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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Mark Twain
This inexpensive book of over 600 pages offers an incredible value for anyone who enjoy Mark Twain's quintessential humor. It is one of those books that you cannot put down once you get started on it. A great way to while away a hot summer afternoon!
Published on 26 July 1997

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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Confusing mix of stories and articles. I just wanted the stories.
Published 1 month ago by J. R. Attar


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Mark Twain, 26 July 1997
By A Customer
This inexpensive book of over 600 pages offers an incredible value for anyone who enjoy Mark Twain's quintessential humor. It is one of those books that you cannot put down once you get started on it. A great way to while away a hot summer afternoon!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful and diverse collection, 30 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This is an important book in American literature. This collection truly shows off the massive range that Mark Twain had. From the author of books as divergant as Huck Finn and Joan of Arc, to the humorous travel writings and all the way past the bitter, hateful scribblings of his later life.
These are some of the highlights, as I see it:
"The Story of the Bad Little Boy", an early version of Twain's comprehenisive pessism and it proves that there is really no such thing. There's optimism and there's realism. "A Day at Niagra", an obvious parody of his own early newpaper feature writing. Perhaps it was an abandoned assignment on a trip to the falls and Twain had such a bad time he wrote this vicious, sarcastic piece. There are numerous other wonderful stories along the way, hilarious, mean-spirited, touching, beautiful, gently humorous and smile factoring. After the dreadful 1890s of Twain's life (lost a wife, a daughter, a fortune and another kid got sick), sometimes a few of the stories are near-misses. Still always amusing, but something is missing. Then, at recurring times over the last decade of his life, Mark Twain got angry. He popped the blister that became "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyberg", a brutal profile of mankind's inate greed and selfishness and how there will always be someone out there to laugh and enjoy your misery. "The $30,000 Bequest" is a heart-breaking tale about delusion and wasted lives, and how even the thought of money corrupts absolutely. "Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven" is a mercilessly blasphemous account of Heaven being no different, really, from the earth, the same classist behavior, the same tragic dreams of a better life never to be had. It shoots a hole the size of, well, Heaven in this shaky mythology.
Finally, we visit with "The Mysterious Stranger", a categorically violent attack on the idea of God. It demystifies so many absurdities organized religion tells you to take for granted, don't be surprised if you lose your faith after reading this short novel. It is one of the ultimate masterworks of satirical tragedy ever produced by a writer and is desperately in need of some ingenious filmmaker to produce an R-rated animated movie. Hell, anyone out there who may chance across this add, I'm willing to write the screenplay or assist in production in some way. I have some experience and can do this one TOP NOTCH.
Enough advertising--all in all, a beautiful, necessary book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of Twain, 23 Feb 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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Mark Twain was a pretty versatile author, writing everything from the story of Huck Finn to a time-traveling Arthurian satire.

And in addition to writing articles, novels and travelogues, he wrote a lot of short stories. Everyman's Library's "The Complete Short Stories" brings together all of Twain's short works, from the sublime to the sublimely ridiculous (there's a story called "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"!).

The stories include stories of Jim Smiley and his trained frog, the Capitoline Venus, a missing elephant, the "orneriest-lookin'" cat Tom Quartz, the overwrought romance of Alonzo and Rosannah (via phone), a tragic Inuit maiden, a wild sketch about an odd couple on the Russian border, Captain Elias Stormfield's voyage through the startling expanses of heaven, and countless other tales. It also has some stuff that is not quite as easily classified as short stories, such as the demonic fable "The Mysterious Stranger," a scathing poke at organized religion.

"The Complete Short Stories" has a lot of different kinds of tales in it, from the tragic ("The Esquimau Maiden's Romance") to the hilarious ("The Belated Russian Passport"). But since Twain was a noted humorist, most of the stories have a wry, biting edge -- sometimes it's gentle, and sometimes it's pretty vicious.

Heck, even the romantic stories in it -- such as the tale of Alonzo and Rosannah -- have the vague feeling that you should be laughing at the overwrought emotions and reactions of the lovers.

And that edge permeates all the stories, however they are written. Some are conventional 19th-century prose, with splashes of color and clever wordplay. But he experiments with style at times -- sometimes he's being told a story by a fictional third person, sometimes the story is almost all dialogue, and so on.

Above all, Twain was a brilliant wordsmith, able to conjure up the mundane with as much color as the ethereal and exotic. His stories tend to be brief, but they pack a lot of punch -- even if they're barely more than sketches (like the membranous croup story), they have clever, colorful writing.

"The Complete Short Stories" (which isn't QUITE complete -- there are a few stories missing) is a good way of getting Mark Twain's short stories all in one. Vibrant, sharp and witty.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the un-complete short stories, 23 Sep 2010
This volume claims to present the complete short stories of Mark Twain. It contains sixty stories but is far from being complete.
Indeed in other editions I have collected thirty-three more tales, some of them absolutely extraordinary, and worthy to be anthologized.
For instance 'Mr Bloke's item' published in 1865 seems completely forgotten. But one of the funniest stories I know.
Nevertheless this book is very entertaining, if not complete.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful prose, beautiful edition., 16 Mar 2014
By 
John David Charles Hilton "Creative spark...." (Redcliffe, Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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A beautifully presented (as are all the volumes in this Everyman hb series), well edited collection of some of the funniest fiction to come out of 19th century America.
Comprehensive and with excellent editorial matter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete short review of complete short stories of Mark Twain, 9 Aug 2014
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Liked these very much. This would be shorter but my device required a longer review, however it is still incomplete.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 4 Nov 2014
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J. R. Attar (London) - See all my reviews
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Confusing mix of stories and articles. I just wanted the stories.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twain, 12 Nov 2010
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Ross Burns "T-Rod" (Carlisle, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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All you need to know is the author's name. Mark Twain. There. That is enough for you to buy it.
Oh alright, it is excellent.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A reading adventure, 15 Aug 2013
By 
George W. Steed (Lodz, Poland) - See all my reviews
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Each story is a reading adventure. Two stories brought tears to my eyes. Mark Twains's vision of Heaven is a story you will never forget. The English reads as fresh as anything we have today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 July 2014
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Classic
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Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain
Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain by Twain Mark (Mass Market Paperback - 1 Oct 1981)
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