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Download The Best Short Stories of Mark Twain Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Best Short Stories of Mark Twain Audiobook, by Mark Twain Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (185 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Twain Narrator: Robin Field Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2009 ISBN: 9781455196494
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Mark Twain was known as a great American short-story writer as well as novelist and humorist. This collection of eighteen of his best short stories, from the well known to the lesser known, displays his mastery of Western humor and frontier realism. The stories also show how Twain earned his place in American letters as a master writer in the authentic native idiom. He was exuberant and irreverent, but underlying the humor was a vigorous desire for social justice and equality.

Beginning the collection is Twain’s comic version of an old folk tale, “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog,” first published in 1865 in the New York Saturday Press. It became the title story of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches, the work that established him as a leading American humorist.

Stories include:

1. “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog”
2. “The Story of the Bad Little Boy Who Didn’t Come to Grief”
3. “Cannibalism in the Cars”
4. “Journalism in Tennessee”
5. “The Story of the Good Little Boy Who Did Not Prosper”
6. “How I Edited an Agricultural Paper Once”
7. “Political Economy”
8. “A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It”
9. “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut”
10. “Punch, Brothers, Punch!”
11. “Jim Baker’s Blue-Jay Yarn”
12. “The Stolen White Elephant”
13. “The McWilliamses and the Burglar Alarm”
14. “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed”
15. “Extracts from Adam’s Diary”
16. “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg”
17. “The $30,000 Bequest”
18. “Eve’s Diary”

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Quotes & Awards

  • Mark Twain was a master of “pungent tall talk and picaresque adventure.”

    The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 12/21/2013

    " Amazing - I think Twain's genius comes through most clearly in collected short-stories form. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent Barnard | 12/11/2013

    " There's no one as great as Twain. I do prefer, however, the longer and more classic Twain books like Roughing It, Huckleberry Finn, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bright Spence | 9/6/2012

    " One can learn a lot about life from any Mark Twain reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Margaret | 3/13/2012

    " Besides the "Adam and Eve" thing, this didn't really hook me. Ah well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Edward | 3/12/2012

    " Not really Twain's greatest hits, but still a great collection of works that deserve greater exposure. There's just not enough Twain to go around. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ira Burton | 1/28/2012

    " I love Mark Twain's more common work such as Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn, so thought I would give this collection a try, and it did not disappoint. Humorous, insightful, and disturbing stories carefully woven together to make a beautiful book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John | 12/16/2011

    " While some of the stories are interesting today, many of them are outdated. I'm sure they were popular in Twain's time, but few of them have stood the test of time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 9/18/2011

    " Twain is very funny and a wise author. Writing this summary 2 years after makes descriptions difficult. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret Heller | 5/7/2011

    " Took me awhile to get through this because when Twain is dark he is very dark, and I could only handle it in small doses throughout the last few crazy months. Excellent though. Kind of stuff that you want to read over and over, and I admit I cried a bit at several stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Brower | 4/26/2011

    " Great collection of Twain shorts, complete with illustrations and notes. Well edited volume of good pieces. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach Flint | 12/12/2010

    " I loved this book! Good ole' Sam cracks me up. My favorite was by far the diaries of adam and eve. It was thoroughly clever and sarcastic with a hint of edgyness. The humor of Mr. Twain has stood the tests of time and he will always remain a favorite of mine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 11/15/2010

    " Mark Twain's stories were thoroughly entertaining. Stephen Crane's were not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen-Marie Freeman | 12/19/2009

    " My favorite were the Ambrose Bierce and Jack London selections. Least favorite were the Stephen Crane. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 7/27/2009

    " Twain's stories were my favorite, and this CD introduced me to Ambrose Bierce. I also enjoyed these stories. Stephen Crane I can take or leave, however. I might have left Jack London's too but only because he is best read in novels you'd like to cozy up next to a fire & read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cris | 3/29/2008

    " I didn't particularly enjoy very many of the stories in this book. It was helpful to learn about some of the authors and the ones I would like to read more. By the time I reached the end, I couldn't even listen to the stories by Jack Frost as I was so done with this book. "

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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

Robin Field is the AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator of numerous audiobooks, as well as an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and lyricist whose career has spanned six decades. He has starred on and off Broadway, headlined at Carnegie Hall, authored numerous musical reviews, and hosted or performed on a number of television and radio programs over the years.