A biography of the American humorist and writer whose writing greatly reflected the events of his life particularly his boyhood in Hannibal, Missouri.
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Grade 5-9-A superficial biography of one of the most important figures in American literature. Pflueger begins, appropriately enough, with a description of a steamboat arriving in Twain's hometown of Hannibal, MO, and proceeds to cover his entire life, including the many difficult times he and his family endured. All the facts are here, with the convenient chronology and extensive chapter notes typical of the series. While readers will see that Twain was more than "Tom" and "Huck," any real insight into the man and his writings is missing. He is presented as a rather flat character and there is no sense of his amazing sense of humor or his frequently strong social commentary. Neither the glossary nor the list of further reading is useful and the sidebars scattered throughout the book often seem irrelevant. Clear black-and-white photographs and reproductions illustrate the volume. There are many standard reference sources that cover the basic information on Twain just as well; for a three-dimensional biography that is more engaging and has better illustrations, use Clinton Cox's Mark Twain (Scholastic, 1995).
Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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