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Chapters from My Autobiography Hardcover – December 5, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Out of nowhere comes the most moving chapter, the death of daughter Susy at 24, of meningitis. Up to this point in the book, the short chapters are trifles... About this or that funny episode with this or that celebrity or in reference to the master's career.
Susy is the star of the text. At 14 she had attempted to write her version of a bio of her dad, and dad has this bio. He prints bits and pieces and lets himself get carried away into his own recollection, jumping up and down across history as fancy takes him. Very entertaining. Susy got introduced in a chapter that started out as a eulogy for his wife ... And got sidetracked to a great sadness about the beloved daughter. It does make sense, after all the wife had lived her life (though she also died rather young, below 60), while daughter had not.
One has to love the portrait of elder brother Orion. In light matters, like religion or politics, his convictions never survived a disapproving comment from a cat. Otherwise he was honest, sincere and trustworthy. He never lost anybody's money and never earned his own.
Also great are the chapters about the childhood memories which went into Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I learned that Huck Finn's real name was Tom Blankenship.Read more ›
Not a chronological autobiography, but more a free association of (mostly humorous) stories, these chapters still somehow manage to add up to an integrated picture of the man. Early on he relates the death of his middle daughter Suzie at the age of 25, and from that point on quotes from a biography of him she had written about ten years earlier. This provides some structure, as he quotes passages and then elaborates on them or tells a story they remind him of, but it also provides a sort of emotional line, regularly reminding us of Twain's family life besides his professional life.
These chapters do jump around a lot, ranging from recollections of his boyhood, to his early attempts at making a living, to becoming a successful writer, to his middle age as a family man, to his old age. The effect is a picture of a whole life, even if it is only in snapshots.
And of course, Twain is often very funny, sometimes poignant, and uses language beautifully. Definitely worth reading. And Bronson Pinchot's narration of this audio edition is highly enjoyable. Four and a half stars.
describes the passing of his favorite daughter. I felt every bit of his grief and walked through his life with
him. Great read and I loved reading every bit of his real life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like most of Mark Twain's writings. It is amazing to me how contemporary his outlook still is today!Published 2 months ago by Barbara Munford
Not really what I expected. I listen as I fall asleep at night and found this boring. I wanted to hear more about the actual life of Mark Twain and found this didn't really work... Read morePublished on December 18, 2013 by Twinkle Toes
One day I'm gonna read it. I've already read the best parts of it in the book Chapters from my Autobiography, which Twain published while still alive. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by jennie henzel
It is a surprise when you read about someone that you think that you know; and you find out how little you really know.Published on August 18, 2013 by Earl Williams
Just such an enjoyable read. He's a master of use of the language and I enjoyed the perhaps unknowing (or perhaps not) self revealing that I encountered throughout.Published on June 16, 2013 by Katie B. Corish