twain - the very pseudonym a poke in the ribs - and it's full of essays on his views of life, letters to editors, milkmen and burglars. He never pokes fun at his family, much, but sees the world as a tiresome place in which to try to exist, and his fellowman as more tiresome still. It's a glimpse at a time gone by, when a note on the front door telling any future robbers that the previous pair have already taken the silverware but they're welcome to the two candlesticks in the parlor might have even made sense since the doors weren't locked.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mark Twain in his writing very often surprises us and makes us laugh. His greatest gift is his humor. And the wisdom he provides on various aspects of daily living however sarcastic and cynical it may seem at times is grounded in a sane realistic view of humanity.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By 5/0 on February 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a blue-blooded "Twain-ist", or if you are a Pragmatist to the Nth, or even simply a light-hearted person who can laugh at the Human Race... "Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living" will not only entertain you from cover to cover but also provide ample material (albeit of debatable propriety) for the management of your daily Life. Two Thumbs Up !
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Lovell on May 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Mark Twain weighs in on everything, even the social graces. His critique of "American versus European Food" makes Martha Stewart sound like Alice Kramden. (It will also make your mouth water.) Not sure what to do in case of emergency? Twain covers everything from apparitions to earthquakes. These helpful hints will improve your parenting skills, raise your I.Q. score, and prepare you for a career in foreign diplomacy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jay Winters on May 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Helpful Hints for Good Living" is a compendium of excerpts from Mark Twain's own letters, articles, and auto biography that seek to help define who this man was. It is a biography of sorts, using the man's own words to help explain his genius. Unfortunately, the excerpts are often too short or scattered for the reader to make much of a picture of the man beyond a caricature.

This book is meant to be read in short bursts, perhaps left on a coffee table or restroom window - where it will serve what seems to be part of its purpose, to make the reader appear learned and to show an already adopted adoration for Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

The bright points of the book are Twain's own witticisms and quips, that have been generally well selected in this anthology.

If you love to read Mark Twain quotes and want to see them in a little more context, this book is for you. If you're just learning about the man and his letters, then I would suggest you find a different collection.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Coug 123 on March 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the assortment of stories and quotes in this book. It gives you a flavor of Mark Twains writing beyon Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer that many of us have read.

Mark Twain has a great depth and is humor. This book will give you a flavor of his writting and perhaps make you want to read more of his writing.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JF on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book with lots of his famous quotes that still apply today.
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