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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim [Paperback]

Mark Twain , W. Bill Czolgosz

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Book Description

10 July 2009
Free at last! Free at last! This ain't your grandfather's Huckleberry Finn. It's nineteenth century America and a mutant strain of tuberculosis is bringing its victims back from the dead. Sometimes they come back docile, and other times vicious. The vicious ones are sent back to Hell, but the docile ones are put to work as servants and laborers. With so many zombies on the market, the slave trade is nonexistant. The black man is at liberty, and human bondage is no more. Young Huckleberry Finn has grown up in a world that shuns the N-word, with its scornful eye set on a new class of shambling, putrid sub-humans: The Baggers. When his abusive father comes back into his life, Huck flees down the river with Bagger Jim, seeking a life of perfect freedom. When the pox mutates once again, causing even the tamest of baggers to become bloodthirsty monsters, the boy Finn is forced to question his relationship with his dearest, deadest friend. In this revised take on history and classic literature, the modern age is ending before it ever begins. Huckleberry Finn will inherit a world of horror and death, and he knows the mighty Mississippi might be the only way out...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And 1 becomes 2, 2 becomes 4, 4 becomes 8... 25 Sep 2009
By Buddy Guy - Published on Amazon.com
This book marks a new genre of zombie fiction that began with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And I for one welcome it! Take into account the following fact. Each one of these great works of American literature contains the complete text of the original work, with zombie (and sometimes ninja) mayhem worked in with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel. One might argue that this is a great way to introduce a new generation to some great classic authors. Sure, zombies are needed to lure them in, but I like to think that it is the story that keeps them coming back for more.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not an improvement but great fun! 8 Nov 2009
By Make Mondays Illegal - Published on Amazon.com
I always felt the original was lacking in the undead, and now finally somebody has put the matter right. Of course it's a major cheek to take a classic piece of literature and unleash a plague of zombies, but it's paid off here.

I enjoyed this a lot, and if you have an eye for cheeky humour, it should be for you.

Sherlock Holmes and the Underpants Of Death
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Erase your expectations about links to the original 17 Jan 2010
By Carl Rosin - Published on Amazon.com
The zombie genre is wearing a little thin. I like the idea of zombification better for Austen's social satires than for Twain's -- this book sets up the replacement of African-American slaves with undead "baggers" (Czolgosz avoids the "n-word" entirely), which works only as parody and lacks any thematic heft. It is best on its own, in fact, after Czolgosz's story veers far away from the original plot into flat-out zombie madness.

As a potential introduction to the classic? Jury's still out for me. Partially burying the racial conflict (pun mostly unintended), Czolgosz can't avoid the idea of freedom, and he's not sure what to do with it. I liked this better when I tried to divorce it entirely from Twain's book. For someone who hasn't read the original, this might work as dopey fun and farce, although just about 100% of the fun is Twain's.

I love some mashups -- The Grey Album, the Kanye West/Seven Dwarves viral video, etc. -- but this one doesn't do it for me. If you've read the original and felt even a little of its satirical force, this is a lightweight thought-experiment. I suppose there's nothing wrong with that, though!
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite make it more interesting, better, or different enough 10 May 2013
By Joseph M. Reninger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
In the wake of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (hereafter PPZ), the market has been flooded with lots of classic literature either rewritten or "enhanced" by adding horror tropes like vampires, werewolves, or zombies. W. Bill Czolgosz (previous works: Anna Karnivora) has taken on Mark Twain's classic tale of adventure and friendship, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and added in a zombie apocalypse.

The book follows the PPZ format of inserting new text into the classic, though some passages are cut out since the story diverges several times. The added text appears mostly seamless, matching the highly accented style of Huckleberry's narrative. Clearly, the zombie references are added but don't seem anachronistic (except when Huckleberry uses "pan'emic" to describe the outbreak).

In this zombie outbreak, some zombies are "high-functioning," able to talk and do many of the tasks they used to do when alive. Others are vicious carnivores. The dead are put in a bag awaiting their return as a zombie. If they struggle violently to get out, they're assumed to be the later type and are killed (again) on the spot. The others are sold into slavery. Some people come back before they can be "bagged" so there are roaming zombies of both types. Another result of the zombie outbreak is the African American slaves are set free. Docile zombies become the slaves for this society. Czolgosz switchs all the "n-words" references to "bagger," since the docile zombies are called "half-baggers" and the vicious killers are "baggers." It's a nice solution for sensitive modern readers, though it does come at the cost of some zombie gore, which may be unpleasant for sensitive modern readers.

On the other hand, the zombie mythology doesn't add a lot to the story. The interesting thing about PPZ is the whole new layer of action that provides vivid contrast to the interior (both inside people's heads and inside their parlors) conflicts. In this book, slaves switch from Africans to zombies but it doesn't matter since Jim, the main slave is both African-descent and a zombie. The twists don't have enough spin; the humor doesn't have another or a different level. The work winds up as an interesting exercise rather than exciting reading. It's better to read the original, warts and all.

Sample Quote (the book needed more stuff like this to make it more interesting):

I don' know how things was when it was negros people were trading. That woulda been diff'rent, I think. You can look at a negro and know he's a man, so why shouldn't he go free? But a bagger just ain't a man no more. He is property. An' if he's not property he's soon gonna be. It's the natural order of things, seemed to me. [p. 139, not in the original Twain text]
1 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twain/Clemens is certainly a great American author 4 Oct 2009
By Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
But Jane Austen and H. G. Wells - the other two recent Zombified authors- are a great and a not bad British author (Wells is entertaining, and that is no complaint - I have read all or most of his fiction but Austen is classic). I am looking forward to the Twain and hope to see a (very appropriate) Faulkner entry soon as the feel of heat and rot touches much of his writing.
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