Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Chasing the Last Laugh"

This is a history book of the world in the 1890's just as much as it is a story of Mark Twain traveling the world at that time.  Subtitled "Mark Twain's Raucous And Redemptive Round-The-World Comedy Tour", Twain takes this year long trip with his wife and youngest daughter as an attempt to dig his way out of bankruptcy, an unlikely bankruptcy as a result of his rash investment decisions.

Written by Richard Zacks, the book is consistently amusing.  It is history made exceptionally interesting.  It now sits at a place on the kitchen table here, available for times to be read.  Halfway through, I can tell that it will be missed when done.  Unlike a novel, it can be picked up at any time even as other books and articles are being read that demand either continuity or immediate attention.

Apart from the successful money earning tour, the book takes Twain and his family to Paris, Vienna, London, San Francisco, Connecticut, and New York City to live for interludes, at a time when considerable travel was obviously not commonplace for most people.

It is an addictive reading experience that will send me looking at other books by this writer.


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