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Mark Twain : Mississippi Writings : Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn, Pudd'nhead Wilson (Library of America) Hardcover – Box set, November 1, 1982

4.9 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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  • Mark Twain : Mississippi Writings : Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn, Pudd'nhead Wilson (Library of America)
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  • Mark Twain : Historical Romances : Prince & the Pauper / Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court / Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (Library of America)
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  • Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays: Volume 2: 1891-1910 (Library of America)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Both familiar classics and forgotten treasures." - Christian Science Monitor --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

The Library of America, a nonprofit publisher, is dedicated to preserving America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts.
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America
  • Hardcover: 1126 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America; Later prt. edition (November 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940450070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940450073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Henderson on August 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is the kind of book reserved for the word "volume" and by that I mean it carries all the weight of Twain's most accessible works. All of the Library of America books carry this weight but this was one of the first and deservedly so. I'm reviewing this book not just on its contents but on its sheer style and scholarly editing, its fitness in the hand (or lap), the way it will look on your bookshelf and the 10-point Linotron Galliard printing that makes the very act of reading much easier.
Now, the contents cannot be less magnificent as the river all these writings have in common. Funny, wise and as much a part of 19th century American history as you'll find anywhere, these are great examples of the best American writing in one "volume" by one of the world's most recognized authors. No self-respecting booklover should be without it.
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I doubt that anyone reading these reviews is trying to decide whether or not they will enjoy reading the stories in this volume - most likely they've read them already and want to know if this is an edition worth buying. This is definitely worth buying. The printing is crisp. The paper is lightweight, smooth-surfaced, and acid-free; over 1100 pages are only 1 and 1/8 inches thick. The dimensions are perfect. The binding appears to be strong yet limber - the book opens easily with good visualization of all margins. Library of America, the publishers, seems dedicated not only to preserving American writings, but doing so with style. I plan to put more of their books on my wish list - Melville and Hawthorne perhaps. My only regret is that I already own the complete writing of Poe from another publisher.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading a Time Magazine article on the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain's death, I ordered Mississippi Writings out of curiosity and to see how much I would remember from reading these stories as a child. I was not disappointed. His writing is contemporary, the language is typical of his day (so don't be offended), and I was reminded again of how he really started the modern novel. Although I knew how the stories would turn out, I had forgotten a lot of the details that had enthralled me when I read it the first time so many years ago, and when I put myself in Tom's place and wished I had a friend like Huck. This is a nice package that provides an insight into life along the Mississippi in the early days and will provide a fishing bucket full of nostalgia.
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Format: Hardcover
Pudd'nhead Wilson is, in my opinion, Mark Twain's most underappreciated book. It's a "mystery" in structure, so I don't intend to summarize the story at all. It's also Twain's most powerful assessment of the effects of slavery and racism in America, but once again I don't want to spoil the development except to say that Twain "felt" the horrors of Jim Crow more than any other white intellectual of his era.

Twain has been demonized in some places because of his use of language in Huckleberry Finn and other books, which would be considered hateful and racist today. Well, friends, it was hateful and racist in Twain's time also, and Twain consistently uses it in such a way that its insensitivity and hatefulness is revealed. Huckleberry Finn is not a book aimed at children; it's rowdy and complex and it requires a kind of detachment that only a mature frontal cortex can manage. What makes HF such a great book is precisely the reliance and friendship that evolves between the runaway white boy and the runaway slave. No other book before Twain portrayed such an intimacy.

I have a personal "investment" in Pudd'nhead Wilson, the character, which I needn't explain, except to say that large numbers of African-Americans and European-Americans might find themselves equally invested by the miracle of DNA testing.

This Library of America publication is first-rate. If you haven't read Huckleberry Finn at least twice in your life, you ought to read it now. And if you haven't read Pudd'nhead Wilson, you'll be both entertained and stimulated by it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I now have several of these Library of America volumes and I love them. This one is no different. They are beautifully bound in various colors of fabric (uniform colored dust covers) with matching ribbon book mark. The binding is solid and durable. The pages are of a fine quality, print is a nice font. The collections within each volume are logical, complimentary, and often comprehensive of a particular author's type of work (e.g. collected poems, essays). These original works were written in english, so translation is not an issue. Editting has been accurate. As these are the works of the original authors, the true value of these volumes are in the works collected and the presentation. For any price, you could not be more pleased. However, because they are so well made, you can find excellent condition used versions for unbelievable prices. If you purchase books to own for your personal library, these will be a treasure on so many levels.
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The book itself is very nice. Perfect size, good quality paper, printing size and style is very readable. Nothing can be said about Mark Twain's writing that hasn't already been said many times over. This little book is a perfect addition to your home library.
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