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Download Mark Twain: Man in White: The Grand Adventure of His Final Years Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mark Twain: Man in White: The Grand Adventure of His Final Years, by Michael Shelden Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (111 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Shelden Narrator: Andrew Garman Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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One day in late 1906, seventy-one-year-old Mark Twain attended a meeting on copyright law at the Library of Congress. The arrival of the famous author caused the usual stir, but then Twain took off his overcoat to reveal a “snow-white” tailored suit and scandalized the room. His shocking outfit appalled and delighted his contemporaries, but far more than that, as Pulitzer Prize finalist Michael Shelden shows in this wonderful new biography, Twain had brilliantly staged this act of showmanship to cement his image, and his personal legend, in the public’s imagination. That afternoon in Washington, less than four years before his death, marked the beginning of a vibrant, tumultuous period in Twain’s life that would shape much of the now-famous image by which he has come to be known, America’s indomitable icon, the Man in White.

Although Mark Twain has long been one of our most beloved literary figures, Time magazine has declared him “our original superstar,” his final years have been largely misunderstood. Despite family tragedies, Twain’s last half-decade was among the most dynamic periods in the author’s life. With the spirit and vigor of a man fifty years younger, he continued to stir up trouble, perfecting his skill for living large. Writing ceaselessly and always ready with one of his legendary quips, Twain would risk his fortune, become the willing victim of a lost-at-sea hoax, and pick fights with King Leopold of Belgium and Mary Baker Eddy.

Drawing on a number of unpublished sources, including Twain’s own journals, letters, and a revealing four-hundred-page personal account kept under wraps for decades (and still yet to be published), Mark Twain: Man in White brings the legendary author’s twilight years vividly to life, offering surprising insights, including an intimate, tender look at his family life. Filled with first-rate scholarship, rare and never-published Twain photos, delightful anecdotes, and memorable quotes, including numerous recovered Twainisms, this definitive biography of Twain’s last yearsprovides a remarkable portrait of the man himself and of the unforgettable era in American letters that, in many ways, he helped to create.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Here is a well-researched book for all Twainiacs as well as those coming to the subject’s late years for the first time.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Impressive scholarship delivers the authentic accents of a truly American voice.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Man in White deftly outlines the conflict, during Twain’s last years, between the adored public figure and the burdened, frequently bitter private man.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This superb biography, told in a nonacademic tone, is saturated with sadness, but every reader will be grateful that, finally, Mark Twain appears before us, warts and all. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Vividly and masterfully told…Opens an entertaining window into the people, places, and events of an age.”

    Washington Times

  • “Marvelous, haunting…A powerful evocation of a man full of vigor, charm, charisma, and above all humor, even in the midst of life's storms and earthquakes. Shelden weaves it all together masterfully with detective-like curiosity.”

    Prof Harold K. Bush, author of Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age

  • “Shelden’s account of Twain’s Gotterdammerung gives us the man who put on a white suit long before Tom Wolfe, in all his twilight glory. Good stuff.”

    Christopher Buckley, author of Thank You for Smoking and Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir

  • “Riveting.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Library Journal Best Book in 2010

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Judi | 2/13/2014

    " Mark Twain has always been one of my favorite authors. I have read a number of his books and short stories. I have also had the pleasure to see the Hal Holbrook one man show impersonating Mark Twain. I love his wry wit. This book provides deeper insight into his later years and his personal relationships. A must read for Mark Twain fans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Gadruggist | 1/13/2014

    " A lovely lovely book. A biography of Twain's last 4 years with all kinds of surprising stories, amusing stories, poignant stories. Fantastic! The book is a true friend. Usually only good fiction is this satisfying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Anne | 1/7/2014

    " I'm listening to the audio book. Shelden begins with the first time Mark Twain made an appearance in what would be his signature white suit. Twain was 71 at the time. The prologue is slow going but the rest of the book is deftly written, thoroughly researched and so far, objective, if a tad on the naive side when it comes to Twain's assistant Isabel Lyons. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lori | 12/21/2013

    " Listened to 17.25 Hours on a Playaway audio device from library. This was good book on latter part of Twain's life. Many details I'd never known. Shelden seemed to be able to bring the facts to life more in the 2nd half of the book. If one wants to know about the life of Twain, his later years after he was already famous, this is The book. "

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About the Author

Michael Shelden spent twelve years as a feature writer for the Daily Telegraph in London and as a fiction critic for the Baltimore Sun. He has written several biographies, including Orwell, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a New York Times Notable Book. He is currently a professor of English at Indiana State University.