Various Artists

Mark Twain: Words & Music

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Mark Twain's Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal has released a celebration of Twain's life and work that, if a bit muted and careful, is a pleasing journey through the world of Twain, author of the greatest novel in the American literary canon, Huckleberry Finn, a novel whose themes of class, race, and freedom continue to be central concerns of 21st century America. Narrated by Garrison Keillor, with Clint Eastwood providing the voice of Twain and Jimmy Buffett giving voice to Huck Finn, and music contributions from country and bluegrass musicians Emmylou Harris, Doyle Lawson, Rhonda Vincent, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, and lone pop participant Sheryl Crow, it all adds up to a scrubbed-up and shiny version of Twain's life and thoughts, many of which still sound wise and astute in a contemporary America that Twain undoubtedly would have recognized from his own.

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