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Download Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive by Richard Zacks PDF

By Richard Zacks

From Richard Zacks, bestselling writer of Island of Vice and The Pirate Hunter, a wealthy and vigorous account of ways Mark Twain’s late-life adventures in a foreign country helped him get over bankruptcy and relatives tragedy—and revived his world-class experience of humor

Mark Twain, the highest-paid author in the United States in 1894, was once additionally one of many nation’s worst traders. “There are twice in a man’s existence whilst he are usually not speculate,” he wrote. “When he can’t manage to pay for it and while he can.” The publishing corporation Twain owned used to be failing; his funding in a typesetting equipment used to be bleeding pink ink. After wasting thousands of bucks again while a lager expense a nickel, he discovered himself neck-deep in debt. His heiress spouse, Livy, took the setback difficult. “I have an ideal horror and heart-sickness over it,” she wrote. “I can't break out from the sensation that company failure skill disgrace.”

But Twain vowed to Livy he might pay again each penny. And so, simply whilst the fifty-nine-year-old, bushy-browed icon imagined that he will be settling into literary lionhood, telling jokes at gilded dinners, he compelled himself to mount the “platform” back, embarking on a round-the-world stand-up comedy travel. No writer had ever performed that. He cherry-picked his most sensible stories—such as stealing his first watermelon and purchasing a bucking bronco—and spun them right into a ninety-minute performance.

Twain trekked around the American West and onward through send to the remote lands of Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, India, Ceylon, and South Africa. He rode an elephant two times and visited the Taj Mahal. He observed Zulus dancing and helped kind diamonds on the Kimberley mines. (He didn't slip away with a shiny souvenir.) He performed shuffleboard on cruise ships and battled captains for definitely the right to smoke in peace. He complained that his spouse and daughter made him shave and alter his blouse each day.

The nice American author fought off various health problems and shuttle nuisances to circle the globe and earn an incredible payday and a tidal wave of applause. observe of his luck, despite the fact that, traveled slowly adequate that one American newspaper stated that he had died penniless in London. That’s while he famously quipped: “The document of my dying was once an exaggeration.”

Throughout his quest, Twain used to be aided via cutthroat normal Oil mogul H.H. Rogers, with whom he had struck a deep friendship, and he used to be hindered by means of his personal legal professional (and destiny secretary of nation) Bainbridge Colby, whom he deemed “head fool of this century.”

In Chasing the final Laugh, writer Richard Zacks, drawing broadly on unpublished fabric in notebooks and letters from Berkeley’s ongoing Mark Twain venture, chronicles a poignant bankruptcy within the author’s life—one that begun in foolishness and undesirable offerings yet culminated in humor, hard-won knowledge, and supreme triumph.

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This new dimension will add variety to your writing. The same principles apply, but your humor takes on a slightly different character. When you do a lot of writing, those nuances are important to give your humor variety and depth. You'll learn from this workout, too, that by approaching your topic from a different direction you expand the topic. You open up new ideas and should produce more material. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES Here are a few items I listed as not consistent with 49 cars driven as a unit, and some of the jokes that resulted: a getaway car belonging to the auto club finding a parking space being inconspicuous gassing up "It's the first time I ever felt sorry for Gorbachev.

60 COMEDY WRITING WORKBOOK = WORKOUT 6A = "But It Could Also Mean" This workout is practice in searching out the hidden meanings in almost any sentence. HERE'S WHAT YOU DO FOR THIS WORKOUT 1. Collect at least 20 sentences, declarative or interrogative, and jot them down. The sentences may come from any book, magazine, or newspaper, or they can simply be sentences that you construct. However, I would gather them randomly, without any thought as to whether or not they will lead easily to alternate meanings.

You're like an artist. The more colors on your palette, the more shading, detail, and depth you can add to your painting. The following workouts will help you practise finding the relationships that will aid in your comedy writing. 44 COMEDY WRITING WORKBOOK = WORKOUT 4A = "That Goes With This" This workout will be practice in searching out similar ideas to relate to your basic premise. Below are the two basic ideas that you will be working on: 1. Mikhail Gorbachev visiting New York City in December of 1988.

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