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The Innocents Abroad | [Mark Twain]

The Innocents Abroad

The Innocents Abroad is a keenly observant, politically incorrect and often hilarious narration of the author’s cruise to the Holy Land aboard a retired Civil War ship. First published in 1869 and the bestselling of Twain’s works in his lifetime, The Innocents Abroad will delight listeners with the celebrated author’s musings on historic landmarks, cultural differences and silly travelling companions.
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Publisher's Summary

What do you get when you combine classic travel literature with the inimitable wit of Mark Twain? The Innocents Abroad is a keenly observant, politically incorrect and often hilarious narration of the author’s cruise to the Holy Land aboard a retired Civil War ship. First published in 1869 and the best selling of Twain’s works in his lifetime, The Innocents Abroad will delight listeners with the celebrated author’s musings on historic landmarks, cultural differences, and silly travelling companions.

©2010 Mission Audio (P)2010 Mission Audio

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3.8 (62 )
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3.9 (41 )
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  •  
    David Old Washington, OH, United States 11-15-10
    David Old Washington, OH, United States 11-15-10 Member Since 2005
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    "A step in the right direction."

    Until recently, "The Innocents Abroad" was only available read by Flo Gibson. The Flo Gibson reading is one of the most horrible readings available.

    I was glad to have this narration available. However, it's got issues: first of all, goofy music at the beginning of each chapter, first it was banjo, then crazy computer music.

    The narrator adds some cheesy editorial "ahems" and some other noises that I don't think were present in the text. He also reads very slow in an attempt at a drawl. I was so glad to get a version other than Flo Gibsons, and was happy enough until I listened to Bronson Pinchots "Autobiography," then I knew how this book should have been done.

    The Innocents Abroad is a great read, good enough to make up for the shortcomings of this narration, but we can wish for a Bronson Pinchot reading.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tad Davis 11-14-10
    Tad Davis 11-14-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Channeling Mark Twain"

    Robin Field comes about as close to channelling Mark Twain as it's possible for someone to do in the electronic age. Contemporaries described Twain's voice as a somewhat high-pitched drawl, and Field's reedy voice comes close to matching that description. He delivers Twain's observations on the Mediterranean world and the people who travel to see it with mostly deadpan humor, occasionally pausing slightly for timing or not-quite-clearing-his-throat for emphasis. For a long time, the only version of this book available on Audible was narrated by Flo Gibson; and while Flo Gibson is always a delight to hear, this reading is clearly more Twain-ish.

    The book itself poses some problems for the reader in the 21st century. Twain spares no one his satiric eye; the "quaint" customs of Old Europe come in for particularly acidic commentary, as do the fawning antics of the New World travellers. But it's when the book veers out of Europe and into the Muslim worlds of Turkey, Syria, and Palestine that Twain's voice becomes a bit grating. Twain had few equals when decrying the ravages of poverty close to home, but for some reason when he got to the Middle East, his usual compassion deserted him, and the behavior of people trapped in brutal poverty -- alternately begging, feuding, and slumped in despair -- seems to have aroused a sense of moral indignation at the victims.

    Still, Twain was a hard-nosed reporter to his core, and it would be difficult to find more precisely-observed pictures of unfamiliar sights than the ones he sets forth here. This isn't the funniest of his travel books, but it's a good place to start.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Donohue New York, NY USA 04-15-12
    D. Donohue New York, NY USA 04-15-12 Member Since 2009

    dungha

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An epic journey with digressions"
    What did you love best about The Innocents Abroad?

    Well, Mark Twain is delightful the 5th time or the 100th time, and this is a book that had stayed with me 25 years, so needed revisiting. What I love is the pace - slower than most Twain works - and filled with his digestion of other histories and literatures, so you get a lot of bang for your buck reading this.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Innocents Abroad?

    I love the delightful tour of Europe, with his ironic reports of how many religious relics there are and the mean conditions of some very grand old cultures from his humorous point of view [no carpets, lousy haircuts!]


    What does Robin Field bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    It is a genuine channeling of Twain. Terrific pauses for ironic emphasis - you can just see Twain stroking his mustaches.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Actually, a lifelong disdain of cruises came from reading this as a young person.

    I was reminded of that when the Italian cruise ship crash happened and wanted to revisit it.

    It started right in with a transcription of the promotion for the trip he was about to embark on, complete with all of the promises of cruising elegance and then it did not even take a week for everything on the cruise to be turned on its head.


    Any additional comments?

    I laughed a lot, but also cringed a lot.

    The racial remarks made throughout the book have to be swallowed in context, but give a lot of insight into the era. Overall, he is as liberal an observer of the era's world as I have found.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Tustin, CA, United States 01-28-12
    Diane Tustin, CA, United States 01-28-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Better read than listened to"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Different narrator.


    What was most disappointing about Mark Twain’s story?

    I like the story, just couldn't listen to the narrator.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Cadence bothered me and a lot of mouth noise that was unnecessary.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    forensic doc 09-13-13
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    "the Middle East and Europe in 1870"
    Would you listen to The Innocents Abroad again? Why?

    yer, it was fascinating to hear about places in Europe and the Middle East from a historical but sly manner. Twain's observations resonate today.


    What about Robin Field’s performance did you like?

    Great performance. It really added to hearing


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the descriptions of being in Syria, Jordan and other middle eastern areas and travelling by donkey to explore.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results
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  • Andy
    Cambridge, Cambs, United Kingdom
    12/9/10
    Overall
    "Entertaining, but hard work"

    I've never read any Mark Twain, so didn't know what to expect. The book is pretty entertaining, but is marred by the narration. The characterisation and accent sound convincing, but the narrator gives the impression of reading the book for the first time, many of the comic moments and sarcasm are ruined by inappropriate pauses. I would have to think long and hard before buying any more audiobooks read by this narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

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