A Tramp Abroad

A Tramp Abroad

3.85 (1,775 ratings by Goodreads)
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Twain's account of travelling in Europe, A TRAMP ABROAD (1880), sparkles with the author's shrewd observations and highly opinionated comments on Old World culture, and showcases his unparalleled ability to integrate humorous sketches, autobiographical tidbits, and historical anecdotes in a consistently entertaining narrative. Cast in the form of a walking tour through Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy, A TRAMP ABROAD includes among its adventures a voyage by raft down the Neckar and an ascent of Mount Blanc by telescope, as well as the author's attempts to study art - a wholly imagined activity Twain 'authenticated' with his own wonderfully primitive pictures included in this volume.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 22mm | 699.99g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • b&w line drawings
  • 0140436081
  • 9780140436082
  • 124,055

About Mark Twain

Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, Mark Twain spent his youth in Hannibal, Missouri, which forms the setting for his two greatest works, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Trying his hand at printing, typesetting and then gold-mining, the former steam-boat pilot eventually found his calling in journalism and travel writing. Dubbed 'the father of American literature' by William Faulkner, Twain died in 1910 after a colourful life of travelling, bankruptcy and great literary success.show more

Review quote

["A Tramp Abroad"] is delicious, whether you open it at the sojourn in Heidelberg, or the voyage down the Neckar on a raft, or mountaineering in Switzerland, or the excursion beyond the Alps into Italy. William Dean Howells"show more

Review Text

"In my opinion the omitted chapters are strained in theft humor and contain much superfluous or irrelevant matter." So here is Twain's 1880 European travel book with nine of its chapters removed, eight others pared down, and all the punctuation modernized - "without inserting any language of my own, not even the briefest conjunctions." Very commendable. But what Neider has inserted is his own taste and network of expectations, a mind-set that has him reaching for the blue pencil whenever he finds Mark's "artistic conscience to be dozing more than usual." Legends, for instance. Twain seemed to be fascinated by them, retelling them, musing on their development; filler, says Neider, so good-bye Lorelei, Dilsberg Castle, and the Cave of the Specter. Likewise Mark's interest in natural history (glaciers and other boring stuff like that). And when Mark gets "silly" about the pretentious use of foreign words - as he does, with some delightful results, in the omitted "Harris Climbs Mountains for Me" - Neider gets itchy and A Tramp Abroad gets shorter. The issue, of course, is not whether Neider's taste is good or bad, but that any reader of a collection of pieces has the ability - and the inalienable right - to skim or skip or, just possibly, settle down with something as un-Mark-Twain as the Lorelei; no one interested enough to pick up A Tramp Abroad needs Neider's help in finding its goodies, and Mark Twain doesn't need his lapses, if lapses they be, swept behind the typesetting machine. "If I may venture to say it myself, this edited version of the Tramp is now a thoroughly delicious book free of the padding demands of subscription publishing. . . ." What next? How about those boring stretches going on and on about fog in Bleak House? After all, Dickens had those incredible padding demands of serial publishing to contend with, and. . . . (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

1,775 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 27% (478)
4 41% (719)
3 25% (440)
2 7% (120)
1 1% (18)
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