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Download Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1: The Complete and Authoritative Edition (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Mark Twain
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,292 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Twain Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN:
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I've struck it! Mark Twain wrote in a 1904 letter to a friend. And I will give it away - to you. You will never know how much enjoyment you have lost until you get to dictating your autobiography.

Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his Final (and Right) Plan for telling the story of his life. His innovative notion - to talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment - meant that his thoughts could range freely. The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for 100 years meant that when they came out, he would be dead, and unaware, and indifferent and that he was therefore free to speak his whole frank mind.

The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain's death. In celebration of this important milestone, here, for the first time, is Mark Twain's uncensored autobiography, in its entirety, exactly as he left it. This major literary event offers the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain's authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave, as he intended.

Edited by Harriet Elinor Smith and other editors of the Mark Twain Project.

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910) was born Samuel L. Clemens in the town of Florida, Missouri. One of the most popular and influential authors our nation has ever produced, his keen wit and incisive satire earned him praise from both critics and peers. He has been called not only the greatest humorist of his age but the father of American literature.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 2/12/2014

    " I was disappointed in this book--and ended up only skimming it. It begins with a lengthy introduction and then to previous attempts at autobiographies and then finally on page 200, begins this dictated autobiography. Some entries were amusing, some boring and the rest in-between. I had hoped for it to be quite amusing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay | 2/2/2014

    " I listened to this on audio. The first hour or more was an academic discussion of how the book came about. This is quite dry, but I learned that many of the stories presented here had previously been published in the earlier Neider-edited Autobiography which I had already read and enjoyed. I also learned that this autobiography would consist of snippets of writing that had been done over many years by Twain (and other writings he had added, such as letters), with somewhat random order of events, and interspersed discussion of the events at the time of his writing. Twain's writing, when I finally got to it on the audio, was as humorous and entertaining as always. But I really would have liked it more with some kind of order and self editing. If you are looking for the telling of Twain's life in a traditional biographic manner, go back to the earlier Autobiography -- one that involved an editor. If you would like to read something that could more easily have been called "Collected Musings and Diary Essays" by Twain this would work. This read like an extended discussion with someone who can't keep their mind on a single topic for very long. Note that the audio does not include the copious notes at the end of the book -- this amounted to a large number of pages in the book (more than a quarter, i believe) that you don't have with the audio. Not that that's a bad thing... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bruce Jewett | 1/29/2014

    " Interesting how he skips back and forth over his life, nothing sequential. Reminds me of Billy Pilgim being unstuck in time in Vonnegut's book. When will the next volume come out? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Akhet | 1/28/2014

    " A great story teller. You do not want to be on his black list. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Matt | 1/19/2014

    " Certainly has its moments, but its moments were things I'd seen excerpted before elsewhere. The rest is rather boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tarah | 1/18/2014

    " I'm going to have to agree with Garrison Keillor's review in the NYTs: the book is disappointing. And I'm one of the scholars against which Keillor warns us, so I should be part of the boring conspiracy brigade. It's not that the autobiography is unwelcome, or that it's not useful... but the presentation of the autobiography buries any interest value for all but the most dedicated Twain scholar. It is an interesting collection of vignettes--an anecdote about Horace Greeley here, a slam on President (Theodore) Roosevelt there--but these gems are mired in other fundamental problems of this collection, nonetheleast of which is the the overall presentation of the book, which, at a door-stopping 750 million pounds and 750 pages, suffers from an overabundance. What to do with these random scraps of Twain's life? The answer from Cal Press has been to present them as a coherent autobiography, which, of course, was Twain's own intention. But coherent (maybe the word I'm looking for is cohesive) this text is not. It's telling that Twain himself stopped and started the project multiple times, unable to settle on one form, one way of telling his story, one secretary to which to tell it, etc. You get that sense, that this is a patchwork piece, one without a coherent center. Which means that the interesting snap-shots of Twain's life (and many of the boring ones included as well) are left as just that: unconnected snapshots, or moments without a whole lot of meaning. I need to say, too, that this book fundamentally suffers from its over-intrusive (over-enthusiastic) editors. The actual text of the autobiography pales in comparison to the lengthy (I'm going to go ahead and say it: long-winded) introduction and the mind-bogglingly huge section of explanatory notes. Look, I'm an academic who LOVES explanatory notes beyond all reason. But these notes do little to add, and much to distract. Bad endnote. No biscut. So, there you go. I think I'll probably forgo numbers 2 and 3, except to flip through the index to see what pops up that might be interesting to read... and that seems to me to be the best way to approach this autobiography--reading select bits in isolation. I'm giving it three stars for the sheer amount of archival work that went into it. And because those digs at Roosevelt were pretty funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosemary | 1/9/2014

    " I love Mark Twain, but I do struggle sometimes with his stylistic choices. Even though the structure and content of volume one was delightful and engaging, it took me a little over a year to finish it. However, I think the time was well spent since my understand of Twain's works has been deeply affected by understanding his life and perspective better. I highly recommend this books for anyone who enjoy's Twain's works or has an interest in the time period. He certainly has a lot of commentary to contribute. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan | 1/3/2014

    " If you like Mark Twain's writing then you should like this. I have found it a fun read and picked up some great quotes along the way. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 12/24/2013

    " Wow!!! So so boring. Didn't even finish it. Everytime I picked it up I fell asleep. He wad full of himself and wrote stream of consciousness which totally bugged. Don't waste your time!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hank | 12/7/2013

    " The Reader's Edition is a must read for almost everyone who ever enjoyed this author. The 'Complete' edition with a lot of additional material from the editor is probably not for everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Martin | 11/22/2013

    " Enormous, tiny print. Some really hilarious stories. Now if only I can find my reading glasses so I can read some more of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 11/1/2013

    " This book is enormous and could do serious damage to one's wrists while trying to hold it, so it would be a good idea to get it as an ebook. Interesting book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Hunter Daughtrey | 10/21/2013

    " Disappointed at the degree of tedium. I could not finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Pack | 10/17/2013

    " Fascinating, although at times tedious. It makes me weep for the modern English language. It seems to me that by and large people who lived one hundred years ago were far more eloquent than we are. Still, an interesting look at the life of the gifted humorist. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 10/12/2013

    " An outstanding collection of what would have been Mark Twain's autobiography. I cannot wait for the next volume. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rosa Edith | 9/8/2013

    " No lo termine, no hera lo que yo esperaba. It was not what I was expecting to read, was not able to get into it, maybe because I am not a fan and could not relate. I tried, though! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brett | 7/28/2013

    " A collection of anecdotes and notes mostly. I was most intrigued about his life in the west. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 1/20/2013

    " A little teadius and long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryJohanna | 5/24/2012

    " What an odd and interesting compilation of writings. Not really "autobiographical" in the typical sense - more like spending some time with a rambling SLC. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 5/20/2011

    " Mark Twain--such a great writer--love his style and wit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 5/16/2011

    " The first part was a bit dry, a description of the process of collating the autobiography. But once you got over the nature of the book it was, for all Samuel Clemens fans worthwile.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mimi | 5/1/2011

    " I love Mark Twain's voice! He can tell the most mundane story in such a wonderful way. I can almost hear his Missouri-lilt and see him rocking back in a chair, with a cigar in hand as I read the stories of his life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 4/27/2011

    " Got through it with a mix of listening and reading. Some parts are great, other parts are less than great. If only he live long enough to edit it. I can't believe there is another volume. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 4/27/2011

    " Fascinating. Waiting for vol 2 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Raisonbr | 4/20/2011

    " Too much scholarship, too many footnotes and not enough Twain. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lilly-Anne | 4/4/2011

    " Wonderfully entertaining. Skip the first 100 pages and get right to the biography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mrs.Schoener | 4/2/2011

    " Tried to listen to all 20 audio CD's. Whoa. Twain overload- and there are two more volumes. He has interesting insight into his contemporaries. I loved the description of Grant. I will buy the hardcover version and dip into it as I revisit 19th century literature. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe | 4/1/2011

    " Sometimes amusing, mostly boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 3/28/2011

    " Long. Authoritative. Includes much that was previously available. For someone who is obsessed with Twain, I'm sure it would be a treasure trove. But for the casual fan, such as myself, it frankly a bit too much. "

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About the Author
Author Mark Twain

Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel L. Clemens (1835–1910), was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. He attended school briefly and then at age thirteen became a full-time apprentice to a local printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal Journal, Samuel became a compositor for that paper and then, for a time, an itinerant printer. With a commission to write comic travel letters, he traveled down the Mississippi. Smitten with the riverboat life, he signed on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot. After 1859, he became a licensed pilot, but two years later the Civil War put an end to the steam-boat traffic.

In 1861, he and his brother traveled to the Nevada Territory where Samuel became a writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and there, on February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous account with the pseudonym Mark Twain. The name was a river man’s term for water “two fathoms deep” and thus just barely safe for navigation.

In 1870 Twain married and moved with his wife to Hartford, Connecticut. He became a highly successful lecturer in the United States and England, and he continued to write.

About the Narrator

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over eight hundred titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned thirty-seven Earphones Awards.