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Roughing It (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1962
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There is no nicer surprise for a reader than to discover that an acknowledged classic really does deliver the goods. Mark Twain's Roughing It is just such a book. The adventure tale is a delight from start to finish and is just as engrossing today as it was 125 years ago when it first appeared.
Roughing It tells the true-ish escapades of Twain in the American West. Although he clearly "speaks with forked tongue," Roughing It is informative as well as humorous. From stagecoach travel to the etiquette of prospecting, the modern reader gains considerable insight into that much-fictionalized time and place. Do you know about sagebrush, for example?
Sage-brush is very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but the jackass and his illegitimate child, the mule. But their testimony to its nutritiousness is worth nothing, for they will eat pine knots, or anthracite coal, or brass filings, or lead pipe, or old bottles, or anything that comes handy, and then go off looking as grateful as if they had had oysters for dinner.Roughing It is informally structured around the narrator's attempts to strike it rich. He meets a motley, colorful crew in the process; many mishaps occur, and it shouldn't surprise you that Twain does not emerge a man of means. But he withstands it all in such a relentless good humor that his misfortune inspires laughter. Roughing It is wonderful entertainment and reminds you how funny the world can be--even its grimmer districts--when you're traveling with the right writer. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In this 1872, Twain reminisces about his five years of roaming around the country from 1861 to 1866. This edition contains the complete original text plus the original illustrations. Though pricey, this volume should be considered for collections specializing in Twain.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought a copy of this book years ago because I am a native Californian, and knew that there was some material in here about California in the early days (my copy is an old hardcover published by Grosset and Dunlap). As Twain states in his Prefatory: "...There is quite a good deal of information in this book. I regret this very much, but really it could not be helped." I enjoyed reading about the "old West" from an eye-witness, although most of it deals with Nevada, not California. While some of it sounded familiar, like something from any Western-genre movie, other things were like nothing I had ever heard of before, describing the "Wild West" from an original point of view. In that respect, this book is a great resource.
This book falls short of five stars due to some minor flaws. He often digresses with text that is not only marginal to the point, but not even written by him, reprinting someone else's text. I skipped over some of that. He would also spend pages detailing coversations between other people that he could not have possibly remembered verbatim. While I understand that it was a common writing style of his day, it sounds like bad jounalism today. Those complaints aside, this is some great writing by Twain and some valuable American history.
Essentially, someone printed out the book on "letter" size paper and then bound it. So the book is huge. and not high quality.
It you want it that size you might as well just download from gutenberg ([...]) and print it out.
The CreateSpace publication is a large-format binding, about the size of a thick magazine. The title doesn't appear on the spine. Although a wide page usually lends itself to large-print type or multiple columns, these 8.5-inch-wide pages have everything in a single column, and there's hardly any page margin. The type is quite small and very crowded. The intent seems to be to cram as much text into as little space as the designer (if such a title applies) could manage. Do yourself a favor and buy some other edition of this book. This one is almost unreadable.
The source of this publication should be investigated for fraud and copyright violation!