Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain audiobook

Life on the Mississippi

By Mark Twain
Read by Grover Gardner

Blackstone Publishing, Craig Black
13.62 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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The Mississippi River, known as “America’s river,” and Mark Twain are practically synonymous in American culture. The popularity of Twain’s steamboat and steamboat pilot on the ever-changing Mississippi has endured for over a century. A brilliant amalgam of remembrance and reportage, by turns satiric, celebratory, nostalgic, and melancholy, Life on the Mississippi evokes the great river that Mark Twain knew as a boy and young man and the one he revisited as a mature and successful author. Written between the publication of his two greatest novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Twain’s rich portrait of the Mississippi marks a distinctive transition in the life of the river and the nation, from the boom years preceding the Civil War to the sober times that followed it. Samuel Clemens became a licensed river pilot at the age of twenty-four under the apprenticeship of Horace Bixby, pilot of the Paul Jones. His name, Mark Twain, was derived from the river pilot term describing safe navigating conditions, or “mark two fathoms.” This term was shortened to “mark twain” by the leadsmen whose job it was to monitor the water’s depth and report it to the pilot. Although Mark Twain used his childhood experiences growing up along the Mississippi in numerous works, nowhere is the river and pilot’s life more thoroughly described than in Life on the Mississippi.

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Summary

Summary

A Washington Post Pick of Best Audiobooks for Your Summer Travels

An AudioFile Editors’ Pick for Best Audiobooks for Travelling

The Mississippi River, known as “America’s river,” and Mark Twain are practically synonymous in American culture. The popularity of Twain’s steamboat and steamboat pilot on the ever-changing Mississippi has endured for over a century.

A brilliant amalgam of remembrance and reportage, by turns satiric, celebratory, nostalgic, and melancholy, Life on the Mississippi evokes the great river that Mark Twain knew as a boy and young man and the one he revisited as a mature and successful author. Written between the publication of his two greatest novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Twain’s rich portrait of the Mississippi marks a distinctive transition in the life of the river and the nation, from the boom years preceding the Civil War to the sober times that followed it.

Samuel Clemens became a licensed river pilot at the age of twenty-four under the apprenticeship of Horace Bixby, pilot of the Paul Jones. His name, Mark Twain, was derived from the river pilot term describing safe navigating conditions, or “mark two fathoms.” This term was shortened to “mark twain” by the leadsmen whose job it was to monitor the water’s depth and report it to the pilot.

Although Mark Twain used his childhood experiences growing up along the Mississippi in numerous works, nowhere is the river and pilot’s life more thoroughly described than in Life on the Mississippi.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Mark Twain was the first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs.” William Faulkner
“I believe that Mark Twain had a clearer vision of life…than any other American…I believe that he was the true father of our national literature, the first genuinely American artist of the royal blood.” H. L. Mencken
“There are at least half a dozen audiobook versions of Mark Twain’s greatest work of nonfiction, his account of his time on the Mississippi River as a riverboat apprentice and pilot, and, later, as a witness to change. Veteran narrator Grover Gardner, with his fine exuberant voice, comic pacing and sense of mordant irony, gives us the very best rendition. The book begins with its constant theme—the Mississippi’s lawless ways, its mobility and perversity—and goes on to its “discovery” by Europeans, paying caustic attention to the invaders’ appetite for other people’s land. From then on, the book rambles through Twain’s often chastening experiences, the rise and decline of steamship riverboating, and the manners, mores and eccentricities of river towns and people. Above all, this is a book about travel. Setting out as a young man, a high-spirited Sam Clemens feels the exhilaration of every traveler: ‘I became a new being, and the subject of my own admiration. I was a traveler! . . . and I was able to look down and pity the untraveled with a compassion that had hardly a trace of contempt in it.’” Washington Post
“Listeners who enjoyed Grover Gardner’s narrations of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer will savor this journey…Gardner’s easy familiarity with Twain’s style is evident once more: He captures all of the author’s wit and wordplay as well as his colorful descriptions of the era just before the Civil War. Gardner gives some rollicking performances as he brings to life the book’s memorable characters, with their gruff voices and varied accents. The text can be as meandering as the river itself, but Gardner’s first-rate narration keeps the listener on course.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Mark Twain

Author Bio: Mark Twain

Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel L. Clemens (1835–1910), was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. He attended school briefly and then at age thirteen became a full-time apprentice to a local printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal Journal, Samuel became a compositor for that paper and then, for a time, an itinerant printer. With a commission to write comic travel letters, he traveled down the Mississippi. Smitten with the riverboat life, he signed on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot. After 1859, he became a licensed pilot, but two years later the Civil War put an end to the steam-boat traffic.

In 1861, he and his brother traveled to the Nevada Territory where Samuel became a writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and there, on February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous account with the pseudonym Mark Twain. The name was a river man’s term for water “two fathoms deep” and thus just barely safe for navigation.

In 1870 Twain married and moved with his wife to Hartford, Connecticut. He became a highly successful lecturer in the United States and England, and he continued to write.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 13.62
Audience: Adult
Language: English