Subtitle: The Complete and Authoritative Edition, Vol.1
New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
Publishers Weekly (starred review): "Laced with Twain’s unique blend of humor and vitriol, the haphazard narrative is engrossing, hugely funny, and deeply revealing of its author’s mind...Twain’s memoirs are a pointillist masterpiece from which his vision of America — half paradise, half swindle — emerges with indelible force."
The year 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death.
In celebration of this important milestone, here, for the first time, is Mark Twain’s uncensored autobiography, in its entirety, exactly as he left it. This major literary event offers the first of three volumes and presents Mark Twain’s authentic and unsuppressed voice, brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions, and speaking clearly from the grave, as he intended. Thus, after dozens of false starts and hundreds of pages, Twain embarked on his "Final (and Right) Plan" for telling the story of his life.
His innovative notion—to "talk only about the thing which interests you for the moment"—meant that his thoughts could range freely.
The strict instruction that many of these texts remain unpublished for one hundred years meant that when they came out, he would be "dead, and unaware, and indifferent" and that he was therefore free to speak his "whole frank mind."
Robert D. Richardson, author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire: "To say that the editors have done an extremely good job is a little like saying the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel does a good job of keeping the rain off the Pope’s head. It is true, but it doesn’t give even a whiff of the grandeur of the thing."
New York Times: "Dip into the first enormous volume of Twain’s autobiography that he had decreed should not appear until one hundred years after his death. And Twain will begin to seem strange again, alluring and still astonishing, but less sure-footed, and at times both puzzled and puzzling in ways that still resonate with us, though not the ways we might expect."
Ron Powers, author of Mark Twain: A Life: "Mark Twain, always so blithely ahead of his time, has just outdone himself: he’s brought us an autobiography from beyond the grave: a hundred-year-old relic that yet manages to accomplish something new...
"It gives us not simply Mark Twain’s life — that is the prosaic work of biographers — but the ways in which he thought of his life: in all the fragmented recollection, distraction, creation, revision, and dreaming that make up the true, divinely jumbled devices we all use to recapture experience and feeling.
"If this prodigious and prodigal pastiche were a machine, it would be the Paige typesetter—except that it works."
Publishers Weekly (starred review): "Mark Twain is his own greatest character in this brilliant self-portrait...Eschewing chronology and organization, Twain simply meanders from observation to anecdote and between past and present.
"There are gorgeous reminiscences from his youth of landscapes, rural idylls, and Tom Sawyeresque japes; acid-etched profiles of friends and enemies, from his ‘fiendish’ Florentine landlady to the fatuous and ‘grotesque’ Rockefellers; a searing polemic on a 1906 American massacre of Filipino insurgents; a hilarious screed against a hapless editor who dared tweak his prose; and countless tales of the author’s own bamboozlement, unto bankruptcy, by publishers, business partners, doctors, miscellaneous moochers; he was even outsmarted by a wild turkey."
Herald (Glasgow): "Promises a no-holds-barred perspective on Twain’s life and will be rich with rambunctious, uncompromising opinions."