Tag Archives: Mark Twain

The Mammoth Book of Westerns edited by Jon E. Lewis

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of westerns book cover

Title: The Mammoth Book of Westerns
Author: Jon E. Lewis, Bret Harte, Mark Twain, Frederic Remington, O. Henry, Stephen Crane, Willa Cather, B.M. Bower, Jack London, John G. Neihardt, Hamlin Garland, Zane Grey, Max Brand, Owen Wister, Conrad Richter, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Ernest Haycox, Oliver La Farge, A.B. Guthrie, James Warner Bellah, Frank Bonham, Wallace Stegner, Dorothy M. Johnson, Steve Frazee, Jack Schaefer, Mari Sandoz, Thomas Thompson, Wayne D. Overholser, Elmer Kelton, Loren D. Estleman, Larry McMurtry, Edward Dorn, Leslie Marmon Silko, William Kittredge, Rick Bass & Christopher Tilghman
Series: Mammoth Books
In: The Mammoth Book of Westerns (Jon E. Lewis)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Short story collections, Westerns
Dates read: 7th March – 22nd November 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: She teased him, and threw flour in his face and put vinegar in his coffee, but he took her rough jokes with silent wonder, never even smiling.

Synopsis

35 OUTSTANDING WESTERNS, FROM JAMES FREDERIC REMINGTON TO RICK BASS

The Western is one of the greatest genres of world literature – singularly American, but with a truly global readership. 88 Ever since James Fenimore Cooper transformed frontier yarns into a distinct literary form, the Western has followed two paths: one populist – Time magazine’s American Morality Play – able to fit any political philosophy from red to redneck, with a sentimental attachment to the misfit; the other literary – eschewing heroism and debunking many of the myths of the West.

The best of both are represented in this excellent collection which includes stories by Willa Cather, Stephen Carne, Hamlin Garland, A.B. Guthrie, O. Henry, William Kittredge, Mari Sandoz, Leslie Marmon Silko and Wallace Stegner.

Thoughts

This wasn’t a bad collection. But it also wasn’t my favourite… actually, thus far, it is my least favourite Mammoth Books collection. Nothing against the layout or the writing… I just don’t really love Westerns as I have now discovered. A new genre to try, but not one to necessarily fill my shelves with.

Since I didn’t fall head over heels for this, I think that it’s the kind of collection that I will read again. Once I’m a little older and possibly more mature… after all, my tastes in books and genres is constantly changing as I grow and change myself. But, for now, it will go back on my shelves and probably not be touched again for a little while.

One of my favourite aspects of this book is the mini bio at the beginning of each story. Not only did it highlight when and where the author lived, but some of their better-known books. A great bit of information if I had wanted to add any of these authors to my wishlist…

<- The Mammoth Book of the WestThe Outcasts of Poker Flat ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Way Out West by Mark Twain

Overview
Image result for the mammoth book of westerns book cover

Title: Way Out West
Author: Mark Twain
In: The Mammoth Book of Westerns (Jon E. Lewis)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Westerns
Dates read: 31st March 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Robinson
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: First we left the dogs behind; then we passed a jackass-rabbit; then we overtook a coyote, and were gaining on an antelope when the rotten girths let go and threw me about thirty yards off to the left, and as the saddle went down over the horse’s rump he gave it a lift with his heels that sent it more than four hundred yards up in the air, I wish I may die in a minute if he didn’t.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Welcome to the Wild, Wild, West. Way out in the Wild, Wild West.

Thoughts

There is just something great about the way that Mark Twain writes. His use of language, his very realistic storylines… I love his style of writing. And even with this western short story, I was more swept away by the use of the language than the actual storyline.

I didn’t feel like there was a huge plot to this short story. More, I found that it was incredibly descriptive of the setting of the western world. Since I haven’t actually read a western before, it was a great introduction to the world. After all, one of the biggest part of westerns is the setting and reality in which they’re found…

As an introduction to Westerns, this story is kind of great. And fun. I can’t wait to see what more I discover about Westerns and the stories that are told.

<- The Outcasts of Poker FlatA Sergeant of the Orphan Troop ->

Image source: Hachette Australia

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Overview
Image result for adventures of huckleberry finn word cloud classics book cover

Title: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Author: Mark Twain
Series: Word Cloud Classics
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Classics, Contemporary, Race
Dates read: 15th – 10th July 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Word Cloud Classics
Year: 1884
5th sentence, 74th page: That’s a Frenchman’s way of saying it.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

No home library is complete without the classics! Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a keepsake to be read and treasured.

One of the most popular books of all-time, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been both venerated and vilified since it was first published in 1885. The story of a young abused boy on the run and his friendship with a runaway slave is about loyalty, compassion, and doing what is right, and it remains one of Mark Twain’s greatest achievements. Now available as part of the Canterbury Classics series, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a must-have addition to the libraries of all classic literature lovers.

Thoughts

This is my first ever Mark Twain, and it certainly makes me glad that I have more of his books on my shelves. There was something fun and easy about his writing. Which I don’t often find in classics. For something which was published many, many, many years ago, this was kind of amazing. The meandering storyline was something that I would have loved as a child – living on a river free of every kind of responsibility, living on the land… that’s the kind of childhood that I would have loved.

One thing I tend to struggle with when reading is storylines that don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Tales that are a little more meandering and random I find a little harder to get hooked into. They don’t grab and keep my attention as well as stories which you need to keep reading to find out exactly what happens. Although this did follow that meandering trend, I didn’t find myself putting the book aside as frequently as I usually would. It still took me a little while to finish this considering how much I loved the writing style and language.

For a fantastic kids’ journey, the issues of racism and class are touched upon beautifully in this tale.  Huck’s original feelings towards Jim are those of someone who feels entitled and with power over someone who is almost four times his age. But, as the tale evolves, he begins to see Jim as a fellow person. One with his own desires, needs and wishes. Whilst there is no outright commentary on slavery, the underlying message felt strongly skewed towards this ideal. And it was one that I loved dearly.

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the kind of story that drops you in a world any child would be happy in. Or at least, any child that was a bit of a ratbag like me. I would have loved travelling down the Mississippi on a raft, choosing my own life, dinner and making all of my own decisions. Alright, as an adult I’m well aware of how non-idyllic this would actually be. But as a child, this would have been wonderful.

<- Walden and Civil DisobedienceThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer ->

Image source: Amazon