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Mark Twain
A Collection of His Works on Compact Disc

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Mark Twain

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Mark Twain
(Samuel Clemens)
Compiled by Richard Seltzer
B&R Samizdat Express - May 16, 2003
ISBN: 0-931968-30-5
Genre: American Literature

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - July 18, 2003

Please note: As of 9/16/2007, this CD now contains 30 books.

Mark Twain is the pen-name of Samuel Clemens. Twain was born in 1835 and he is one of America's most famous and beloved authors. Almost everyone has read at some point in their lives, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. These three novels are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the eclectic nature and scope of Twain's work.

The Mark Twain CD compiled by Richard Seltzer providers readers with access to the rich diversity of Twain's writings. This collection not only includes the complete text of his novels, but also his short story collections, individual stories, sketches, essays, and articles. This fabulous collection also includes four books written about Mark Twain: My all out favorite Mark Twain story is the Mysterious Stranger. It is not the easiest Twain story to find, and I was thrilled to find that it is included in this collection. This story is a discourse on the nature of religion and reality, and if it had been written today, it may well be labeled as being a work of science fiction or fantasy. Technically, The Mysterious Stranger is classed as a short story. However, due to its length it is more akin to the modern novella. The story is set in Austria, in the year 1590, and Satan is a prominent character throughout the story. A moving story that provides, in large measure, an unintrusive commentary on the religious intolerance. This story is both funny and sad, it has romantic elements and shades of science fiction. The range of emotions that it evokes is awesome, and it is an indication of Twain's literary genius.

Besides fictional works, this collection also includes some of Twain's most famous, and controversial essays, such as Concerning the Jews. In this essay, which was first published in the Harper's Monthly magazine in September of 1899, he answers questions he received regarding an article he wrote about the antisemitism he witnessed while living in Vienna, Austria in 1897-98. In this essay he also talks about his own prejudices, and how they arose.

This collection of stories and essays by Mark Twain will make a fine addition to any library. College students, in particular, who have to buy a number of Twain's books for various course will find this CD of great monetary value. The CD sells for only $12, in return for which you get dozens of books by Mark Twain - not bad! It is also a bargain for anyone who wants to easily add a wealth of literary classics to their collection, plus being on CD, the books take up a minute amount of space and are easy to relocate, should the need arise.

To read the books in this collection, you will need a PC with Windows, plus a web browser or a word processing program such as Word or WordPerfect. All the texts on this CD are in plain text, and they can be read by any screen reading program. In addition, this CD includes a copy of ReadPlease, a windows-based screen reading program. Their homepage is located at: www.readplease.com/ Two versions of the ReadPlease program come with the CD, a free version and ReadPlease Plus, a commercial shareware version. To use the program, you simply highlight the text you want read to you, and the computer will read it aloud. In the free version you can only highlight 16,000 bytes of text at one time, whereas with the commercial version you can set the program to read an unlimited amount of text at one time.


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