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Life on the Mississippi by [Mark Twain]

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Life on the Mississippi Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,568 ratings

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Kindle, August 3, 2022
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Memoir of the steamboat era on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War by Mark Twain, published in 1883. The book begins with a brief history of the river from its discovery by Hernando de Soto in 1541. Chapters 4-22 describe Twain's career as a Mississippi steamboat pilot, the fulfillment of a childhood dream. The second half of Life on the Mississippi tells of Twain's return, many years after, to travel the river from St. Louis to New Orleans. By then the competition from railroads had made steamboats passe, in spite of improvements in navigation and boat construction. Twain sees new, large cities on the river, and records his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy, and bad architecture. --The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Amazon.com Review

"The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." So begins Memories of My Melancholy Whores, and it becomes even more unlikely as the novel unfolds. This slim volume contains the story of the sad life of an unnamed, only slightly talented Colombian journalist and teacher, never married, never in love, living in the crumbling family manse. He calls Rosa Cabarcas, madame of the city's most successful brothel, to seek her assistance. Rosa tells him his wish is impossible--and then calls right back to say that she has found the perfect girl.

The protagonist says of himself: "I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn't pay ... by the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once ... My public life, on the other hand, was lacking in interest: both parents dead, a bachelor without a future, a mediocre journalist ... and a favorite of caricaturists because of my exemplary ugliness."

The girl is 14 and works all day in a factory attaching buttons in order to provide for her family. Rosa gives her a combination of bromide and valerian to drink to calm her nerves, and when the prospective lover arrives, she is sound asleep. Now the story really begins. The nonagenarian is not a sex-starved adventurer; he is a tender voyeur. Throughout his 90th year, he continues to meet the girl and watch her sleep. He says, "This was something new for me. I was ignorant of the arts of seduction and had always chosen my brides for a night at random, more for their price than their charms, and we had made love without love, half-dressed most of the time and always in the dark, so we could imagine ourselves as better than we were ... That night I discovered the improbably pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty."

Márquez's style never falters throughout this recounting of his life and his exploration of love, found at an unexpected time and place. The erstwhile lover is still capable of being surprised--and fulfilled. After an absence of ten years, it is a treat to have another parable from the master. --Valerie Ryan

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0B9NWHC78
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ idb (August 3, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 3, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 36078 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 1,568 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
1,568 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 16, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 24, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

simony
4.0 out of 5 stars Still contemporary and rich in flavour
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 3, 2013
2 people found this helpful
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WorcesterBlue
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on June 30, 2019
Billy McC
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for part of the Mississippi from St/ Louis to ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 30, 2015
Lady J. Buckley
4.0 out of 5 stars Good way to learn about the Mississippi
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 22, 2018
Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars it's actually a pretty good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 21, 2016
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