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Roughing It: A Personal Narrative | [Mark Twain]

Roughing It: A Personal Narrative

"If there is any life that is happier than the life we led on our timber ranch, it must be the sort of life which I have not read of in books or experienced in person," wrote Mark Twain, and now you can share in that experience. The beloved American humorist spent seven years on a "pleasure trip" through the untamed wilderness of Nevada. Twain intended to spend three months touring silver mines, but the lure of rough terrain and comfortable clothes proved irresistible - as will this vibrant travelogue.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Norman Dietz’s resonant voice, and his affable delivery, makes him the ideal actor to perform the spirited memoir Roughing It: A Personal Narrative by writer Mark Twain. This entertaining travelogue explores a seven-year journey through the wilderness of the American west. The original plan had been a mere three-month excursion to tour silver mines. Twain traveled with his brother Orion Clemens - the Secretary of Nevada Territory - and derived much humor from their adventures in unfamiliar landscapes and situations.

Publisher's Summary

"If there is any life that is happier than the life we led on our timber ranch, it must be the sort of life which I have not read of in books or experienced in person," wrote Mark Twain, and now you can share in that experience. The beloved American humorist spent seven years on a "pleasure trip" through the untamed wilderness of Nevada. Twain intended to spend three months touring silver mines, but the lure of rough terrain and comfortable clothes proved irresistible - as will this vibrant travelogue.

(P)1987 by Recorded Books, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (135 )
5 star
 (54)
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 (49)
3 star
 (24)
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Overall
4.2 (45 )
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (46 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Tad Davis 04-21-08
    Tad Davis 04-21-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3357
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1591
    251
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2563
    11
    Overall
    "Hilarious"

    For some reason I missed "Roughing It" in my earlier attempts at reading all of Mark Twain. My loss: it's an absolutely hilarious journey, part factual reporting, part tall tale in the best western campfire tradition. (If you're familiar with the omitted "raft chapter" in "Huckleberry Finn," you know what to expect.) One of Twain's greatest strengths is his willingness to include himself among the objects of genial mockery. This is Mark Twain the Humorist at his best.

    I didn't find the problems with audio quality that others reported. I agree that Fraley's recording of "Huckleberry Finn" is a superior piece of work, but Norman Dietz does a great job on this one. He's droll, unassuming, loquacious, and endearing, and he adopts one of a variety of other voices at the drop of a hat. My one complaint would be a certain breathiness of delivery -- occasional rapid delivery punctuated by sharp intakes of breath. I think this is partly a matter of recording age and technology: I find that occurring less often on more recent audiobooks. In any case, for an audiobook that gave me this much pleasure, I have to give it five stars.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. MacLeod 02-05-04
    D. MacLeod 02-05-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Funny and Entertaining"

    I don't know why this book is not more known or read. It probably is the definitive book on the sights and sounds of the Old West, certainly moreso than the Westerns I've read. I laughed out loud listening to it, causing a bit of a stir among fellow airplane passengers.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lonnie Burbank, CA, USA 09-01-07
    Lonnie Burbank, CA, USA 09-01-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Always a favorite"

    I've read this book numerous times since I was young, and the stories and anecdotes are always fun and entertaining. I've traveled the areas mentioned countless times, wishing I could have experienced it as Twain did.

    I only had one complaint about this recording. I'm sure everyone has seen jokes that get passed around the office, Xeroxed and faxed over and over until they're almost unreadable. This recording reminded me of that. The quality is extremely poor. If I had known about the audio quality beforehand, I wouldn't have purchased this recording.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur 11-06-06
    Arthur 11-06-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Don't miss this classic!!!"

    The recording wasn't the best but who cares as long as you can make out the words! This is a unique look at Twain and the way he saw the world. It's one of those timeless narratives that captures the character and the characters of a time and place. I laughed out loud and enjoyed Twain's perspective.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cort Kensington, CA, United States 03-21-09
    cort Kensington, CA, United States 03-21-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    22
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    "One of Twain's best books"

    I read this book many years ago and enjoyed it just as much this time. It's full of sharp wit and humor, with lots of wonderful insghts into the history and times of the American West. Great narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George thousand oaks, CA, USA 09-28-03
    George thousand oaks, CA, USA 09-28-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
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    0
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    "Roughing It"

    I have thoroughly enjoyed Mark Twain's Western Observations. THe most enlightening is that the same charecters and situations exist today!!! I had some issues with the quality of the first CD I burned resutling is satice. The others were fine.

    If you live in the West or paln a trip out here, it is a great "Read" to understand the fabric and flavor of the area.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 06-28-09
    C Chestnuthill, MA, United States 06-28-09 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    216
    69
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Sporadically enetertaining"

    It would have been good if it was half as long

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gordon Makimoto Vacaville, Ca 02-12-14
    Gordon Makimoto Vacaville, Ca 02-12-14 Member Since 2013

    I'm a recently retired police officer, judo instructor, grandfather, husband. Lifelong Sci-fi, horror, military fiction fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just didn't work for me"
    What would have made Roughing It better?

    I'm a Mark Twain fan and have read many of his books. This is the first one I ever listened too. This story just seemed to drag on and on. Each little anecdote was fine and sometimes humorous but put together the little stories just did not add up to one good story. Also, the narrators gravely voice just becomes grating over time.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I could not make it to the end.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The gravely narration paced the story just fine. Nothing much ever really happened.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It was an interesting look into the view and opinions of the settlers and travelers of the time. But with Mark Twains usual exaggerations it was often hard to tell an opinion from a fact.


    Any additional comments?

    I really tried to make it through this book. I wanted to like it but could not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven FPO, AE, USA 06-22-09
    Steven FPO, AE, USA 06-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    Overall
    "Couldn't get through it."

    The characters are so jumbled around that I didn't know if I was coming or going. I wanted to read a classic, well I guess this one should have stayed in print only.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett 09-28-12
    Brett 09-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Twain is a funny man"
    If you could sum up Roughing It in three words, what would they be?

    1800's Fun Adventure


    What did you like best about this story?

    I personally enjoyed the part about his travels in Lake Tahoe.


    What about Norman Dietz’s performance did you like?

    I really enjoyed this reader.


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

    Laugh


    Any additional comments?

    Mark Twain = Classic

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • Rowan
    Wales
    7/3/10
    Overall
    "Loved it"

    Had me in stitches as i listened to him while i was fishing.Has such a timeless way with words and read superbly

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Glasgow United Kingdom
    9/23/09
    Overall
    "A definitive travel piece and a whole lot more!"

    Like all of Mark Twain's books this is a classic. He paints a very descriptive picture of his seven year adeventure filled with humour, sadness, compassion, greed and the betrayal it causes. From start the listener feels that he/she is taking every step with Twain sharing his highs and lows. A favourite of mine is when he buys a horse that did the milk run then uses it go on a date with hilairous results, this is just one of the many humourous stories scattered throughout the book. I found nothing to dislike about this book other than it occasionally dirfted off to an anicdote which had a loose connection to the story. Despite this I would give it fullmarks, 5/5.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Deena
    REGINA BEACH, SK, Canada
    1/4/11
    Overall
    "Well worth listening to"

    Mark Twain is a briliant writer and this book is no exception. I have to say that I chose it because I like audible books that offer more than a few hours of enjoyment. At over 16 hours this delivers just that. I know I will listen to it more than once as a result.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Liskeard, United Kingdom
    7/25/11
    Overall
    "Laugh out Loud funny"

    I was really only aware of Mark Twain for Huckelberry Finn and the odd aphorism but this book is fascinating , funny and brings a long gonew wild west to life- highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    Clevedon, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Splendid"

    Thoroughly entertaining, beautifully read, funny, long and worthwhile. Value for money in my humble opinion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-5 of 5 results

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