Spunkwater, Spunkwater!: A Life of Mark Twain Literary Qualities

James Playsted Wood
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Wood says that he learned to read from listening to the works of nineteenth-century American authors Horatio Alger, Jr., and Winston Churchill. His grandfather often read aloud to him from Alger's famous rags-toriches stories, and his father read him Churchill's novels at night. To Wood, writing a biography of Mark Twain must have seemed like telling a true-life Horatio Alger story. But whereas Alger's heroes are rather simple, Twain was a very complex man. Indeed, biographers are still trying to reconstruct the true events of Twain's life and finding that to do so they must often treat his own accounts of it with distrust. Wood's brief biography does not pretend to be a definitive work, but it remains adequate, entertaining, and especially accessible for younger readers.

Wood, aware that Twain preferred lively tales to the literal truth, creates a biography of the storyteller that is far...

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This section contains 299 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Spunkwater, Spunkwater!: A Life of Mark Twain Short Guide
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Spunkwater, Spunkwater!: A Life of Mark Twain from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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