• A Tramp Abroad

  • By: Mark Twain
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (360 ratings)

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A Tramp Abroad  By  cover art

A Tramp Abroad

By: Mark Twain
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Publisher's Summary

In April 1878, Mark Twain and his family traveled to Europe. Overloaded with creative ideas, Twain had hoped that the sojourn would spark his creativity enough to bring at least one of the books in his head to fruition. Instead, he wrote of his walking tour of Europe, describing his impressions of the Black Forest, the Matterhorn, and other attractions.

Neglected for years, A Tramp Abroad sparkles with Twain’s shrewd observations and highly opinionated comments on Old World culture and showcases his unparalleled ability to integrate humorous sketches, autobiographical tidbits, and historical anecdotes in a consistently entertaining narrative.

Cast in the form of a walking tour through Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, and England, A Tramp Abroad includes among its adventures a voyage by raft down the Neckar and an ascent of Mont Blanc by telescope, as well as the author’s attempts to study art - a wholly imagined activity Twain “authenticated” with his own wonderfully primitive pictures. This book reveals Mark Twain as a mature writer and is filled with brilliant prose, insightful wit, and Twain’s unerring instinct for the truth.

Public Domain (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“[ A Tramp Abroad] is delicious, whether you open it at the sojourn in Heidelberg, or the voyage down the Neckar on a raft, or the mountaineering in Switzerland, or the excursion beyond the Alps into Italy.” (William Dean Howells)

What listeners say about A Tramp Abroad

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A hoot

This is a hoot, as Mark Twain goes on a "walking tour" of the forests of Germany and the mountains and lakes of Switzerland. ("Walking" is in quotes because he spends most of his time on trains or cadging rides from raftsmen on the Nekar River.) There's quite a bit of real history and folklore here, as well as some beautiful travel writing; but Twain can't resist the temptation to pad his mountain-climbing and forest-browsing exploits with tall tales worthy of ... well, Mark Twain. It's hard to imagine that anyone could listen to Twain's description of arduously "climbing" one of the Swiss Alps -- actually, tracing the view to the top of the mountain by means of a hired telescope -- without roaring with laughter. His travelling companion, in real life the pastor Joe Twichell, here referred to as Twain's "agent, Harris," gets to play the straight man for much of Twain's humor. It's not as well known as some of Twain's other travel books, but it's as funny and delightful as the best of them. Grover Gardner gives his usual outstanding performance.

15 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyable!

Few authors could ever come close to the nuanced comedy found in Twain. Poignant and hilarious moments all written masterfully. The appendix on the German language and boiling thermometers to mark altitude nearly killed me.

Grover Gardner is perfect and you feel as if Mark Twain is speaking to you directly.

4 people found this helpful

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Joy Ride

I like to read the writers who my favorite writers have read. So, when P. G. Wodehouse quotes a page or two from A Tramp Abroad in a short story, I listen.

Twain has never been a favorite of mine but, like Twain’s own reassessment of the Old Masters, the last 14 hours have done much to change that attitude. This picaresque excursion swings effortlessly from perceptive social observations to wry musings to chapters that will literally convulse you with laughter.

For the historically minded, Twain offers a glimpse of the Europe that 1914 will destroy. For the pleasure-seeker, he offers all that you seek, and more. And Grover Gardner’s flat, self-deprecating American matches Twain’s tone to perfection.

2 people found this helpful

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Moving and informative, sometimes hilarious

Mark Twain is a cross-the-centuries superstar.
Grover Gardner does a wonderful reading. I recommend them.

2 people found this helpful

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American treasure

The man is simply a bedrock of Americana. He writes as though he is sitting next to you, pulling on his pipe and recalling his adventures by a crackling fire. The narrator is marvelous. He has the drawl, the laugh and the timing that has become associated with Twain as much as his writing itself. My only negative observation is that some of the stories have been lifted from other books. The story about the Blue-jay, for instance, dropping acorns in a hole in the cabin roof even says Jays told the story all over the United States. There is so much other, original material in the book that leaving out those repetitions would not diminish the book a whit. I love his frequent references to Baedeker travel guides not meshing with his findings. In all, it’s a timeless, wonderful escapism piece to view European travel through cynical lenses.

1 person found this helpful

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Hilariously entertaining.

Delightfully overflowing with perceptive acuity in a variety of traveling experiances. Well read. Happy listening.

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One of my favorites from Mark Twain! So much fun!!

I will definitely read this one again! Mark Twain is a brilliant writer and has a great sense of humor!

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another Twain delight

a bit slower than Innocents abroad, but a must for Twain fans. full of classic Twain stories and humor. delicious.

1 person found this helpful

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A Splendid Performance in Twain's Voice

Twain's travels abroad have always interested me, so listening to this reading of A Tramp Abroad brought the experience to complete satisfaction. Grover Gardner sounds the way I imagine that Twain might have as he reads his travels in Germany, Switzerland and Italy. Whether it's a story about a blue jay making a storehouse for acorns or watching Heidelberg students dueling, Gardner brings to light a Europe that both interests and perplexes Twain and modern readers. And it makes them laugh along the way too.

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A little slow, but still entertaining

I love to read travel stories about the places I visit before I go on trips, and I read this book before traveling to Germany. It does have some of Twain's signature wit and humor, but it also drags a bit at times. If you are a big fan of Mark Twain or have an interest in Germany or German culture, you will likely enjoy it. It is fun and entertaining at times, but it does not have the pacing or storyline that tend to make travel books gripping. I am glad I read this book and I did enjoy it, but I did not love it, and at times I was bored.

1 person found this helpful

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  • N
  • 09-04-14

Delightful Surprise

Any additional comments?

This is charming Mark Twain, quirky, whimsical, personal, with delightful observations of characters and events as he journeys through Germany. There are longueurs, but Grover Gardner's familiar narration glides over them. A find!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jimmy Taylor
  • 10-13-21

Awesome

What a story teller, full of humor and fascinating facts. What a delightful book, highly recommended

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  • Matt M.
  • 08-22-21

HILARIOUS

This is one of the absolute funniest books I have read. I highly recommend it.

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  • Andrew
  • 04-11-21

Interesting but the narrator not a natural fit.

Having enjoyed Grovers reading of ‘Rise and fall of the third reich’ immensely, i thought i’d try another.
Unfortunately while Grovers reading is clear, his delivery (which fitted Shierers journalistic style so well) does not fit Twains wit and satire anywhere near as well. You’re left with a witty book read somewhat rapidly and flatly, which detracts from the humour and is a shame.