Curator Reviews

William Finnegan

Like Orwell, Twain is better-known for his canonical fiction, but he was also a genius of observation, and this early work, which is broadly non-fiction, about his early career as a riverboat pilot, is my favorite. It’s not uproarious, like “Roughing It,” but it dives deep into its milieu. “The face of the water, in time, became a wonderful book—a book that was a dead language to the uneducated passenger, but which told its mind to me without reserve.”

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