Twain’s “new” book blowing up the bestseller list

America's best-known writer rants and raves in his autobiography, and readers can't keep their hands off it

Topics: Mark Twain,

Twain's "new" book blowing up the bestseller listMark Twain.

What’s in 8-point type, 100 years old and selling faster than tickets to a Justin Bieber concert? “The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume I,” surprise, surprise.

He’s been dead for a century, and per his wishes, his dictated memoir is now hitting bookshelves. Twain is considered the quintessential American writer and the father of a brand of humor that has shaped American wit to this day. And moustaches. He is a hero in the moustache world.

Readers are probably going to spend more time with Sarah Palin’s forthcoming book, but there are the faithful who will plug through the entire 736 pages that is Mr. Samuel Clemens’ posthumous-and-then-some autobiography.

Early reviews point out that only 266 pages of the tome are actually Twain’s words, the rest is introductions and partial manuscripts. However, when Twain steps on stage at Page 201, he sizzles with satire. He’s a crotchety, cocky, rambling old man telling it like it is. But he’s also poignant: The text includes moving eulogies for his deceased children and wife.

Salon veteran Gary Kamiya at the Bay Citizen “reads Mark Twain’s autobiography — so you don’t have to” and is live-blogging it at Citizen Twain. As of this writing, he’d only just made it to the Twain written section, which begins with childhood memories — the root of the author’s genius.

You Might Also Like

So far, 275,000 copies have been sold, according to the New York Times, and one store owner offers an insight into the Twain-mania that’s gripped the nation: “He is surprisingly relevant now … you know if he were alive today, he’d totally be a blogger.”

South Park makes a literal interpretation of “Tom Sawyer”:

Michelle Fitzsimmons is an editorial fellow at Salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 1

    KATHMANDU, NEPAL-- May 1, 2015--Team from Humane Society International doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District outside Kathmandu where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 2

    KATHMANDU, NEPAL-- May 1, 2015--Team from Humane Society International doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District outside Kathmandu where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

    Humane Society International

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 3

    Humane Society International’s Animal Rescue Team deployed to Kathmandu, Nepal on 30th April 2015 to offer emergency animal welfare aid following a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 4

    KATHMANDU, NEPAL-- May 1, 2015--Team from Humane Society International doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District outside Kathmandu where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 5

    KATHMANDU, NEPAL-- May 1, 2015--Crew from HSI doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

    Society for Animal Welfare and Management and Animal Welfare Network Nepal

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 6

    Calf rescue in Thali, a village outside Kathmandu, Nepal following the earthquake. Photo taken 29 April 2015.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 7

    Crew from HSI doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 8

    KATHMANDU, NEPAL-- May 1, 2015--Crew from HSI doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 9

    Rahul Sehgal, Asia director of the Humane Society International holds an orphaned baby goat in Kalitaar, an agricultural village outside Kathmandu that was severely damaged by the Nepal earthquake. Large scale damage and deaths of livestock across the country means recovery will be difficult for people who were already living below the poverty line.

    Jodi Hilton

    Nepal earthquake animal rescue

    Slide 10

    KATHMANDU, NEPAL-- May 1, 2015--Team from Humane Society International doing assessments and rescue work in the Lalipur District outside Kathmandu where many houses collapsed and animals died during last week's earthquake.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>