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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splurge and Get This Edition
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.
Published on 3 Jun 1999

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars Roughing it
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.
Published 6 months ago by Savill Young


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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.

He retains his feel for the human struggle as fortunes are made and lost by an unpatentable combination of skill, luck and application and Twain manages to recreate his own blackest moments with complete authenticity. He cleverly and soulfully conveys the human experience of fear mingled with hope and comfort in small things with which we are all familiar.

This is a really marvelous piece of prose that I strongly recommend and is the perfect antidote to the High School Musical view that the world is there for your taking, not because it trashes that hypothesis but because it puts it in a real world context. This book is an adult take on the search for success and how it is paid for.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Episodic, Amusing And Engaging, 25 May 2014
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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
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Mr. J. H. Wheeler "Easy Street" (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Roughing It (Kindle Edition)
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 recollection....it 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
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This review is from: Roughing It (Kindle Edition)
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
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure about Kindle format, 26 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Roughing It (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed most of the book but was not entirely happy with the Kindle format. Each book started with a complete index of the three books, which was confusing, I wasn't able to access the illustrations (but that may be my fault).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and funny!, 23 July 2013
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This review is from: Roughing It (Kindle Edition)
I love Mark Twains writing style - the very droll sense of humour and descriptions of people and places. I read this book before heading to California and Hawaii and lots of his remarks are still relevant today!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Roughing It, 22 July 2013
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This review is from: Roughing It (Kindle Edition)
This is a hugely entertaining account of the life of a young Mark Twain as he makes his way in the world. He veers from triumph to disaster in almost every chapter, describing as he goes the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the period in a way which brings it vividly into the reader's consciousness. There is a pervading sense of innocence on his part which is thoroughly endearing. A lovely read.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long full of bull account of Twain's adventures!, 21 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Twain here exhibits his propensity to write, and write, and write... As long and boring as some of this book was, I am glad I read it. His adventures are interesting and more than anything it is a time piece; his inflections and nuances of verb and colloqualisms make for a difficult read, but it is worth it if you have the time. This ain't a thriller
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