- Hardcover: 1168 pages
- Publisher: Facts on File; 2 edition (May 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816053987
- ISBN-13: 978-0816053988
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,164,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Critical Companion to Mark Twain: A Literary Reference to His Life and Work (2 Volume Set) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
R. Kent Rasmussen has published two books on Mark Twain: "Mark Twain's Book for Bad Boys and Girls" and "Mark Twain A to Z", which won a special citation by the Reference and Adult Services committee of the American Library Association as one of the best reference books published in 1995.
Top customer reviews
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Volume 1 covers Twain's writings. Arranged alphabetically by title of the short story, essay, or book. For each major work, a synopsis, background, critical commentary, sub-entries on major characters and locations within the work, and bibliography. For shorter works, shorter -- but still very informative -- entries.
Volume 2 covers Twain's life and times: "People, Places, and Topics" as the author puts it. Entries arranged alphabetically, like an encyclopedia. Covering people, places, and topics that you'd expect it to, and hundreds of others you're pleasantly surprised to find.
Other features include a chronology, glossary, bibliography, maps, and a very helpful index.
The great thing, to me (as an amateur, non-academic Twain devotee) is that Mr. Rasmussen, although quite scholarly, writes in an accessible, straightforward manner blessedly devoid of high-priest-literary- academia argot.
For those of us who love Twain and his works, part of the joy is experiencing the eras and places in which he lived. The more you read about Twain, the more you learn about 19th Century and early 20th Century American history and culture -- and due to Twain's world travels and writings on same, facets of world history and culture as well. That is but one of the many joys of digging into a work like this.
Together, the two volumes contain over 1,000 pages. But because the work is printed in two volumes and the dimensions are reasonable (not over-sized), they are easy to handle and to read -- not heavy or foreboding. Sure, you won't sit down and read the work straight-through, but not will the book gather dust as a "mere" reference book. You can pick it up and spend some quality leisure time with it as well.
As to the book's price,let me put it this way: If you are seriously interested in Mark Twain's life and works -- and topics related to his life and works -- you should cut down on your food and clothing expenses if necessary to save up enough money to purchase this. It's that good.
Mr. Rasmussen paves the road to Twain's works and life in the new appendices. They are excellent in giving a uniquely strong foundation of information to any conscientious teacher and reader of Twain. They are thorough and necessarily precise. A teacher can easily pick and choose what he wants to emphasize, making him more comfortable in teaching the selected Twain material. The glossary is actually fun to use with the students, they even start using some of the terms orally which get more attention from their friends than technologically-laden jargon!
A revised Chronology; Books by Mark Twain; Suggested Readings; Mark Twain Sites on the Internet; Novels about Mark Twain; a Filmography; a Mediagraphy; a revised and expanded Glossary, all combine to give the reader a lifetime appreciation for forever the world's greatest storyteller and philosopher of life. Get on Rasmussen's riverboat and explore what he has in its hold!
I do like this book very much!
It is veer useful, and very well-made.
Yes, I would recommend this product, if you are interested in Mark Twain