|Print List Price:||$22.00|
Save $5.01 (23%)
Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price set by seller.
Mark Twain: A Life Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"Like Twain's greatest works, this is a book that transcends its boundaries, giving us not merely one man, but America itself. It is a tremendous achievement and anybody even vaguely interested in the subject should read it."
-- The London Telegraph
"A sweeping account of the personality and career of the man who, Powers writes, 'found a voice for his country'...Mr. Powers skillfully places his subject in historical context [and] quite rightly focuses on Twain's pitch-perfect ear and keen eye...A convincing portrait of Twain as a volatile, moody, guilt-ridden, desperately insecure man who was often a puzzle to himself."
-- The New York Times
"Magisterial...almost certainly will become the go-to guide."
-- The Denver Post
"Powers has given us the whole man. We feel we know him, as well as we can, as well as his most perceptive friend and fellow writer William Dean Howells knew him. Along the way Powers brings to vivid life Twain's America...No biography of Mark Twain could do him full justice. Powers' comes as close as you can imagine."
-- Los Angeles Times
"A weighty and witty biography that comes as close as any to providing the essential biography...Powers makes Twain come alive as a three-dimensional, deeply flawed, immensely gifted and wonderfully intriguing writer."
-- The Cleveland Plain Dealer
- File Size : 47978 KB
- Publication Date : September 20, 2005
- Print Length : 737 pages
- Publisher : Free Press; Reprint Edition (September 20, 2005)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B000NY12I2
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #537,883 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
But this ability of a true genius was embedded in a deeply flawed and ambiguous person, a person who only partially overcame some deep prejudices, often showed uncaring irrational cruelty to friends and family, and frequently acted in self-centered and narcissistic ways. Powers does an excellent job of showing both the genius and the flaws. Powers’ own writing is clear with smooth transitions and well-organized chapters and paragraphs. Though a long book, it is easy to follow with chapter titles followed by the months or years covered in the chapter. Multiple double-spaced breaks in each chapter allow the reader to stop at a break point and come back with no problem. Powers adds periodically a touch of humor in the story analogous to what Twain would have done. It is usually a sentence or a phrase, sometimes just a word. For example, he has Twain “absquatulate” to the West before his ragtag group of Confederate volunteers at the beginning of the war could be attacked by, of all people, a fairly ragtag team of Union soldiers led by a new leader, Ulysses S. Grant. “Absquatulate” is exactly the kind of 25 cent word, a bit strange sounding, that Twain would insert into his work at times. I found such bits of irony or mimicry of Twain appropriate and a helpful addition to the flow of the narrative.
Powers lays out the best and worst of this American original. This is a terrific biography that keeps the reader’s attention from Sam Clemons’ birth to Mark Twain’s death.
My favorite genre is biography, especially biographies that place the reader into the context of the times. Powers achieves that. It is hard to imagine a better-researched biography than this one. His use of primary sources is great. He quotes from those sufficiently, without doing too much.
Bring along your Webster's Dictionary: Ron Powers has a command of many adjectives I needed to look up. I deemed the exercise beneficial even when the list of new vocabulary words grew quite long. Being challenged by an author is one of the reasons we read these long tomes, isn't it?
So be forewarned, this is a very long and very detailed biography but if you are interested in social history, as I am, in which you have the pleasure of learning what it was like, day to day, to live Mark Twain's life, you'll like this book. If a 700 page read with notes is intimidating you may want one of the other Mark Twain biographies I've read. If you're frightened by new terms this book is not for you. Powers is not for everyone. At this writing there are three two star reviews which cite these issues and his supposed interjected political views (I must have missed that part) as reasons for not liking the book. I find when an author challenges through context or ideology I learn something beyond the mere factoids biography lends itself to occasionally.
I'm giving this book five stars because I enjoyed reading it, the author displays a fine sense of irony from time to time, and because Powers ability to carry the narrative page after page kept me interested even when the events in Mark Twain's journey were off putting. It's well written, clearly well researched, has fabulous detail and plenty of style.