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» » Following the Equator
Following the Equator


Mark Twain


Following the Equator



PDF ebook size:

1591 kb

ePub ebook size:

1700 kb

Fb2 ebook size:

1568 kb

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ReadHowYouWant (June 14, 2012)







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Following the Equator by Mark Twain

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With his book "Following the Equator," Mark Twain proves, once again, that he surely knows how to tell a good story. The travelogue is an overall entertaining and interesting look at the world of 1895. However, the real nuggets are the anecdotes, stories and humorous observations peppered in-between and along the way.

In 1895 Twain was on a 'round the world lecture tour to pay off debts. The result of that tour is this book. This is Twain's account of that circumnavigation of the globe and his experiences in Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa. As he arrives at each destination, he discusses the history, people, modes of travel, laws, and customs.

While steaming across the ocean, from country to country, Twain has opportunities to regale us with various anecdotes and stories. We really do get the feeling that we're sitting on deck with him as he launches into yet another interesting and humorous tale. These "intermissions on deck" from the actual trip are the high points of the book and the moments I most enjoyed.

Twain gives us some very detailed history of each destination. We also get an insight into the technology of the day. Remember, this is 1895, only five short years before the turn of the century. So, we learn that the telegraph is in wide use. Twain writes that connecting a telegraph wire from a remote area in Australia to one of it's major cities then connected that town with the entire world. In minutes, information could be sent from this remote Australian town to London and beyond. While steam ships and rail were the primary means of travel, we can't help but wonder that in ten short years, the automobile, flight, and wireless will forever change this world of 1895. So, in a way, it's one last look at an era about to pass away forever.

It's an enjoyable read. Remember, though, Mr. Twain is giving us an account of his year-long, around the world tour. This requires 69 chapters and just over 432 pages to recount the trip, and a commitment on the part of the reader to board ship with Twain for the entire voyage.
If you are not familiar with the breadth of Twain's works, particularly his later writings of which this is one, do a little historical background reading on the man before plunging in. This will properly set the stage for you, and allow you to get more out of the book. Twain's humor, while always present, became somewhat darker in his later years.

Following the equator provides a glimpse into the challenges of world travel, and the perceptions of most western travelers regarding the rest of the world, circa the 1890s. While most readers are probably familiar with Twain's travel books through Europe, this lesser known work finds him traipsing through the Pacific. A world that not many of his even well traveled readers were familiar with in the 1890s.

Twain's musings regarding the Maori and other Pacific peoples are enlightening as well as entertaining; as is his general condemnation of western "civilization" in their dealings with many of the Pacific islanders.

Don't expect the lightheartedness of Tom Sawyer, nor the dark damnation of The Mysterious Stranger. It is somewhere in the middle, and well worth the read.

ABOUT THIS KINDLE EDITION: This review is on the free Kindle Edition. While the navigation had a few quirks, there is nothing about it that prevents you from a pleasurable reading experience. This book does not suffer from the gross mis-spellings and grammatical errors that many free Kindle versions are prone to.
Gold Crown
This title was unknown to me when a friend, who had found it for almost nothing at a used book store. As a fan of Twain since college, when I finally matured enough to appreciate his unique brand of humor, I read and re-read his classic gems and taught them to my high school classes with genuine fervor. I always began the study of Huck Finn with an explanation of Twain's world, and how he detested the culture of racism that followed emancipation. Anyway, as I read this little-known book, I found it not only an insightful look at cultures around the world, but also another clever and just plain old Twain-esque humor-filled volume; I frequently recommend it to friends. Try a sample if you have a Kindle, or download it for free or almost free and enjoy this bit of escape as you circle the equator with the most loved humorist of his--or any-- era.
I am enjoying every word of Mark Twain's book about his around-the-world lecture tour. His insight into the world as it was at the time of his journey provides a great snapshot of that time. I have to wonder about those who claim the book is hard to read; among the worthwhile books I've read in my life, this one ranks as being fairly easy to read. His style is slightly reminiscent of Paul Theroux, who incidentally recommends the book in one of his. I highly recommend Following the Equator for anyone who wants to know more about Mr. Clemens or the world at the time in which he lived.
Another very interesting travel book. Anyone who loves to travel the world must read Twain's 4 major travel stories. Innocents Abroad, Roughing It, A Tramp Abroad, and Following the Equator are exceptional.
The content is superb. Twain is still a delight to read. The format of the book however makes it physically difficult to read. Someone has got creative with single column layout 165mm wide... 18 to 19 words per line which slows down the reading speed and becomes impossible on a moving train or bus as the eye scans from the end of one line, back across the page to the start of the next line and gets confused. With no publisher's address in the book I can't even send out an email asking why?

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