ADVANCE COMMENTS

“Chasing the Last Laugh is an intimate and fascinating account of what was basically the world’s weirdest book tour, starring the funniest writer America has ever produced. Mark Twain’s own notes and letters enrich every chapter, illuminating not only his cranky genius but the private fears and turmoil that compelled him to pack up his family and hit the road.”
Carl Hiaasen, bestselling author of Bad Monkey and Strip Tease 

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“Chasing the Last Laugh is something of a miracle. This book will be a joy and revelation for Twain fans. There is a lot new here. Twain’s trip around the world—in which he speaks truth, through humor, everywhere—is a wonderful lens through which to see the dawn of America, the collapse of the British Empire, the early stirrings of colonial discontent in India. A new world is just being born and we’re along for the ride as the sharpest observer watches and narrates it all. It is, also, a really good business book.”
Adam Davidson, Co-Host of NPR’s Planet Money

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“A fresh and absorbing account (involving carbuncles, platypus jokes, and a surprising bottom line) of an aging Mark Twain's outlandish passage from ruin to glory.”
— Roy Blount Jr., author of Save Room for Pie, guest on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me"

 --- “If you read only one book on Mark Twain, I would recommend Chasing the Last Laugh. There is everything you could want here: Twain’s infinite humor and forbearance, the glistening world of the British Empire at its peak, five years on the road with possibly the funniest and wisest American of his time. Richard Zacks manages this vast subject with enviable skill. It’s a great read, entertaining as well as deeply moving, and I will be circling back to its pages soon.”
— Jay Parini, author of Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal and The Last Station

“Chasing the Last Laugh is a funny and poignant account of Mark Twain’s late, epic struggle against debt and death. Richard Zacks has a brilliant eye for detail and the narrative gifts needed to bring out all that is strange, zany, and ultimately inspiring in this remarkable story of money, honor, and literary genius.”
Stephen Greenblatt, Pulitzer Prize-winning author The Swerve: How the World Became Modern and Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare