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Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race | [Lin Salamo (editor), Victor Fischer (editor), Michael B. Frank (editor), Mark Twain]

Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living: A Handbook for the Damned Human Race

Irreverent, charming, and eminently quotable, this handbook - an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race - contains 69 aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain’s private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars.
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Publisher's Summary

Irreverent, charming, and eminently quotable, this handbook - an eccentric etiquette guide for the human race - contains 69 aphorisms, anecdotes, whimsical suggestions, maxims, and cautionary tales from Mark Twain’s private and published writings. It dispenses advice and reflections on family life and public manners; opinions on topics such as dress, health, food, and childrearing and safety; and more specialized tips, such as those for dealing with annoying salesmen and burglars.

Culled from Twain’s personal letters, autobiographical writings, speeches, novels, and sketches, these pieces are delightfully fresh, witty, startlingly relevant, and bursting with Twain’s characteristic ebullience for life. They also remind us exactly how Mark Twain came to be the most distinctive and well-known American literary voice in the world. These texts, some of them new or out of print for decades, have been selected and meticulously prepared by the editors at the Mark Twain Project.

©1991 1997, and 2001 by Richard A. Watson and JP Morgan Chase Bank as Trustees of the Mark Twain Foundation. 2004 by the Regents of the University of California (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“This wonderful book illustrates precisely why we can never have enough Twain. His humor is timeless, his wisdom about all things without equal.” (Ken Burns, American director and producer)

“This is a masterfully edited compendium that does Twain proud. It captures the note-taking, aphorism-creating, angry-letter-writing essence of Twain’s brain in a way essential, I think, to understanding the man, and by extension, the history of the United States and the nature of life on Earth.” (Dave Eggers)

“This book is a delightful read all the way through.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (424 )
5 star
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2 star
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3.6 (370 )
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3.9 (374 )
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Performance
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  •  
    A. Yoshida 04-11-14
    A. Yoshida 04-11-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    313
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    "Silly and funny"

    I didn't realize that Mark Twain had such a witty and whimsical writing style. The book is filled with random stories of seeing life from a different perspective (not really a handbook). It contains silly suggestions like "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." It's an entertaining little book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracy POWAY, CA, United States 09-23-13
    tracy POWAY, CA, United States 09-23-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    "Mark Twain is Hilarious!"

    Mark Twain is insightful and funny and no matter how much time passes his work will still be relevant. He just gets people, and he knows how to take everyday stories and bring out the humor in them. I loved it!

    27 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 05-09-14
    Michael 05-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "good read, not for listening"
    What disappointed you about Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living?

    Would be a great reference book for quotes, not really a book to listen to.


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Gannon Lutz, FL United States 04-19-14
    Amanda Gannon Lutz, FL United States 04-19-14 Member Since 2013

    Engineer in business school. I appreciate every genre but find business/professional reading and epic fantasy best suited to audio format.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well read, funny short stories by Mark Twain."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was entertaining. Good for a commute as you can easily pause and pick it up again. Well read.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Toronto, Ontario, Canada 04-13-14
    Gary Toronto, Ontario, Canada 04-13-14 Member Since 2008

    Professional audio producer, interested in any story well told.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Living, Good Listening"
    Any additional comments?

    Bravo to the academics who collated and collected Twain essays for this piece, and bravo that it finally has become an audio book. Twain's mellifluous linguistic prestidigitation benefits greatly from oral application, and this engaging dispensation satiates and satisfies both in intensity and dosage. Apply liberally.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregg Smyrna, GA, United States 04-06-14
    Gregg Smyrna, GA, United States 04-06-14 Member Since 2007

    Nearly 1200 titles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
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    "Horrible, horrible, bad, bad, bad"

    I'm a huge Twain fan, but not of this audio "book". This is a compilation of Mark Twain's writings put together by a bunch of editors. Purchased on special for $1.99 I feel ripped off.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 04-10-14
    Scott Santa Clara, CA, United States 04-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Enthusiastic, Skeptical, Warm-hearted, Concerned.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A real hoot!"

    From now on, whenever the damned human race drives me crazy, this the book I'll be reaching for.
    These here Mark Twain scholars have put together a delightful collection of anecdotes, stories, wit, and wisdom from the pen of the man himself. No one else could have written this stuff. It's funny, irreverent, insightful, and cantankerous. Real fun.
    Plus, they got Grover Gardner to read it, and ya' can't do better than that.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim New Jersey 10-09-14
    Jim New Jersey 10-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "The parts make up the whole"
    Any additional comments?

    If the reader is looking for the next Tom Sawyer then they will be greatly disappointed at this book of short essays. The story is a culmination of Mark Twain's cutting room floor writings. While each story is insightful into the mind of the great writer, some excerpts felt like they were added to help turn these stories into a complete book. This is truly a time piece into Americana and allows the reader to experience what life was like at the turn of the century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mickey S Upper Darby, PA, United States 10-09-14
    Mickey S Upper Darby, PA, United States 10-09-14

    Skeptical Eco-modernist

    ratings
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    "Reader was excellent, flows nicely."
    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He made it bearable.. I felt like I wasted 4.5 hours of my life. These sound like ramblings of an old man. I can understand that Mark Twain was a novelist, but gosh! no need for the highfalutin attitude. Guess, I'm not a fan. Learned nothing, just ramblings.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I did NOT expect to laugh so much, but boy did I!"
    What did you love best about Mark Twain's Helpful Hints for Good Living?

    I've heard in the past that Twain had a brilliant sense of humor, but I'd only read Huckleberry Finn and the Adventures of Tom Sawyer so I didn't think much of it. I really, really loved the sense of humor and the narrators brilliant job of bringing the material to life.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I'm not sure if this was just a matter of the narrator matching the material extremely well or if Gardner is always this good, but I will definitely be looking for more of his readings in the future.


    Any additional comments?

    This book alone adds Twain into my pantheon of favorite authors. It started a little slow to me, but he as a talent for exaggerating the truth in such a way as to make it truly profound.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • MR
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    7/11/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "dull, dull, dull"

    I like Mark Twain but got nothing from this, it just sounds like a cantankerous old man writing little columns for newspapers.

    stick with the books!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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