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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 16 December 2011
The title of this book encouraged me to send for it although I didn't know whether it was going to be interesting for an elderly lady of nearly 86.
Although I have it on Kindle I also sent for the book as I wanted a written record.
I found it thoroughly interesting. Factual, and in some places really funny. The personal experiences related within the book take you back years and yet it is also full of geographical, historical and other data. The author's grasp of human nature was really good too. I could see the old steamboats in my minds eye -0 I wish I could now!! I was completely absorbed with it until I regretfully finished it!!
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on 8 September 2010
This book loosely follows a trip taken by Twain along the length of the Mississippi. The story of the journey is constantly interrupted by short, entertaining tales related to Twain's prior career as a steamboat pilot. I am always impressed with Twain's storytelling abilities, and though this is not like his typical novel, I quickly devoured it. This book may have had additional significance to me considering I spent a decade living along the banks of the Mississippi. Nevertheless, Twain is always great and timeless.
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on 28 August 2006
In a lecture at Harvard in 1967, Borges said that over the years, fueled by his enthusiasm for Huckleberry Finn, he had read and re-read Life on the Mississippi. I also started reading this book because I wanted to return to Huck's world, but do not think I will ever re-read it, though undeniably certain passages are evocative and memorable. I did find it tiresomely factual in places. But if you have time to kill and long for Old Man River, there are certainly worse ways to pass the hours.
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on 24 July 2016
An excellent read.
This is a great threaded masterpiece.
About the author:
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, was an American humorist and writer, who is best known for his enduring novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has been called the Great American Novel. Raised in Hannibal, Missouri, Twain held a variety of jobs including typesetter, riverboat pilot, and miner before achieving nationwide attention for his work as a journalist with The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. He earned critical and popular praise for his wit and enjoyed a successful career as a public speaker in addition to his writing. Twain s works were remarkable for his ability to capture colloquial speech, although his adherence to the vernacular of the time has resulted in the suppression of his works by schools in modern times. Twain s birth in 1835 coincided with a visit by Halley s Comet, and Twain predicted, accurately, that he would go out with it as well, dying the day following the comet s return in 1910.

Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse, but evolved into a chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humor, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularize a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.

This book contains the complete novels of Mark Twain:
- The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- The Prince and the Pauper
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- The American Claimant
- Tom Sawyer Abroad
- The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
- Tom Sawyer, Detective
- Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
- A Double Barrelled Detective Story
- A Horse's Tale
- The Mysterious Stranger

This is really funny and a brilliant read.
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on 20 August 2011
I am nostalgic about this book, and therefore purchased it. The Kindle edition is nice to read and I liked the pictures. This is a great book, masterly yet entertaining and I enjoyed reading after twenty odd years. In short this is a book about life as well as about one of the greatest rivers in the planet.
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on 7 May 2014
I could not put it down. The language itself takes you to another era. I love travel but in this age, travel like that of Mark Twain is no longer possible. Nowadays speed is of the essence. Then it was accuracy and devotion to a craft. Even the attention to detail is that of a craftsman.
I knew another Mark Twain (I didn't realise till I began reading of his diverse acheivements).
Set aside some precious time. Relax in a peaceful setting and enjoy this wonderful book.
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on 25 March 2014
I certainly would have rated this book at 5 stars had it not been a touch over discursive in places. But this is only a minor criticism. The strength of 'Life on the Mississippi' lies in its portrayal of vanished past ways of living on and along the river. The golden days of the steamboats are detailed along with the lives of the incredibly skilled pilots - superior in status to the captains. There are stories of the crews and passengers including rascally gamblers Boats are lost through explosions, groundings, and shifting snags. A rich absorbing read
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on 9 January 2013
Mark Twain at his best. His novels may be read and reread and one never tires of them. Fascinating and insightful narrative.
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on 14 July 2013
Loved this book even though it was slow starting will defiantly read more from mark twain, will re read again
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on 29 January 2014
It was my choice and it is well made - Delivered before the expected date - and well packaged - Nothing else I can say
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