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Life on the Mississippi is no ordinary guided tour, for every page is expressive of the structure, style, and high humor that is the very essence of Twain the writer. Spiced with Twain's pungent observations and commentaries on the culture and society of the great river valley, the book is a wonderful collection of lively anecdotes, tall tales, and character sketches; historical facts and information; and reminiscences of the author's boyhood and experiences as a steamboat pilot. LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI was first published when Mark Twain was nearly 50 years old. He wrote it originally as a series of articles titled "Old Times on the Mississippi." It is fresh with enthusiasm for his early life on the river. On hearing it today who can fail to respond to its message of freedom, independent existence and expanding horizons?