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Kent Rasmussen <[log in to unmask]>
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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 19 Apr 2008 00:08:55 -0400
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As it appears that no one has yet asked to review Pam McAllister's _The
Bedside, Bathtub & Armchair Companion to Mark Twain_, I'll pitch in a plug
for the book. When the publisher asked me to write a puff for it several
months ago, I read through most of it during its proof stage. At the time, I
knew nothing about McAllister except that she had written some other books
in the same series. And, frankly, I felt slightly miffed that the publisher
hadn't asked me to write the book. When I got the proofs, I expected to find
them riddled with errors and screwball comments that would vindicate my

Well, imagine my surprise when I not only discovered few errors and
questionable interpretations in McAllister's book but also found many
original insights and a great deal of humor. The book is terrific, and I'm
now willing to concede that she did a better job of writing it than I would
have done. Her book makes a wonderful introduction to Mark Twain, and I
believe many scholars would enjoy reading it. The book isn't a
ground-breaking monograph or ponderous reference tome; it's exactly what it
claims to be: a "companion" to Mark Twain. 

Those of you who have time to write a review and opt to pass on this book
are missing out on some fun.