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Extended Audio Sample Mark Twain: A Life, by Ron Powers Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (596 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ron Powers Narrator: Ron Powers Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In Mark Twain, Ron Powers consummates years of research with a tour de force on the life of our culture's founding father. He offers Sam Clemens as he lived, breathed, and wrote. With the assistance of the Mark Twain Project at Berkeley, he has drawn on thousands of letters and notebook entries, many only recently discovered.

Sam Clemens left his frontier boyhood in Missouri for a life on the Mississippi during the golden age of steamboats. He skirted the western theater of the Civil War before taking off for an uproarious drunken newspaper career in the Nevada of the Wild West. As his fame as a humorist and lecturer spread around the country, he took the East Coast by storm. He wooed and won his lifelong devoted wife, yet quietly pined for the girl who was his first crush. He became the toast of Europe and a celebrity who toured the globe. His comments on everything he saw, many published here for the first time, are priceless.

The man that emerges in Powers's brilliant telling is both the magnetic, acerbic, and hilarious Mark Twain of myth and a devoted friend, husband, and father. Mark Twain left us our greatest voice. Samuel Clemens left us one of our most American of lives. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Wise and lively…Powers makes sense of this crowded, whipsawing life…[a] grave and lovingly respectful treatment.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Powers has given us the whole man. We feel we know him, as well as we can, as well as his most perceptive friend and fellow writer William Dean Howells knew him. Along the way Powers brings to vivid life Twain’s America…No biography of Mark Twain could do him full justice. Powers’ comes as close as you can imagine.” 

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[An] enormous, enjoyable volume…Powers’ immensely rich book, the record of an epic, perplexing life, succeeds above all in freshening up one’s appetite for Twain’s own pungent prose and his magnificently challenging wit.” 

    Guardian (London)

  • “The special joy of Ron Powers’ Twain is not just that it’s comprehensive but also that it places this great novel and its author in their proper historical context, and shows how life and work played against each other.” 

    Observer (London)

  • A 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
  • A 2005 New York Times Book Review Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Andrea Walker | 2/12/2014

    " I have no interest in Mark Twain. Now I know. I'll be sure to remove any other Twain things from my reading lists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Matt B | 2/12/2014

    " Nothing yet, I just started. A friend of mine said I was a lot like Mark Twain. I didn't know what that meant but I trust his judgement so I bought the book. So far he seems like a kook. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Alex | 2/5/2014

    " Loved this book! What a fascinating life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brinlie Clark | 2/5/2014

    " I think all biographies are long so in comparison it was pretty good. "

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