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Old 04-28-2010, 09:59 AM   #7
neilmarr
neilmarr
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Posts: 7,229
Karma: 6000059
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Monaco-Menton, France
Device: sony
Many thanks for this wee gem, Alex (and for your help earlier with my Mobi file).

This version comes over beautifully on a Sony PRS-505. Just a couple of wee things you might consider ... followed by a piece of trivia:

The War Prayer was written by Twain toward the end of his life -- perhaps in anger -- and he used uncharacteristically long paragraphs.

Your ePub is faithful to the original, but I tend to agree with Beechwanderer above that it makes for dauntingly dense blocks of text. The problem is magnified when the text is zoomed to the two higher levels allowed by the device.

Your layout is classic standard for print, but perhaps it might be worth thinking in this case of using what's common, acceptable and successful layout for screen reading: A line break between pars and no indent for the first word of new paragraphs. It might help.

My only other suggestion would be that you use 'The End' at the conclusion. This is a short tale with an ironic closing line which might leave some readers feeling there's missing text without 'The End' to make it doubly obvious that the read is complete.

So to the trivia: I'm a pipe-smoker and minor collector, so I was particularly taken by your cover portrait of Twain with a corn-cob tobacco pipe. Actually, Twain's favourite pipe was a full-bent Peterson's military-mount briar made in Dublin Ireland, which he smoked so often it was full of holes and burned away at the rim (I have a picture of it if anyone's interested -- a disreputable old smoking machine to say the least).

In the late 19th Century, the most expensive and intricate pipes were carved in Austria by out-of-work cathedral sculptors from blocks of meerschaum (a chalk-like mineral mined exclusively in a small region of Turkey). Some snooty chum pointed this out to Twain one day as he was puffing happily on a battered corn-cob that must have cost all of two cents. Twain told him: "I will have you know, Sir, that this is a Missouri Meerschaum."

The name caught on and the Missouri Meerschaum Company was born and became -- as it still is today -- the biggest manufacturer or corn-cob pipes in the world. I have several in my wee collection ... and they're great.

Other famous Missouri Meerschaum smokers (apart from me an' Mark T) were General Douglas MacArthur and Popeye the Sailorman, though for reasons of political correctness, Popeye's corn-cob has actually been edited out of some old cartoons and isn't in evidence in newer animations.

Now, how's that for an information overload?

Thanks again, Alex. Here's Karma to ya. Best wishes. Neil

Last edited by neilmarr; 04-28-2010 at 10:10 AM. Reason: To add vital trivia.
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