The Innocents Abroad : Or, The New Pilgrims’ Progress

Mark Twain

Grover Gardner (Narrator)

08-24-11

18hrs 14min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Nonfiction/Travel

As low as $0.00
Play Audio Sample

08-24-11

18hrs 14min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Nonfiction/Travel

Description

“A classic work…[that] marks a critical point in the development of our literature.” Leslie A. Fiedler, literary critic

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.

Praise

“A classic work…[that] marks a critical point in the development of our literature.” Leslie A. Fiedler, literary critic

“The volume contains many shrewd things, and not a few that are funny...gives a much more truthful idea, we doubt not, of life and scenes abroad than many a more pretentious book.” New York Independent

“This is the raciest book we have met with for many a day. Much as we had expected to be pleased, we must truthfully say that we had no idea so much humor, wit, geniality, fine description and good sense, could be contained within the covers of any one book...Our sides ache, and we lay aside the volume to rest, and to advise our friends and readers, one and all, to buy the book at the first opportunity, and read it through.” National (N.J.) Standard

It is a rare and wonderful combination. The humor is natural, never forced; the narrative is instructive, and the descriptive passages are some of the finest in the English language, abounding in choice expressions and beautiful metaphor. Newark (N.J.) Register

“A humorous travel narrative…The Innocents Abroad sharply satirized tourists who learn what they should see and feel by reading guidebooks. Assuming the role of a keen-eyed, shrewd Westerner, Twain was refreshingly honest and vivid in describing foreign scenes and his reactions to them. He alternated serious passages…with risible ones. The humor itself was varied, sometimes in the vein of the Southwestern yarn spinners, sometimes in that of contemporaneous humorists such as Artemus Ward and Josh Billings, who chiefly used burlesque and parody and other verbal devices.” Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature

Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Aug 23, 2011
Release Date August 24, 2011
Release Date Machine 1314144000
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Craig Black
Categories Travel & Tourism, Travel Writing & Commentary
Author Bio
Mark Twain

Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel L. Clemens (1835–1910), was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. He attended school briefly and then at age thirteen became a full-time apprentice to a local printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal Journal, Samuel became a compositor for that paper and then, for a time, an itinerant printer. With a commission to write comic travel letters, he traveled down the Mississippi. Smitten with the riverboat life, he signed on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot. After 1859, he became a licensed pilot, but two years later the Civil War put an end to the steam-boat traffic.

In 1861, he and his brother traveled to the Nevada Territory where Samuel became a writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and there, on February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous account with the pseudonym Mark Twain. The name was a river man’s term for water “two fathoms deep” and thus just barely safe for navigation.

In 1870 Twain married and moved with his wife to Hartford, Connecticut. He became a highly successful lecturer in the United States and England, and he continued to write.

Narrator Bio
Grover Gardner

Grover Gardner (a.k.a. Tom Parker) is an award-winning narrator with over a thousand titles to his credit. Named one of the “Best Voices of the Century” and a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, he has won three prestigious Audie Awards, was chosen Narrator of the Year for 2005 by Publishers Weekly, and has earned more than thirty Earphones Awards.

Overview

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.

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