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Twain’s Feast

Narrated by: Nick Offerman
Length: 4 hrs and 27 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8,490 ratings)
Regular price: $8.95
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Our favorite moments from Twain's Feast

An epic dinner party for the ages
Entertaining was in Twain's marrow
We needed someone fearless…enter Chef Tyler Anderson
Twain was a long way from his uncle’s farm
Tyler moved between corn, raccoon and trout with the graceful hand of a poet
Sitting in Twain’s home we felt his loss

  • Twain’s Feast
  • An epic dinner party for the ages
  • Twain’s Feast
  • Entertaining was in Twain's marrow
  • Twain’s Feast
  • We needed someone fearless…enter Chef Tyler Anderson
  • Twain’s Feast
  • Twain was a long way from his uncle’s farm
  • Twain’s Feast
  • Tyler moved between corn, raccoon and trout with the graceful hand of a poet
  • Twain’s Feast
  • Sitting in Twain’s home we felt his loss

Offerman hosts an elaborately constructed production that mixes his readings and reflections with interviews with Beahrs and other Twain scholars. What’s more, it includes a fully realized version of Twain’s pipe-dream meal prepared by Chef Tyler Anderson at the Twain House in Hartford, Conn. Wanda Sykes and Jeff Tweedy are among the guests who sit down with Offerman for the dinner of a lifetime.

- The Washington Post
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About the Author

Andrew Beahrs loves food and history and has written about both for the Smithsonian. He is the author of multiple novels including Strange Saint and The Sin Eaters. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Gastronomica, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and The Writer's Chronicle, among other publications. He lives in California with his family.

About the Author

Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American novelist, satirist, and social critic. Described by William Faulkner as the “father of American literature,” Twain produced works of timeless humor and enduring social relevance. His novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer remain among the most widely-read books in the American canon. Twain died in 1910, the day after the return of Halley's Comet, which had last appeared shortly before his birth.

About the Performer

Best known as the indomitable Ron Swanson in the popular NBC television series Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman is an uncommon quadruple threat: carpenter, comedian, actor, and author. Offerman first hit the New York Times bestseller list with the release of his semi-autobiographical work Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living, and followed it up with the best-selling Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers and Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop. Recently he co-wrote The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History with wife Megan Mullally. Currently he keeps busy producing and hosting a lighthearted crafting competition, Making It, alongside Amy Poehler for NBC. As an audiobook narrator, Offerman has demonstrated an uncanny kinship with the work of Mark Twain. His narration of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—which one Audible editor called “one of the best things I have ever listened to”—brought an American classic into the 21st century. Offerman's deadpan humor and delivery keep Twain's writing as fresh as ever.

About the Performer

Wanda Sykes first came to national prominence as a comedian and writer on HBO’s The Chris Rock Show, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special in 1999. She won another three Emmy Awards as a correspondent on Inside the NFL. Entertainment Weekly declared her one of the "25 Funniest People in America" in 2004. Sykes made history in 2009 as the first African-American woman, and first openly gay comedian, to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. On television, she has written, produced, and starred in her own comedy specials for Comedy Central, Fox, and HBO, and performed to wide acclaim on Curb Your Enthusiasm, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and black-ish. You can hear her voice in animated features such as Ice Age: Continental Drift, Over the Hedge, and Rio.

About the Performer

Chef Tyler Anderson started his culinary career at 16, working in kitchens throughout California and Chicago alongside some of world’s best chefs. He opened his first restaurant, Millwright’s, in Simsbury, Connecticut in 2012, and has earned accolades from The New York Times, Connecticut Magazine and Hartford Magazine. He has since opened another award-winning bistro—this time in collaboration with Pitmaster Jamie MacDonald—and has plans to open a Spanish-inspired restaurant.

Anderson supports many charities and plans to create an accredited hospitality and culinary program to shape young chefs and replicate the experiences that inspired him at 16. He has been nominated as Best Chef-Northeast from the James Beard Foundation for the last five years in a row, and was a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef. He was also a winner on Food Network’s Chopped.

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What members say

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Audible Recycling

Twain's Feast was in particular of shockingly poor quality. To be clear, this was the research for, creation of, and partial filming for an unsold pilot show for television. What we've been presented with are the narrator's audio links joining up audio culled from filming and producers doing research prior to shooting that never took place.

Numerous references to the fact that they were filming are left in, along with an extreme amount of dead air between lines/bits. Guests are named, and never spoken to again. The narrators repeatedly point to things we can't see, because this was filmed, not merely recorded audio (Look at..., See that...). It might have been interesting to see the television program originally intended, but given what bits were culled to make this Audible Original, I can see why no network was willing to fund it.

I got it for free and I still feel ripped off.

90 of 101 people found this review helpful

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Not what you would expect

So, there are some very compelling elements here - fancy food, Nick Offerman, and Mark Twain. Bring it!

Except.

None of that is the main focus of this story. This tale wanders more than the Mississippi (and that is a not in jest). There are some kinda awful descriptions of what is to be eaten (Raccoon? Lion fish?), and a couple of indistinct comments (Wanda Sikes can barely be heard, and that is saying something), a few of comments by Offerman, then hours of speculation on every aspect of Twain's life by every Twain expert in the country. There is no joy in the food (even though it was served in the Twain home/museum), no joy in the company, no joy in discovering Twain through foods he loved and craved. Just a harried, over worked chef, a few grunting comments by the assembled diners, and Twain minutia. Boo! Lost opportunity.

52 of 61 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Why Did I Think This Would Be About Food?

Ridiculous. It's not remotely about Twain or food. It's very much like a bad episode of "Fresh Air".

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Marginal

I love the idea of recreating culinary history, and in that, expect historically accurate ingredients to be used. Are you kidding me when the chef makes a vegan rendition of a Twain favorite? What!? And why invite a vegan and a girl who is allergic to oysters, when 99% of period foods were dairy based and people of the time loved oysters? "vegan mexican street corn?" NOT historically accurate. Smoked raccoon with Wagyu beef? Why not make the recipes as they were and experience an authentic taste of history? I admittedly did not finish the podcast. Keep historic authenticity!

48 of 59 people found this review helpful

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Misrepresented and misleading, not worth the time.

The book's title tells you and gives you the idea of what the book is going to be about. When you listen to the book it's anything but. The information does not pertain to the subject matter and at times I found it extremely frustrating. Long gaps in silence from bad editing make you have to check the audible book to see if it's even still playing. It's a good thing this book was free otherwise I would be asking for my money back.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Not Twain’s Feast : Spoiler in comments

With Nick Offerman involved I was expecting a real-man’s Ron Swanson experience. The writers painstakingly researched Twain’s travels, home and habits. They dug through hundreds of receipts and ledger entries to understand Twain’s love of food ingredients, and drink. I was able to tolerate the NPR-style of production. I was able to patiently listen to two men hunting prairie hens - and failing to find them. This book lost me when the chef substituted tofu for the prairie hen. Don’t claim to be a feast based on Twain’s ideal meal then make gross substitutions. Any game hen would have been a better solution than tofu. Yes, the Twain dining experience is equally about the company and conversation around the table, but the title and description led us to believe otherwise. Sorry, I was unable to finish the book.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • SH
  • TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States
  • 11-16-18

Love Twain, Love Offerman, hated this.

I love the writing of Mark Twain, and the renditions Nick Offerman has contributed are excellent. However, this is a sloppily produced podcast that is, as Offerman describes, "bummer after bummer." It felt like "An Inconvenient Truth" with tidbits of Twain thrown in.

I expected something fun and informative. The book was informative but far from fun. I learned details about Twain's life that I did not know. But if I were to sum up the "feast" portion, it would be this: nothing that existed in Twain's day still exists, we cannot eat any of it or experience any of the things he did, because it has all been destroyed. Probably by you, the listener.

Also, the book entirely falls apart about halfway through. It starts out as a dinner party with interesting guests eating and discussing the foods Twain loved, but gives up any pretense of this narrative about hour 2. Instead, the book turns into a bit of a rant by Andrew Beahrs. Offerman almost entirely disappears, and, we never really hear from the other guests. This was a great idea that was an utter failure in execution.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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It took a wrong turn at tofu and just kept going<br />

If you want to hear a bunch of random people talk about everything BUT Twain's feast, and how they took such liberty with each of the recipes so that it's nothing like what Twain would have enjoyed, this might be for you.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Main message not really about Mark Twain or food

Here's a breakdown of what I heard in this book:
20% - Mark Twain history and information
20% - Background and information about food that Twain enjoyed
60% - Thinly veiled disgust about how early European Americans settlers screwed everything up as seen through a 21st century lens

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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WORST BOOK I HAVE LISTEN TO!

Expected more on Twain but was lectured on how bad mankind is and global warming.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful