Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain audiobook

Life on the Mississippi

By Mark Twain
Read by Grover Gardner

Blackstone Publishing, Blackstone Publishing, Simon & Schuster Audio
13.62 Hours 1
Format : CD (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9781441764737

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The eagerly awaited return of master American storyteller Rinker Buck, whose last book The Oregon Trail was a triumphant New York Times bestseller, Life on the Mississippi is another epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds an authentic wooden flatboat from the early 1800s and pilots it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of the river and its grand “flatboat era” that dramatically expanded the country in the decades before Western expansion. In 2015, listeners, critics, and booksellers across the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon and propelled his book, The Oregon Trail, to ten weeks on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. The Oregon Trail was hailed as a “real nonfiction thriller” (The New York Review of Books), a “quintessential American story” (The Christian Science Monitor) that “so ensnares the emotions it becomes a tear-jerker at its close” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and “will leave you daydreaming and hungry to see this land” (The Boston Globe). The New York Times’s Dwight Garner said that Buck’s voice “is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods.” Now, in his highly anticipated new book, Life on the Mississippi, Buck chronicles his latest grand adventure: building an authentic wooden flatboat from the bygone flatboat era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, clashes with overzealous period reenactors, and much more. In addition, he charts his own geographical and emotional journey while also delivering a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era. The role of the flatboat in our country’s evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Decades before we struck out for the Western territories, we migrated Southwest en masse. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and hopeful pioneers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on wooden flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to places like Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The mighty river currents carried waves of settlers and tons of cargo from farms to ports, populating new territories and revolutionizing the American landscape. As Buck points out, the inland rivers of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys were in fact America’s first western frontier. With a rare and captivating narrative power that blends armchair adventure with absorbing untold history, Life on the Mississippi is a muscular and majestic feat of storytelling from a writer who may be the closest to Twain that we have today.

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Summary

Summary

A Washington Post Pick of Best Audiobooks for Your Summer Travels

An AudioFile Editors’ Pick for Best Audiobooks for Travelling

The eagerly awaited return of master American storyteller Rinker Buck, whose last book The Oregon Trail was a triumphant New York Times bestseller, Life on the Mississippi is another epic, enchanting blend of history and adventure in which Buck builds an authentic wooden flatboat from the early 1800s and pilots it down the Mississippi River, illuminating the forgotten past of the river and its grand “flatboat era” that dramatically expanded the country in the decades before Western expansion.

In 2015, listeners, critics, and booksellers across the country fell in love with a singular American voice: Rinker Buck, whose infectious curiosity about history launched him across the West in a covered wagon and propelled his book, The Oregon Trail, to ten weeks on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. The Oregon Trail was hailed as a “real nonfiction thriller” (The New York Review of Books), a “quintessential American story” (The Christian Science Monitor) that “so ensnares the emotions it becomes a tear-jerker at its close” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis) and “will leave you daydreaming and hungry to see this land” (The Boston Globe). The New York Times’s Dwight Garner said that Buck’s voice “is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods.”

Now, in his highly anticipated new book, Life on the Mississippi, Buck chronicles his latest grand adventure: building an authentic wooden flatboat from the bygone flatboat era of the early 1800s and journeying down the Mississippi River to New Orleans.

A modern-day Huck Finn, Buck casts off down the river accompanied by an eccentric crew of daring shipmates. Over the course of his voyage, Buck steers his fragile wooden craft through narrow channels dominated by massive cargo barges, rescues his first mate gone overboard, sails blindly through fog, clashes with overzealous period reenactors, and much more. In addition, he charts his own geographical and emotional journey while also delivering a richly satisfying work of history that brings to life a lost era. The role of the flatboat in our country’s evolution is far more significant than most Americans realize. Decades before we struck out for the Western territories, we migrated Southwest en masse. Between 1800 and 1840, millions of farmers, merchants, and hopeful pioneers embarked from states like Pennsylvania and Virginia on wooden flatboats headed beyond the Appalachians to places like Kentucky, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The mighty river currents carried waves of settlers and tons of cargo from farms to ports, populating new territories and revolutionizing the American landscape. As Buck points out, the inland rivers of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys were in fact America’s first western frontier.

With a rare and captivating narrative power that blends armchair adventure with absorbing untold history, Life on the Mississippi is a muscular and majestic feat of storytelling from a writer who may be the closest to Twain that we have today.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Mark Twain was the first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs.” William Faulkner
“I believe that Mark Twain had a clearer vision of life…than any other American…I believe that he was the true father of our national literature, the first genuinely American artist of the royal blood.” H. L. Mencken
“There are at least half a dozen audiobook versions of Mark Twain’s greatest work of nonfiction, his account of his time on the Mississippi River as a riverboat apprentice and pilot, and, later, as a witness to change. Veteran narrator Grover Gardner, with his fine exuberant voice, comic pacing and sense of mordant irony, gives us the very best rendition. The book begins with its constant theme—the Mississippi’s lawless ways, its mobility and perversity—and goes on to its “discovery” by Europeans, paying caustic attention to the invaders’ appetite for other people’s land. From then on, the book rambles through Twain’s often chastening experiences, the rise and decline of steamship riverboating, and the manners, mores and eccentricities of river towns and people. Above all, this is a book about travel. Setting out as a young man, a high-spirited Sam Clemens feels the exhilaration of every traveler: ‘I became a new being, and the subject of my own admiration. I was a traveler! . . . and I was able to look down and pity the untraveled with a compassion that had hardly a trace of contempt in it.’” Washington Post
“Listeners who enjoyed Grover Gardner’s narrations of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer will savor this journey…Gardner’s easy familiarity with Twain’s style is evident once more: He captures all of the author’s wit and wordplay as well as his colorful descriptions of the era just before the Civil War. Gardner gives some rollicking performances as he brings to life the book’s memorable characters, with their gruff voices and varied accents. The text can be as meandering as the river itself, but Gardner’s first-rate narration keeps the listener on course.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Mark Twain

Author Bio: 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.

Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 13.62
Audience: Adult
Language: English