Samuel Langhorne Clemens a small riverside towny born in Missouri in 1835 nobody imagined him to turn out to be the controversial, brilliant, and ever witty man who would shape American literature. Samuel is known by his pen name Mark Twain one of the best writers humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer that America has ever produced. He ruled over many hearts as an illustrious novelist, distinguished essayist, popular travel writer, and astute literary critic, Twain has definitely the impact any writer would flaunt. He has insane fecund writing that indulges 28 books and upwards of around fascinating 100 short stories!
The writer reassures the readers to captivate interest and become his forever fan. Here are 15 of the best Mark Twain books — who became one of the greatest figures and was called “the father of American literature” and the beloved humorist.
The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865)
This masterpiece was an open gate for the short story in the book world and launched Twain into the national eye and world acceptance. This book was originally published as “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog,” and then penned down as “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”.
This is a tale of a man who gets stagnated into a conversation with another individual who is self-obsessed and is completely in love with his own words. And believes that his surrounding and companion does not hold any great opinion and the stories they share are pointless and endless. And the narrator willing to share the strong words is hardly able to interject a speech to pardon himself. And lands on a yarn about a jumping frog from the plot of the story. This short story is enough to get the essence of Twain’s inimitable brand of humor.
The Innocents Abroad(1869)
As informed above Twain a big travel bug and never left any opportunity to traipse encompassing the world and this passion and enthusiasm can be seen in his early work. The Innocents Abroad is Twain’s bestselling book and is one of the most prominent travelogues ever published. The Innocents Abroad shares the vlogs about Twain’s voyages in Europe and the Middle East in a witty and droll fad. Wandering to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Vatican, and even the Sphinx in Egypt the author creates comic set-pieces and takes satire by jabbing many politically incorrect cultural peculiarities in every country.
Though this book is classified as nonfiction however the reality is bugged between fact and fiction. Some of the accounts are brilliantly portrayed it seems like the author has poured his heart out. So it hardly matters what true and what’s fiction. This is one of his most terrifically energetic book that is meant for every reader who evokes wanderlust. This account shares a glimpse of young Mark Twain at the start of his own long road and the readers may examine his journey of becoming one of the most efficient personalities.
Roughing It (1872)
Well, the writer’s journey is no less than the ride on an unyielding rough road. As at the age of 26, Samuel Clemens ignited out to California to mine for gold. This was the base for Roughing It or can also be said that it is the prequel of The Innocents Abroad or semi-autobiographical memoir about the author’s experiences in the American West.
This account is an amalgam of Twain’s earliest adventures and is a “semi-autobiographical tale that unquestionably adorned with experiences of his time. The book comprises of entertaining plot and twist that has made this account worth reading. Many of his later hallmarks are evident here that includes significant moments.
The Gilded Age (1873)
This co-written book with Charles Dudley Warner is entirely based on a bet with their wives. And well, this gem- The Gilded Age was Twain’s first work as a novel. This book is a sheer work of Twain that includes satire of the politics and corruption that ran prevalent in Washington D.C. in the post-war years.
This pun and a satirical novel feature an aggregate cast of nefarious politicians, ornate plutocrats, gaudy bankers, and naïve bystanders, all of whom Twain gleefully and gladfully skewers with colorful prose in this book. If you are willing to go through only Twain and not Warner, keep your perusal to the first eleven chapters. This first hand in novel work by Twain is an ambitious effort to capture an entire season one that ended up styling it in the English colloquial.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
Till now it has been clear that Twain is much likely a fanatic to pun, satire, wit, and humor however The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is unique as it is praised for ages. This a tale of Tom Sawyer who is considered to be an aspiring agitator, idyllic romantic, devilish orphan as well as a young dreamer.
Well, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has a similar fan base yet this unrepentantly cracking book is still an American classic. Perhaps Twain’s most all-embracing skill was his incredible ability to tap into many minds. The sheer enthusiasm and embued in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer supremely both the innocence and discourtesy of youth, seen through the eyes of a boy who embraces adolescence most salutary of all.
A Tramp Abroad (1880)
This exclusive account of that journey — Twain’s sequel to The Innocents Abroad. The duration from 1878 to 1879, Twain boarded on a second 15-month trip through Central Europe and the Alps. This account is based on that journey. Readers can see the vast difference as tell about the flourishing voyage of Twain as e is one of the most endearing tramps in this uproariously epic book, which serves up an entertaining travelogue and social critique of the world all in one.
Well, it true that he hasn’t bared anyone from his sarcastic tone doesn’t matter if its German, Swiss, American, or English. A Tramp Abroad is definitely more contemplative than his past two travel books. This book still counted as a victory in the kingdom of travel writing and is a definite piece to cherish.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
This book is no just a book is a fad and doesn’t require any introduction. A hardcore reader would obviously be familiar with this piece. Ernest Hemingway once quoted -“American fiction begins and ends with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. This high-critically acclaimed novel is considered to be the Great American Novel. Most people might be aware of the gist of the story but let’s not reveal the essence as this book is a must-read should definitely enhance the beauty of your bookshelf.
There are many classics penned by the genius author yet The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has continued to mop readers up in its jaunty ride for more than a century. This timeless beauty shares the protagonists’ side of Twain and moreover yields the struggle to flout society issues in a gloriously rich narrative of boyhood adventure. This classic gem is a sheer example of a deeply subversive study of racism, morality, and humanity and in the golden era of literature considered to be the greatest account of all time.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
The story revolves around Hank Morgan, a mere engineer from Connecticut who is transported back to 528 AD during the reign of King Arthur, who was born. And the journey begins and this rollercoaster ride definitely compels readers to imagine the sequence and visualize in front as a movie or a fledged show. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court is somewhat inspired by Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.
Well, that iconic phrase was reportedly written down “Dreamt of being a knight errant in armor in the middle ages. Have the notions & habits of thought of the present-day mixed with the necessities of that. No pockets in the armor. But beyond its façade, as a fun “time travel” book is a masterpiece is a reality check as it expresses a deep critique of each individual’s ability to idealize the past.
The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and Those Extraordinary Twins (1893)
The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson was popular before its publication as it got Serialized in The Century Magazine as a novel in 1894. This tale is based on the exclusive two young boys- one born to a slave woman, and the other, the master’s son. And as the game of destiny changes and their stories inevitably conflict and may or may not climax in a dramatic courtroom exposé.
Well, let’s not get deeper and break the suspense for the one who hasn’t grip their hands on this tale. However, it is definite that this book bears the most similarities to the oeuvre of one of Twain’s contemporaries, unbridled plot twists teem, and more. It is true The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the most celebrated yet this anecdote is not only entertaining but socially acclaimed and emphasizes great impact against the institution of slavery and moreover is a stronger advocate for women’s right and freedom.
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896)
There was a time when Huckleberry Finn stealing all the limelight at in that context Mark Twain quietly said: “I like Joan of Arc best of all my books, and it is the best; I know it perfectly well. And besides, it furnished me seven times the pleasure afforded me by any of the others.” though the tale is told from the perspective of Sieur Louis de Conte, a fictional companion of Joan’s yet this fictional story is rose to prominence by an illiterate French peasant girl who rose to larger-than-legend status in fifteenth-century France.
This is not a biography however an extensively researched novel. Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc is a lengthy and slow pace yet known for it muted humor and quintessential satire. This mankind’s essential novel is a worthy reader’s time.
Following the Equator (1897)
This is starting to an end. We have above encountered much of his highly celebrated work but the epoch of the 1890s has brought definite changes in the author’s personal as well as professional life. His bankruptcy due to poor investments aroused him to embark on a series of international speaking engagements circa 1895: a long trip that permitted him to circumnavigate the far-flung countries of the Victorian British Empire. His adventures met the end with his last works of travel writing, Following the Equator, into permanence.
Twain was turning older and this book witnesses his eminence and proficiency in working. Following the Equator, a typical Twain vogue as its lively prose, freewheeling humor, shriveling irony, and abundance of political incorrectness is all about this iconic writer who is still an inspiration of many emerging writers.
Eve’s Diary (1906)
This is among his last works and cannot be missed in this illustrated edition. Twain’s book is an ardent and emotional tribute to the first woman and his late, lamented wife, Livy.
This book involves Lester Ralph’s controversial nude drawings of Adam and Eve beautifully complement the lost innocence encountered in the garden and we are left with a bittersweet, ineffable sense of loss. Controversial work is a must-read for every ardent and emotional work lover.
The Mysterious Stranger (1916)
The Mysterious Stranger- the title itself is self-explanatory as a reader gets to see through the story from the perception of a group of boys who encounter a stranger in late sixteenth-century Austria.
And the story gets twisted as he’s turned up in town sooner, well, mysteriously. This is again suspense and mysterious work of a writer that needs to be cherished while reading. So without peeping much into the story what you will find is an enigmatic but subterranean contemplation of human nature itself. Moreover, this book is a taste of the author’s performance as the weight of Twain’s cynicism and disillusionment with humanity ultimately hinders the carefree antics that delineated and characterized his previous works.
Letters from the Earth (1962)
This controversial opinionated book is made up of a series of letters written by the archangel Satan that comment on humankind and Christianity. Not only that this is the book that gave Twain a platform to produce a severe affliction of this god-fearing society.
Letters from the Earth were nevertheless published posthumously in 1962 despite controversial opinions that he imparted within it. This bool is a sheer example of Twan’s most cynical, defiant, intelligent, belligerent, and cutting this proves that the book is perhaps the funniest. This book was written when his eldest daughter and wife both died this was his most difficult time yet his work does not reflect his bad times.
Autobiography of Mark Twain (2010)
The autobiography of Mark Twain is a product of the years when Mark Twain was on his deathbed with a stenographer by his side. Twain just talked he gave shape to his words. Well, it is true that from the mass of these notes emerged this autobiography. This sheer autobiography that includes a patchwork of memories, anecdotes, tall tales, and personal philosophies. Till this time the author has seen it all, Twain’s a hard time through the gold rush, the Civil War, the American promise of evident fortune, the hopeful dawn of Reconstruction and its eventual collapse, bankruptcy, the onset of the American Indian Wars. Twain’s life is all about his wanderlust and traveling adventures around the globe and living life to the fullest.’
Twain’s autobiography reflects his entire personality, characteristic verve, and genius, and many of its stories are gems. But the foremost thing it speaks of a writer of exceptional spirit and a man of exceptional character. Twain’s autobiography shares his versatile personality, sometimes serious; sometimes tongue-in-cheek; sometimes tempestuous; always generous, witty, wise, honest, and deeply compassionate.
Mark Twain, one of the most prominent writers of his time is definitely a very brilliant and humorist man, his humor and wit is quite manifest in the books that he wrote and at one point even you will wonder that how he managed to come up with this? With each turning page, the narrative of his account gets more and more witty and humorous. Making people laugh with a wink is one of the hardest genres to make the people experience and is not everybody’s cup of tea.
Over the decades the Twain has crafted numerous books, each better than the other and succeeded with a lot of name and fame for his work. The bestselling author is also very recognized in America as there are a few masterpieces that made him “the father of American literature”
If you haven’t cherished any of the Twain’s works yet then you should know that you are missing out on so much. Even if you are not wit and humor, these books will make you one. If you have read the books composed by the author that you feel should be on the list then you can let us know about it in the comment section below. Also, if you have any queries or suggestions, you can give it to us by commenting below. We would be glad to help you.