Dangerous Water: A Biography of the Boy Who Became Mark Twain

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Da Capo Press, Oct 8, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
2 Reviews
While Mark Twain remains one of our most quintessentially American writers, the actual boyhood experiences that fueled his most enduring literature remained largely unexplored—until now. Twain's early years were a decidedly un-innocent time, marked by deaths of friends and family and his father's bankruptcy. Twain dealt with those personal tragedies through humor and the tall tale. From the time that a ten-year-old Samuel Clemens lit out on his own and boarded his first Mississippi steamer to his first encounter with a traveling "mesmerizer" (which ignited his lifelong penchant for acting and spectacle), from the brooding sense of guilt and fear of eternal damnation inculcated into him at church to the superstitions and stories of witchcraft he learned from the blacks on his farm, Powers unforgettably shows how Mark Twain was shaped by the distinctly American landscape, culture, and people of Hannibal, Missouri. Jay Parini, the celebrated biographer of Robert Frost, called Dangerous Water "a long-needed evocation of the boyhood of the man who invented boyhood for all time. . . . An immensely shrewd and deeply engaging book, a great gift to all of us who love Twain."
 

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User Review  - BeaverMeyer - LibraryThing

This book looks at the darker side of Mark Twain's boyhood, but who wants to hear about that? We want to hear the Tom-and-Huckish antics that we've heard and loved. I really didn't like the tone of this thing much. Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

it was crap...I couldnt make my way through endless long words and descriptive phrases....
always seeming to be on verge of saying something ...but never did...
I just wanted to know about the man...Mark Twain...not how smart Ron Powers portends to be.

Contents

I
1
II
25
III
39
IV
51
V
65
VI
81
VII
97
VIII
119
XII
203
XIII
219
XIV
235
XV
255
XVI
265
XVII
291
XVIII
301
XIX
305

IX
141
X
165
XI
181

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About the author (2001)

Ron Powers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who lives in Vermont.

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