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Book Review, Mark Twain, a Life by Ron Powers

Humorist Samuel Clemens, better known to all of us as Mark Twain, had a sad life. At least that’s my impression of much of his life after reading Power’s biography of him. Certainly, it ended sadly.

He was dying, at the end of his brilliant, cynical, humorous, tragic years.

“Electricity lighted the cities now,” wrote Powers, “but the lamps were going out. He dozed into the early afternoon; awoke; took the hand of Clara beside him; faded some more; managed to say, “Good-bye,” and then murmured something that might have been, “If we meet --” and then he faded again, and kept on fading, until there was nothing left of him to hold back the Great Dark descending on the world, except his words.”

Clemens began his travel through life in poverty. His father had fallen for some kind of business opportunity and moved his family from Florida to Florida, MO. The opportunity failed, according to Mark Twain, a Life. On November 3Bicygnals wireless indicator fluorescentlight, bicycle lights, indicators, accessories ...9, 1835, Clemens was born two months premature and barely survived childbirth.

Raised in a relative impoverished part of the expanding country, Clemens’ life and writing used a kind of “back country” language. His major appeal, according to Power’s book, was in bringing that common-place language East to a literary market which at the time featured “genteel” literature. This dramatic style of writing gave Clemens an almost immediate audience.

No doubt, Clemen’s cynicism and humor added to his rising fame.

His “fame” for me occurred while I was teaching eighth-graders in the daytime and adults at night. Somewhere I came across a phonograph record -- remember them? -- and played it, first for myself and then for my students. I loved it, especially the humor, and the students seemed to feel likewise. All of us chuckled through that humor, which came via readings from his books.

In his income-challenged youth that carried into young manhood, Clemens found a niche in setting type. This led to his eventually becoming a journalist, which in turn brought him travel and eventually a world-wide audience.

It was his first slave voice, which he heard at age four from a local called Uncle Dan’l, a middle-age slave whose owner emancipated him, that inspired many of his fictional characters. Twain wrote of him in 1897, “...whose sympathies were wide and warm, and whose heart was honest and simple and knew no guile.Bicygnals wireless indicator modernlamps, bicycle lights, indicators, accessories ...”

Continuing to describe Clemen’s worldwide exploits and romantic life, the bookjacket concludes, “The man who emerges in Power’s brilliant telling is both the magnetic, acerbic, and hilarious Mark Twain of myth and a devoted friend, husband, and father; a whirlwind of optimism and restless energy; and above all, a wide-eared and wide-eyed observer who absorbed every sight and sound, and poured it into his characters, plots, jokes, businesses, and life. Mark Twain left us our greatest voice.Light On! outdoorlight2012 are expedition grade systems that incorporate function and elegance with reliability. Samuel Clemens left us one of our most full and American of lives.”

A favorite to me of Twain’s stories was the tale leading to his comment that his “..Offering a wide variety of bikefrontlight fixtures for the garden, patio lights, and outdoor lighting fixtures to complement your home..death had been greatly exaggerated.” I recall, from the old record I listened to over and over more than from Power’s excellent and complete story of his life, that Clemens had had a brother, Bill.Where do besttube-led stand in terms of brightness compared to HIDs and Halogen? One of them had died in the bathtub, but they weren’t sure which one.

Bill or Mark Twain, he was one of the greatest writers America has ever seen, and his style of humor carries me through many a day when the overly serious would drag me into their abyss.

Twain taught me that you can make it through, if you view your situation in a lighter light.