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Chasing the Last Laugh: How Mark Twain Escaped Debt and Disgrace with a Round-the-World Comedy Tour

Richard Zacks
# UM4282 Paperback, 450 pages; 2017 (2016)
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"There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate… When he can't afford it and when he can." -Mark Twain

A hugely successful author and brilliant humorist, Mark Twain was decidedly less talented when it came to investing his money. Which is how, in the 1890s, he found himself on the brink of financial ruin. As a last-ditch effort to stave off his creditors, he packed up his family and embarked on a worldwide tour, recounting some of his most popular stories to live audiences during what was essentially a stand-up comedy routine. A remarkable storyteller himself, Richard Zacks entertainingly presents this unlikely chapter in the life of one of America's literary giants, sharing the best morsels of his performances, chronicling the family's comical international adventures, and, using a wealth of letters and diary entries, offering intimate insight into the charming, cranky, and viciously funny writer. Twain fans won't want to miss this incredible journey! (AG)
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