The Innocents Abroad — Volume 01

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Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly—Tom's Aunt Polly, she is—and Tom Sawyer Abroad. I mean the adventures we had down the river, and the time we set the darky Jim free and Tom got shot in the leg. No, he wasn't. It only just p'isoned him for more. That was all the effect it had.

You see, when we three came back up the river in glory, as you may say, from that long travel, and the village received us with a torchlight procession His Majesty, the Emperor of China, being of the opinion that in making concessions to the citizens or subjects of foreign Powers of the privilege of residing on certain tracts of land, or resorting to certain waters of that Empire for the purposes of trade, he has by no means relinquished his right of eminent domain or dominion over the said land and waters, hereby agrees that no such concession or grant shall be construed to give The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson.

In it was a snug collection of modest one- and two-story frame dwellings, whose whitewashed exteriors were almost concealed from sight by climbing tangles of Is Shakespeare Dead? From my autobiography. Anyone who has ever gone on a tour with a small group, or taken a river cruise, will be amazed at how a man from the 19th century can know what life travelling in the 21st century is like. Twain describes personalities travellers today will instantly recognise, and lampoons them with flair. He even understands the silly bureaucratic little Napoleans you will encounter along the way.

Now, you have to be a fan of dry humour Sahara-like to appreciate Twain. This is not Huck Finn, but a real life travelogue that just happens to skewer tourism across time. I highly recommend this book. First I read the print version This is a wildly humorous account of a real voyage Twain took in accompaniment with some travelers on a trip to Europe and the Holy Land in As with all of Twain's travel literature, the book includes real information, facts, descriptions, about the trip and the travelers, but he also makes fun of himself and his co-travelers It established him as a major writer, and it put many dollars in his pocket.

I was all over the place with this book. It is a semi-factual telling of a journey to the Holy Land in an old, retired Civil War monitor, the former U. Quaker City. As with all of Twain's writing, there is truth, and then there is Truth, and then there is pure fancy and invention. This book had all of those. I felt I could imagine these long ago travelers despoiling antiquities and being rude, arrogant, and ignorant to the locals.

I also got their good intentions and curiosity. Throughout, I could be embarrassed by the ignorant American tourist, or amused by Twain's description, or offended by the souvenir hunting, sometimes those feelings were right on top of one another.

Ebooks by Mark Twain

I was surprised by the spiritual side of Twain. I thought it an interesting book. Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not? I would recommend this book to someone who wanted to read Twain specifically or to someone about to travel to Europe and the Middle East. How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable? It did drag on or ramble at times, but that's Twain. Did Grover Gardner do a good job differentiating all the characters?

He didn't really try to differentiate the characters because it was written in first person. I do wish he had taken bigger pauses between subject changes though. Twain can make some big topic jumps but there was no breath between so more than a few times when I was doing something else I had to rewind to catch the transition. Do you think The Innocents Abroad needs a follow-up book?

Innocents Abroad Volume by Mark Twain

A peculiar fact about the most famous humourist of the 19th century is that of all his numerous works, it was the serious and even sentimental "Joan of Arc" that he was most proud of. This dichotomy between the merciless satirist and a man capable of deep empathy and enraged by social injustices is nowhere as apparent as in this travelogue. Published in , this book witnessed the period immediately succeeding one of the most tumultuous periods in European social history and Twain pulls no punches from his perspective of a more politically advanced and enlightened American citizen.

He gets our laughs by ridiculing everything from great art "some of us said that certain of the great works of the old masters were glorious creations of genius - we found it out in the guide-book, though we got hold of the wrong picture sometimes" to the trade in relics of the Holy Cross: "I would not like to be positive, but I think we have seen as much as a keg of these nails" , but then immediately offers a moving description of the abjectly poor Italian masses, forced to beg in the streets.

This work is as much a short introduction to the 19th century European politics as it is a hilarious road trip through the Old World. Gardner's narration is wonderfully suited to Twain's mix of laughs and poignancy. His comic timing and delivery are impeccable - sometimes his narration is so dry, that you have to rewind to make sure that he really just said what you think he did. Gardner appreciates that this is Twain's gig and the text is strong enough to stand on its own without any 'nudge, nudge' encouragements from the narrator, so the laughs remain unexpected and fresh and you don't see many of them coming even after you have listened to most of the book.

Word of advice - be careful about listening to this on public transport if you have a tendency to snort.

What did you like most about The Innocents Abroad? If you've ever been to any of these cities, try some mental compare and contrasting.

He's pretty much the only constant character. Which scene did you most enjoy? I loved most of the bits in the holy land. If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be? There and back again. He's incredibly sarcastic I think? Be warned if you hate sarcasm. Would you consider the audio edition of The Innocents Abroad to be better than the print version?

I prefer audio to print. Which character — as performed by Grover Gardner — was your favourite? The 'character' which was my favourite was Venice.


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There's nothing new under the sun. At the end of every Audible title a distant voice states 'Audible hopes you've enjoyed this program'. Well, I sure as shooting enjoyed this one! Grover Gardner the narrator was very good indeed.

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However I could not help but wonder the following scenario. Samuel Clemens was a Master of the Pause. Robbie Coltrane, a Scots actor, is a Master of the Aside. I did wonder what Robbie Coltrane would have made of Innocents Abroad. Coltrane handles asides beautifully.

Nevertheless Grover Gardner hooked and guided and enchanted me. The mistake surely is the publication date. Some of Twain's observations written in the mid C19 were fresh and relevant and could have been written down in the second decade of the C Others observations perhaps less so.

Thank you Audible and thank you Grover Gardner. This is a listen not to be missed. A fascinating survey of France, the Mediterranean and Asia Minor in the late s. It's the little snap-shots that provide most pleasure. There are, as might be expected, playful digs at aristocratic pretension and the dirt, laziness and corruption of many ordinary people, but Twain is similarly unforgiven about some of his own countrymen. The Crimean War is referred to on occasion, but it is interesting to note the lack of real reference to the more recent American Civil War in a work that relies on building parallels for readers back in the USA — readers who understood the copious Biblical and classical allusions more than their more counterparts..

There is throughout a balance between naive expectation and ultimate disappointment, which will speak to many a tourist who finds that guidebooks and popular imagery often distort a more prosaic reality. I personally preferred his subsequent "A Tramp Abroad" on Germany and Switzerland, though the range of discussion is broader here.

The reading in this version is faultless. Your audiobook is waiting…. By: Mark Twain. Narrated by: Grover Gardner. Length: 18 hrs and 13 mins. Categories: Classics , American Literature. People who bought this also bought Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. Fiedler, literary critic.

What members say Average Customer Ratings Overall. Amazon Reviews. San Francisco: H. Bancroft and Company, First Edition, First Issue.