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Download The Innocents Abroad: Or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Innocents Abroad: Or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress Audiobook, by Mark Twain Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 53.79 out of 5 3.79 (42 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Twain Narrator: Grover Gardner Publisher: Craig Black Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781470802301
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In June 1867, Mark Twain set out for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle steamer Quaker City. His enduring, no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler also served as an antidote to the insufferably romantic travel books of the period.

“Who could read the programme for the excursion without longing to make one of the party?”

So Mark Twain acclaims his voyage from New York City to Europe and the Holy Land. His adventures produced The Innocents Abroad, a book so funny and provocative it made him an international star for the rest of his life. He was making his first responses to the Old World—to Paris, Milan, Florence, Venice, Pompeii, Constantinople, Sebastopol, Balaklava, Damascus, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. For the first time he was seeing the great paintings and sculptures of the Old Masters. He responded with wonder and amazement but also with exasperation, irritation, and disbelief. Above all he displayed the great energy of his humor, more explosive for us now than for his beguiled contemporaries.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A classic work…[that] marks a critical point in the development of our literature.”

    Leslie A. Fiedler, literary critic

  • “The volume contains many shrewd things, and not a few that are funny...gives a much more truthful idea, we doubt not, of life and scenes abroad than many a more pretentious book.”

    New York Independent

  • “This is the raciest book we have met with for many a day. Much as we had expected to be pleased, we must truthfully say that we had no idea so much humor, wit, geniality, fine description and good sense, could be contained within the covers of any one book...Our sides ache, and we lay aside the volume to rest, and to advise our friends and readers, one and all, to buy the book at the first opportunity, and read it through.”

    National (N.J.) Standard

  • It is a rare and wonderful combination. The humor is natural, never forced; the narrative is instructive, and the descriptive passages are some of the finest in the English language, abounding in choice expressions and beautiful metaphor.

    Newark (N.J.) Register

  • “A humorous travel narrative…The Innocents Abroad sharply satirized tourists who learn what they should see and feel by reading guidebooks. Assuming the role of a keen-eyed, shrewd Westerner, Twain was refreshingly honest and vivid in describing foreign scenes and his reactions to them. He alternated serious passages…with risible ones. The humor itself was varied, sometimes in the vein of the Southwestern yarn spinners, sometimes in that of contemporaneous humorists such as Artemus Ward and Josh Billings, who chiefly used burlesque and parody and other verbal devices.”

    Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean | 2/20/2014

    " In 1867, when Twain was thirty-two, he took an extended steamer trip to Europe and the Holy Lands. He wrote travel articles about his experiences that were published in several newspapers. Later he compiled the articles into this book. His observations are wonderfully detailed, insightful and often hilarious. I was surprised at the depth of his interest and appreciation for art and architecture and not so surprised at his racial prejudice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dona | 2/16/2014

    " "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christopher Gleason | 2/11/2014

    " At some point this book started to feel exactly like the trek Twain was on in the desert, a bit tedious. I'll freely admit I probably read 2-3 other books in the time it took me to get through this. Still, there was something extremely charming about parts of the book; the journey was certainly incredible, our guide funny & it shows how little Americans have actually changed in (almost) 150 years "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen Murley | 2/10/2014

    " This book is a scream! Too funny! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie Patrick | 2/9/2014

    " I loved it for the history, travel, and social lessons and insights. Funny how a lot of it is still relevant today. I LOVE Mark Twain's wit, and the way he makes fun of stupid people (even when the stupid person he us making fun of is himself). Both entertaining and educational. Will DEFINITELY read it again. Probably just before my next trip to Paris or Italy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth | 1/21/2014

    " I read about 3/4 of this book, but I just couldn't finish it. As much as I love Mark Twain's witty one-liners, I thought this book was pretty dry. And as much as I love to travel, it didn't interest me to read a book about someone who traveled such a long time ago. I know that sounds terrible for a social studies teacher to say, but there was just something about this book that didn't hold my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Micheal | 1/18/2014

    " Mark Twain at his best, The Innocents Abroad follows our courageous hero as he travels abroad and absorbs fine culture. Excellent illustrations add to the charm of this wonderfully inexpensive book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 1/16/2014

    " My favorite. His comments about traveling abroad are very funny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mallory | 1/7/2014

    " This book is absolutely phenomena! If you are even somewhat interested in world travel. The book gives you an indepth look at various european countries and the holy land through the satrical viewpoint of Mark Twain. A must read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Laura | 1/5/2014

    " Only got about 20 pages in. Then I remembered that I kind of hate Mark Twain. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abbí | 12/24/2013

    " Twain is such an incredible author. His mastery of sarcasm and storytelling is unbelievable. I would have finished this book in two nights if not for so many distractions :p "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 12/3/2013

    " This is one of the most hilarious reads! Clemons and his traveling companion pull some really great verbal stunts on the "innocents" of various countries. Hey, it is all in the name of fun! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 10/10/2013

    " Part I was enjoyable, a brilliant showcase for Twain's famous tongue-in-cheek humor. The second half, however, was heavy-handed and overly religious. That in itself wouldn't be enough to turn me off, but it felt as though the writer's persona and tone had 180'd. I couldn't get through it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindaharmony | 8/12/2013

    " Twain observes that all over Italy, the women are washing clothes in the streams, beating them against the rocks, and yet he never sees a man in a clean shirt. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 4/30/2013

    " I shall always love Mark Twain... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Miranda | 3/25/2013

    " mark twain's travels abroad as chronicled for the New Yorker. considered the first travel guide ever written. every traveler should read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelli | 3/23/2013

    " I read this shortly after returning from my trip around the world in 1984. It was fun to revisit some of the places I'd seen, and to contemplate how traveling changes us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian Bailey | 3/22/2013

    " An uproarious, side splitting romp through Europe and The Holy Land! One of Twain's best travelogues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen Power | 11/30/2012

    " Interesting, and at times very funny, travelogue through France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Syria, Palestine and Egypt in 1867. Nice observations about the nature of travelling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis | 11/28/2012

    " Absolutely hilarious. Mark Twain's comedy is rightly admired, and this book shows his powers of observation and description are equally impressive. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Casey | 10/25/2012

    " I actually liked this okay, except I made a spelling error on the cover of my paper about it. It was really embarrassing. I never got over it and kind of resent the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 10/6/2012

    " ahhhh... this was a fine read. I've read it several times. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 7/24/2012

    " Somewhat interesting, especially as he details how he ended up on a several long trip across the ocean, to Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, etc. but I grew weary of his travel adventures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin | 6/7/2012

    " I LOVE Mark Twain. He is one of my favorite authors of all time. He had such a great sense of humor and a wonderful ability to create characters. I read this book while backpacking around Europe so I believe I found it particularly apropos. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 12/29/2011

    " Really, REALLY long, but if you like Twains sense of humor it's a good way to learn some stuff about travel in Europe and the Middle East (granted, it'd 150 years ago, but still interesting). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marietta | 12/6/2011

    " Laugh ot loud funny, just as fresh as it was 120 years ago. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean | 9/13/2011

    " Funny, original, full of wandering dichotomies, and revealing of Clemens' first confrontation with the faith that gave him so much trouble in life. But... it's still a travel-log.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roberta | 9/6/2011

    " Amazingly relevant for today's readers, it has not aged one day since its publication in 1869. A first class writer describes Americans discovering the rest of the world. Ideal reading for a non-American who wants to please, and tease, their American pals. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathan | 8/26/2011

    " Occasionally hilarious - but a bit plodding in style "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lemar | 8/10/2011

    " The best travel book I have ever read. Paul Theroux and so many more following his wake. This book full of genial humor that ends up telling us more about the travelers, Americans, than about the places he goes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 7/30/2011

    " Written in another time and another place before political correctness. Still, I cannot get enough of Mr. Twain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 7/29/2011

    " Parts were funny, but kinda dull "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 7/13/2011

    " Hard to imagine it was written 140 years ago. Twain stays fresh. "

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

    " This was a re-read. It is Mark Twains travelogue about his trip through Europe and the Middle East. A really funny classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 2/5/2011

    " Gotta love Mark Twain for being spot on 100 years later with all of his impressions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gerald | 2/1/2011

    " As with Roughing It, so with Innocents. Simply a fun adventure through Europe and the Near East, filled with Twain's biting critique, both of the visited and the visitor, and humorous observations. Many wonderful stories and one-liners - wait til you get to the Fergusons! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sharon | 11/17/2010

    " Mark Twain was WAY ahead of his time with this hilarious insightful travelogue of his world trip in 1867!!!! Read it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justine | 11/13/2010

    " I have been reading this book for about a year and a half. I love Twain; I love Europe; I should love this book. Just a bit long-winded. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph | 11/10/2010

    " Still great after all these years, though it bogs down a bit in the Palestine section. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 10/31/2010

    " This is a special kind-of -different tale or two from the beste story teller of all time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 10/26/2010

    " Courtney recommended this book to me a few years back. If you've traveled at all in Europe it is fun to compare how things have changed (or not) in the years since Mark Twain had his adventure abroad. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Glo | 10/7/2010

    " I found it very difficult to read, wordy and sluggish. "

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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.