I started reading the Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1, after I shopped it around to several men, who didn’t seem interested.
Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1
I found it strange that there wasn’t more interest in this book. It sounded interesting. And the marketing! “Makes a great Father’s Day gift.”
Once it was clear I was keeping this book I started reading.
What. A. Treat.
This is a work, which the Internet tells me was mostly dictated by Twain near the end of his life. A work, which wasn’t allowed to be published until 100 years after Mark Twain’s death. Love it! What a mystery!
This book doesn’t flow in much of a timeline—at least not to me. But I don’t care. It doesn’t really need to, there are just a bunch of recollections and stories strung together by a common theme: this is Mark Twain’s life.
Whenever I settle in to read a bit more of these meandering memories I’m reminded of my own grandfather, who was the king of random stories. Those stories are some of my favourite memories of him and our time together. Even as a child I didn’t care if I had heard grandpa’s stories 10 times (or 10 minutes ago). There was something in the way he told the story, with such clarity and fondness that captivated me.
Twain’s stories have a similar effect on me. They are mischievous and completely random. They make me giggle. Twain’s vocabulary choices are entertaining and paint vivid pictures of a life I know nothing about, in a place I’ve never experienced, yet feel as if I am witnessing.
And every now and then you find out the real person behind characters in his novels. Now I want to go back and read all those old books again.
Anyway, this book was delightful. I have read some stinker books lately. Where I can just read and feel like I don’t have to guess what the author probably meant or wish s/he used one word instead of 17.
What a treat.
And I think it WOULD make a great Father’s Day gift!
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