In June 1867, Mark Twain set out for Europe and the Holy Land on the paddle steamer Quaker City. His enduring, no-nonsense guide for the first-time traveler also served as an antidote to the insufferably romantic travel books of the period.
“Who could read the programme for the excursion without longing to make one of the party?”
So Mark Twain acclaims his voyage from New York City to Europe and the Holy Land. His adventures produced The Innocents Abroad, a book so funny and provocative it made him an international star for the rest of his life. He was making his first responses to the Old World—to Paris, Milan, Florence, Venice, Pompeii, Constantinople, Sebastopol, Balaklava, Damascus, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Bethlehem. For the first time he was seeing the great paintings and sculptures of the Old Masters. He responded with wonder and amazement but also with exasperation, irritation, and disbelief. Above all he displayed the great energy of his humor, more explosive for us now than for his beguiled contemporaries.
Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“A classic work…[that] marks a critical point in the development of our literature.” (Leslie A. Fiedler, literary critic)
Grover Gardner speaks with the silky, stinging tone that Twain exudes in this hilarious and enthralling tale of New World-ers meeting the Old World.
The description, and consequent running joke, of the barbers in Europe that Twain and company suffer through was a delight.
There is no scene were Twain seems to become truly awed at his surroundings, as the majestic as they might be. The company's meeting with the Tsar of Russia, however, lends a sense of genuine, cordial affection of Twain of this kind monarch.
No, goodness no. Twain must be sampled and sipped, else one becomes intoxicated with his biting wit.
This is Twain at his sharpest. Treat yourself. Listen to this one.
Grover Gardner is the best audio book performer I have listened to, hands down. He understands what he is reading, and he nails the satire. He made me wish it would never end.
Superb book. Loved it. Mark Twain is a master words smith. His wit, scepticism and honestly is hilarious and wonderful. This book is as relevant and entertaining now as it was in 1869. Maybe even more so now.
Or at least hasn't gotten any worse in 150 years.
Twain is able to walk the balance between silly jokes of the hardships of the journey, and detailed and heartfelt descriptions of the amazing sights and places he visited on the voyage.
Mark Twain was one of the greatest humorists ever, but there's plenty of serious material here as well. Samuel C comes off a bit arrogant in places, but I would forgive that of any great writer. Punchy non-fiction that makes one ponder. Excellent reading as well.
I enjoyed this book tremendously! No bad language, no sex scenes, but plenty of cutting wit from Mark Twain about lands afar and folks we probably know here.
If you are looking for a politically correct read, avoid this one, because Twain wasn't PC even in his time, and certainly is far, far from it for our time. Maybe that's why I enjoyed the book so much. It was a breath of fresh air.
He said what he thought regardless of the propriety of his opinion. And, he so often wraps it up into his wry sense of humor. Made me laugh.
Made me gasp. Syrian women who veil their faces and leave their breasts bare? Really?
There is a lot of very interesting historical information in this book.
Grover Garland reads this story well and I especially enjoyed his slaughtering of the French phrases. Evidently he said it just like the pilgrims did, as the French couldn't understand their spoken French either.
I suppose what surprised me and touched me most was Twain's clear understanding and knowledge of the Bible and biblical principles. He is clearly no stranger to Bible study, but he is an outspoken observer of those of us who proclaim to believe, the "pilgrims" in this book. Makes you think, makes you know you need to watch how you walk.
Great book, great lessons .Great humor.
This autobiographical recounting of Twain's bungling Mediterranean cruise is hilarious! Gardner's narration excels again. Listen!
Loved the honesty and self humiliation exhibited by the main character.
A long and intensive read (or listen) so get your dictionaries out.
Mark twain's humor and insight make this a remarkable story from Europe to the holy land. That it was written a hundred and fifty years ago makes it a historical reference.
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