The Complete Short Stories
Introduction by Adam Gopnik
Everyman's Library: 716 pp., $28
Mark Twain was on the lecture circuit for over three decades. He would take the stage feigning bemusement at discovering his audience and stand silently smoking one of the 30 cigars he would enjoy that day. He was a solitary performer working in dusty, drafty, dimly lit halls, sans audio equipment, Twain knew every trick to keep his audiences engaged. His delivery, emotion, intelligence and humor would bring crowds to their feet. The power was in his voice and that doesn't imply high volume, but his expressed genius.
"The Complete Short Stories of Mark...