“The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories” By Mark Twain

15766163“The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories”
By Mark Twain
Narrated by Norman Dietz
Length: 4 hrs and 26 mins
Release date: 03-27-00
Publisher: Recorded Books

Once again it was time to revisit a classic.  I found this collection of stories online and was in the mood for some folksy humor and jumped.

Other than the main title here are the other stories included in this collection: “A True Story”, “Extracts from Adam’s Diary”, and “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed.”

Once again it was nice to hear the story of this famous jumping frog that is basically a story about a man who loves to make bets and can’t stand to lose.   The folksy story-telling that only Twain could do is what makes this story fun and interesting.  It must be something because it started a whole tourist trade in Calaveras County, California.

The next story, “A True Story,” was at times uncomfortable, because I’m a white person and having to hear the travesties of slavery is unnerving and the use of the n-word and other nick-names from the time period are just hard for me to hear.  In reading the words of the time I can see why they need to be there, if only to make today’s readers understand the time and culture.

“Extracts from Adam’s Diary,” is a fun little memoir of Adam and Eve (you even get a bit from Eve’s diary).  Basically Eve is another creature that Adam has to put up with as the days in the garden go on.  Adam is happy just existing but Eve has to go on naming things and talking all the time.

“The Private History of a Campaign That Failed,” is the story of a few folks that want to fight for the Confederacy but have no clue how.  This one is funny, but disturbing in that it is said to be somewhat autobiographical.  Picture Mark Twain and Joseph Heller putting a story together.  I say this is disturbing because Twain/Samuel Clemons fought for the confederacy, but after hearing the story I see he really didn’t want to.

Publisher’s Summary
Originally published in 1865, “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” began Mark Twain’s remarkable career, and immediately demonstrated his masterful storytelling and brilliant sense of humor. This delightful tale introduces Jim Smiley, a man who loved to gamble, whether on horse races, dogfights, catfights, or even how long it took bugs to cross the Mexican border. When a gullible stranger came to town, Smiley boasted that his pet frog, Dan’l Webster, could outjump any frog in the county. Smiley, figuring it would be easy money, eagerly made a bet with the stranger, who had a secret plan to stop Dan’l in his tracks. This wickedly funny collection also includes several of Twain’s other great short stories, including “A True Story”, “Extracts from Adam’s Diary”, and “The Private History of a Campaign That Failed.”

Public Domain (P)1992 Recorded Books, Inc.