Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Learn more Shop now Learn more



on 17 December 2017
I visited New Orleans a while back and took a trip on a paddle steamer. Once you leave the central city area with the high rise buildings dominating the skyline and riverbank, the landscape changes dramatically. Life on the Mississippi really helped me to envisage what the area was like around the time of the American Civil War and is a compelling and informed read.

There's a potted, but detailed history of the river area when first discovered by European settlers along with anecdotes about Twains apprenticeship as a steamboat pilot and the difficulties of navigating a wide and fast flowing river. The latter part of the book is an account of a steamboat journey he took from St Louis to New Orleans and how railroad, new buildings and other industrial developments were influencing and altering life. It's a fabulous travelogue and a great slice of social history.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 26 December 2016
I wanted to see what Mark Twain's books were like other than the 2 everybody knows.This does it & very cheaply hence the 5 stars. They are enjoyable & give a lively & in some cases exaggerated account of what life was like at the time. The accounts of corruption in Washington are very funny - presumably Twain would be disappointed if not surprised that the swamp still needs draining! BUT the stories I have read so far aren't up there with T Sawyer & H Finn.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 22 January 2018
Knowing nothing at all about America's biggest river, I have really enjoyed this book, although I skipped some passages. Very readable social history!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 September 2013
Took a Mississippi road trip from Memphis to New Orleans and the book was extremely helpful with the size, shape, hirtage and ever changing nature of the river.
It was full of useful little stories that give a flavour of past lives , told with great panache by one of America's greatest authors. You really need to get a sense of size of the river and its flood plain and this is the book that helps do it, and tells how a River Pilot through sheer determination mastered his art.
The books mixed culture, the civil war and its long term legacy on Civil Rights, the ever changing landscape with something of a prophesy of the future into a still highly readable book. This is a great companion to more modern books on the Great River
and highly recommended if you want a good introduction the US.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 27 June 2017
Great story telling. One of those books that plants pictures in the mind of the reader.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 November 2016
A very good insight into the life and times of people living and working on the Mississippi River in the 1800's.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 May 2016
Started reading this as a result of reading George r r martins 'fevre' dream,and wanted to get back to some source material about the steamboat trade in the mid 19th material.it's actually a pretty good read!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 November 2015
Interesting for part of the Mississippi from St/ Louis to New Orleans, but drags on towards the end. Possibly more interesting for someone familiar with the Mississippi. Surprised at his criticism of Sir Walter Scott which maybe effected my judgement.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 7 October 2017
Happy
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 December 2015
A good read. Interesting historically as well as enlightening about the life of a steamboat pilot including Mark Twain himself. Liberally sprinkled with knowledge and humour.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse