Friday, March 13, 2015

Driving Mark Twain

Everywhere I have driven during the last six or seven weeks, Sam Clemens has been riding shotgun and entertaining me with stories from his life.  And how that man can talk.  Even when he repeats himself, the details of his stories sometimes differ to the point of casting them into a whole new light.  And since we have a few friends in common (Grant, Sherman, Huck Finn, and Tom Sawyer, among them), Sam never bores me.  We even share an innate mistrust of politicians (you should hear old Sam go on about Teddy Roosevelt).  Mr. Clemens is great company and I will miss him when he's done with all his stories.

But that won't happen for a while...perhaps, another four or five weeks...because I'm only about fifteen percent of the way through the audio version of the second volume of the Autobiography of Mark Twain.  Volume one comprises 20 CDs (the first of which will be of little or no interest to most readers, I suspect), and Volume two adds another 21 discs.
As read by Grover Gardner (who was named one of the "Best Voices of the Century" by AudioFile magazine), the books offer a wonderful opportunity to spend some one-on-one, quality time with Mark Twain.  I highly recommend this approach to anyone who might already have the set on their TBR stacks.

Combined, the books total 41 discs and 934 pages of autobiographical material.  Taken in the relatively small chunks that encompass my commuting time and my errand-running time, they are wonderful.  


  1. I like Twain but in small doses. Not sure I could drive around listening to him for weeks. You have fortitude!

    1. If my wife is telling me the truth, Stefanie, it's more a case of me having pretty much the same personality as the elderly Mr. Twain. That is becoming more and more the case every year according to her. So me and Mark really get along well.