Born in 1835, Samuel Clemens, A.K.A Mark Twain, is one of the most famous American writers of all time. After the early death of Twain's father, the young boy found work as a printer for his brother's newspaper. It was here that the young writer began writing stories and developing the sly voice that would distinguish his later work.
Feeling himself drawn to the south, Twain began working on a steamboat, an experience that would form the basis for his literary adventures set in the American South. This career came to an end abruptly however with the civil war and the installation of the American railroad system. After going out west and working in the frontier, Twain began writing in earnest.
His most popular book, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn now stands as a primary example of the "the american novel" and indeed most american authors look to him as the formative voice in american literature. It is hard to imagine what shape american prose might have taken had it not been for Twain's influence at that particular time, but regardless, his shadow is still felt even in the 21st century among young authors. After writing many acclaimed classics and working regular as a humorist and commentator on the era in which he lived, Twain died in 1910.
With Mark Twain it's easy to decide where to begin: The Adventures of Huckleberry-Finn. This undisputed classic is arguably the alpha and omega of American literature; the story of a boy's adventure down the Mississippi River with his slave-friend Jim. Truly, this is a book that needs to be experienced rather than described. Next up we recommend the book that precedes Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a light-hearted tale of boyhood in the South that is unparalelled in its attention to the character, culture and vernacular of that period in Southern history.
If you like these two audiobooks, we next suggest delving into Twain's short stories with the The Mark Twain Sampler. On this collection you'll find short stories, memoirs, letters, and speeches, from "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" to "The Report of My Death," and many other classic examples of his prodigious talent. For anyone interested in American Literature, Mark Twain is the first person to explore. We feel his work is well served on audio, and hope that the titles we've collected below provide a well-spring of entertainment for years to come!