Friday, 24 October 2014

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain

Life on the Mississippi is a memoir by Mark Twain detailing his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before & after the American Civil War. The book begins with a brief history of the river from its discovery by Hernando de Soto in 1541. It continues with anecdotes about training as a steamboat pilot, as the 'cub' of an experienced pilot. He describes, with great affection, the science of navigating the ever-changing Mississippi River.
The 2nd half of the book describes Twain's return, many years later, to travel on a steamboat from St Louis to New Orleans. He describes the competition from railroads, the new, large cities & his observations on greed, gullibility, tragedy & bad architecture. He also tells some stories that are likely tall tales.
Simultaneously published in 1883 in the USA & in England, it's said to be the 1st book composed on a typewriter.

I picked this up due to a challenge. I am not sure what I think to be honest. I've never read anything by Mark Twain. I think I have seen Huckleberry Finn when I was a child.

I have liked the journey up and down the Mississippi, listening to the twang from those days when days you could just sit on the boat and work the river. Has been lovely listening to Mark Twain's book about his life on the Mississippi.

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