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Roughing It

Roughing It [Kindle Edition]

Mark Twain
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The Wild West as Mark Twain lived it

In 1861, Mark Twain joined his older brother Orion, the newly appointed secretary of the Nevada Territory, on a stagecoach journey from Missouri to Carson City, Nevada. Planning to be gone for three months, Twain spent the next “six or seven years” exploring the great American frontier, from the monumental vistas of the Rocky Mountains to the lush landscapes of Hawaii. Along the way, he made and lost a theoretical fortune, danced like a kangaroo in the finest hotels of San Francisco, and came to terms with freezing to death in a snow bank—only to discover, in the light of morning, that he was fifteen steps from a comfortable inn.
As a record of the “variegated vagabondizing” that characterized his early years—before he became a national treasure—Roughing It is an indispensable chapter in the biography of Mark Twain. It is also, a century and a half after it was first published, both a fascinating history of the American West and a laugh-out-loud good time.



Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 20828 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1478258942
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (22 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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More About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splurge and Get This Edition 3 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This edition is the Library of Mark Twain published by the University of California. They are by far the best editions available, but regrettably they are slow in releasing them. You won't be sorry.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, tragic and redeeming 28 July 2010
This is a most surprising autobiographical account of Mark Twain's early life as a gold miner. Full of delightful vignettes, humour and heartbreak it is a superb account of success and failure in building the American Dream,

In Hollywood it is within yourself to be the best and to succeed at anything your heart really wants, but in the rest of the world this is derided as claptrap since it is obvious that everyone cannot be successful at everything and the evidence of failure is all around to be seen. But should we live lives of fulfilled realism or of continually dashed hopes spiced by opportunity? There is no truth in either point of view since both are valid and together represent one of life's tensions - is it better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all?

Roughing it is Mark Twain's brilliant and hilarious autobiographical review of this argument seen through America's 1860 Midwest covering his unlikely and incredible career prior to becoming a successful author. In the process he shows how the American dream is full of the nightmare of failure where for every triumph, including his own, dozens are left behind in despair and living rough.

The book concerns the time Twain spent as a gold and silver prospector prior to success as an author and is partly an autobiography and partly a series of stories about the people he met or learnt about in the American west. This is beautifully and loving written, describing the wide variety of unlikely characters inhabiting this world. Twain delightfully evokes accents and voices creates a completely convincing world where his soft sympathy with the many unfortunate individuals that cross his path is a running theme. Twain's understated and dry humour makes the book a tour de force.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Episodic, Amusing And Engaging 25 May 2014
By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mark Twain’s collected (and extensive at nearly 600 pages) ramblings of his time as gold prospector, financial speculator, sailor and budding journalist in the American west are a, by turns, eccentric and darkly comic account, fictionalised, but based on Twain’s own direct experiences of the time he spent in Nevada, Salt Lake City and Hawaii. By its nature, being (partly) a collection of writings published in journals, and its lengthy production process, Roughing It does (at times) come across as rather episodic and disjointed, but Twain’s account is never less than intriguing, educational and frequently hilarious.

Because of the book’s subject matter, Roughing It often reminded me of some of Jack London’s (similarly) semi-autobiographical travel writing, whilst, in terms of the larger-than-life and eccentric characterisations portrayed, I detected echoes of Dickens. The book also draws out some of Twain’s political and social philosophies around racial discrimination and anti-imperialism (in the process belying the fallacy of the American Dream), as well as including a particularly absorbing diatribe against the potential exploitative impact of the press.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Twain.... 12 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How could anyone be arrogant enough 'review' Mark Twain? History and literature has already decided on his merits! having said that, this is the most entertaining autobiographical view of the West in the 1800's, a true first person has somethings like 70 chapters! I'm not finished, but notwithstanding the time that has passed since penning...I really enjoyed it so far, and expect I'll continue to...
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book 10 Jan 2014
By Michael
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was so pleased when I found this on the Kindle. I am familiar with a number of Twain's works but I had never heard of 'Roughing It'. I read the wikipedia entry about it and instantly thought it would be an interesting read. It certainly was that. A brilliant work that gives real insight into the world of the American west. Some of Twain's anecdotes and stories are the best I have ever read and this book is just crammed full of them.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Roughing it 23 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mark Twain is great fun, and makes light of what seems to have been an horrendous journey. These people must have had almost unbelievable stamina to have survived.
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