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Vendor: Random House
Publication Date: 1991
Dimensions: 8.35 X 5.25 X 1.33 (inches)
Series: Everyman's Library
Along with Blake and Dickens, Mark Twain was one of the nineteenth centurys greatest chroniclers of childhood. These two novels reveal different aspects of his genius: Tom Sawyer is a much-loved story about the sheer pleasure of being a boy; Huckleberry Finn, the book Hemingway said was the source of all the American fiction that followed it, is both a hilarious account of an incorrigible truant and a tremendous parable of innocence in conflict with the fallen adult world.
With the publication in 1865 of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Twain gained national attention as a frontier humorist, and the bestselling Innocents Abroad solidified his fame. But it wasn't until Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.
Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more pessimistican outlook not alleviated by his natural skepticism and sarcasm. Though his fame continued to widenYale & Oxford awarded him honorary degreesTwain spent his last years in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."
“As characters Tom and Huck have become American myths (a form of transubstantiation achieved by remarkably few fictional creations in the last hundred years), and that very fact indicates that whatever distinctions are made between the two novels, and however many reservations are cited about either or both, Twain possessed extraordinary imaginative power.” –from the Introduction by Miles Donald