Sacramento Union [unsigned]
1872: 18 May

Mark Twain is one of those geniuses that occasionally appear to make books that will sell, and, per consequence, make money, while others who write to benefit the world obtain but a poor reward for their labors. There is a good deal of stuff in this book, and a great deal too that it amusing. Had it been half its size, and the contents shifted, the book would have answered every purpose except, perhaps, to sell. In these days, when linen and cotton rags are so dear and the demands of the American press are so pressing that we have to import paper material from Europe, it is a waste and a shame to throw so much trash in the shape of swollen volumes upon the market. Sam Clemens tells good stories, but he is under high pressure as a book-making celebrity, and necessarily shoves off some yarns that under other circumstances might not find a place in his pages, and with less reputation as a humorist would not be excused by the reading public. There is always enough of fun in Clemens to make his books salable, and some stories are good enough to palliate the appearance of half a dozen others not as good.

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