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Showing 1-10 of 443 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 514 reviews
on December 2, 2016
I felt very lucky to get this book free from Amazon and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I read some of the novels that I grew up with and got a treat to read some that I had never heard of and they are all wonderful. If you are easily offended by old southern racial references then maybe some of his work is not for you but I felt that he did not look down on African Americans because he put the runaway slave Jim on equal footing with Tom and Huck and he wrote from his time in history and it was the norm, the way people of different races interacted at that time. Mark Twain's novels are full of humor and irony, and some very deep insight into the workings of the human spirit and mind. I highly recommend his work to anyone who wishes to enjoy novels from such a changing time and who can appreciate the differences in people but when it all came down to it everybody was the same in the end, according to Mark Twain.
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on July 5, 2014
I've long been an admirer of Mark Twain. Few writers reveal as much of themselves in their work as does Samuel Clemens (Twain). For me, he embodies the American spirit and character in a way that few others do; and "Life on the Mississippi" is Twain at the top of his game. He's a genius at dialogue, recognizes and enjoys the pretensions of people; and will not tolerate hypocrisy. His story-telling technique is wonderful, and he can be very funny. Having said that, Twain's writing can also be uneven, and sometimes a passage of utter beauty can be followed by drivel. That's Twain.

I've read that when "Life on the Mississippi" was submitted for publication, Twain's editors thought it was too short, so sent the writer on a trip down the River to reflect on the changes since he had lived there. Twain is Twain, so reading that part of the book is not unpleasant, but it is really just a travel piece that does not begin to rise to the levels of his earlier reflections. Even so, Twain seemed to be aware that he was writing the story of a time and place that was rapidly disappearing; and in that I think he was correct. "Life on the Mississippi" stands as a valuable snapshot of a time, place, and writer that are no more.
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on April 9, 2017
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on January 22, 2017
Do not buy this version of the book. It is littered with mistakes, to the extent that many of the sentences are incomprehensible strings of symbols. You can see this for yourself by looking at the preview for the book. I recommend the book itself, but buy it elsewhere.
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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2010
Kudos to Amazon for making "Life on the Mississippi" available for free for the Kindle and the iPhone Kindle application! Twain's book is a rambling affair, and in fact, its somewhat quirky form makes it read more like a present-day book than a product of its time. Twain's style is engaging. This might be clearest in the historical sections, where, if you think that all historical narratives are dry and academic, "Life on the Mississippi" will prove you wrong. As many other reviewers note, this is an entirely different view of Mark Twain's work than the novels that tend to find themselves relegated to study in the public schools, and in many ways both more informative and more fun. Thanks again to Amazon for making this and other important public domain books available for free download!
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on December 28, 2015
This book starts great and continues for ~ 50% on my Kindle ... then it goes sideways eventually to deteriorate into a scenic travelogue .... Clearly Twain had a quota of pages to fill. Because MT was a rockstar writer he did not have to submit his work for review or analysis otherwise this latter 50% would be rejected by the publisher.

With 50% devoted to steam-boating one would think he would take some time to write about nautical engineering + steam boiler technology + the engineers below deck who were as important as the pilots themselves & how the two communicated. The silence on all these topics is deafening.
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on January 9, 2016
This is a bit of a history lesson that, of course, the author adds his humor and delightful writing style to. Reading anything by Mark Twain, I feel as if I was transported back in time and am right there along the Mississippi watching and hearing all that goes on. Mark Twain has so many books that are amazing, this one though, I feel, shows even more sides of this talented author. Just know, that any Mark Twain book you grab is going to take you on a wonderful journey.
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on October 4, 2011
Bought this book for our family library. It was a good read. Its 799 pages with some B/W character illustrations. Samuel Clemens AKA Mark Twain was one of America's great writers. Samuel Clemens was very opinionated on many subjects and a natural pessimist. He made a lot of money and lost lots of money on bad business investment decisions and could of made a vast fortune but declined to invest in Bell's telephone. Clemens hated slavery and there are bits of sharp sarcasm in his works. He took on society and let the effects of his works fall where they may. Ernest Hemingway (one of my favorite writers) claimed all good later US literature stemmed from Mark Twain.

All of the novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyers, the epic classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Prince and the Pauper, Puddenhead Wilson,and a Yankee at King Arthur's Court were excellent with great character development and great plots. His 4 short stories were fun reading too.

One of the things that set me back with some of his novels was the black slavery talk like "de,des,ed, etc. etc. For me it slowed the story down a little. I had to train my mind to translate this talk into regular English and read it as such as not to lose time. Also a lot of the "N" word describing a black slave even a 1/32 mixture black slave. Some people may be put off by this languish as racist. Remember that some of the novels and stories were based in before the Civil War, 1 in 1900 and the Prince and the Pauper in the 6th Century. There was slavery and people claimed slaves as property. The novel based in the 6th century in England had slaves too. INMO slavery is a great evil and has no place in this world. That said slavery did happen and if you can get by that, you will enjoy Twain's literature, even thought there is slavery and the "N" word in lots of his great works.

This is a classic book of great literature that belongs in any family literature. Just tell the younger readers that the novels and stories were wrote in an earlier age when there was slavery and many people had slaves and used the "N" word, but today there is no place for it in society and is disrespectful.A great collection of classic works by a recognized master of literature Samuel Clemens AKA as Mark Twain. I would of rated it 5 stars but for the broken slave English that slowed down the reading a little for me. 4 stars
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on June 4, 2012
Mark Twain's inimitable style makes many things interesting, though sometimes he falters in this book. The opening information about the scope of the river basin and his personal story of becoming a river boat pilot sweep you up and carry you along. The second half pieces together bits of small and tall tales, travel information, political commentary, and statistics in a very loosely woven narrative of a journey down and up the river later in Twain's life. Some sections charm the reader, and some put you to sleep. As an author I find the whole of the book interesting in several ways. It gives perspective on the lifestyle, the values, and living conditions on the Mississippi before and after the civil war. He states his opinions vehemently, some of them quite unique--I've never heard Sir Walter Scott and his book, Ivanhoe, blamed for the civil war anywhere else. Twain's humor and writing ability bring the characters and places to life in his rather rascally way, yet more than once I wanted to put it down. Due to these inconsistencies, if a new author wrote this book today it would never see the light of day. I'm glad I persisted to the end and recommend it as a worth while read, even if you skip some parts.
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on March 24, 2015
I have never found so many ideas explored in a book before. This book meanders like the river it celebrates, touching on everything from geography to personal narrative. It has wit and wisdom, tall tales and beautiful truths, stinging social commentary mixed with honest wonder at the changing times. All told in a voice as American as apple pie. I truly think Samuel Clemens cannot be rated highly enough in his capabilities as an observer, reporter, and bulls***ter. (I mean this in the most loving way possible.) This is the first and probably last review I will ever write. Please stop reading whatever you currently are reading and read this instead.
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