The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Paperback – 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
After discussing a book about President Grant and Mark Twain with a friend I decided that I should read this book and I soon found out just how much of an adventure I had been missing. Twain's well deserved reputation as a storyteller is on clear display in this book from cover to cover. The reader is drawn into the lives of the characters to the point of being really disturbed when something bad happens to them. Sure, they steal and they lie but you will love them in spite of everything.
The story basically follows the adventures of young Huckleberry Finn and a runaway slave named Jim. Finn is trying to escape has father and the efforts of the townspeople to civilize him while Jim is trying to escape slavery. More to the point, Jim is trying to escape being sold down the river, which was always a worry for slaves in the upper south.
There is a strong moral point to this book as Huck slowly learns to love Jim as a friend and not think of his skin color. Early on Huck is worried about helping a runaway slave and isn't sure what to do. Having been raised in Missouri, Huck has been taught that helping a slave run away is one of the worst sins imaginable and that African-Americans are pretty much worthless except as slaves.Read more ›
But what is it about Huckleberry Finn that makes it stand out? Most young people reading it will declare that they thought Tom Sawyer was better, and for them, they would be right. It is a difficult novel to teach. The dialect is actually difficult for some inexperienced readers. The satire and ironies are often lost on some readers, and some minorities are offended by what they think is its racist tone. That, however, is an historical irony if ever there was one. Twain's intent was to belittle and make fun of the racist attitudes of most Americans. The very fact that Jim and Huck were able to achieve a fast friendship and to negotiate together the epic journey down the Mississippi with Jim often showing superior wisdom and a right smart common sense did not sit well with some prejudicial mind sets. Today what offends is the language, in particular the use of the "n" word.
But what makes Huckleberry Finn a great novel is first and foremost the indelible character of the often self-effacing Huck Finn himself and his compelling, lyrical, and ever so beautifully observed narrative. There is only one other novel in American literature that can be considered in the same league as far as first person narratives go, and that is Nabokov's Lolita.Read more ›
Twain wrote humour and it must be remembered that this book was written after the American Civil War, where things had changed, thus the setting for this is in the past, and this is used as a rather scathing satirical attack on slavery, and indeed on all prejudices. As Huck runs away so at the same time does Jim, a slave, and coming together by chance so they continue on an adventure on the river. With many scrapes and meeting two con-men there is a lot of comedy here, especially when they meet up with Tom Sawyer.
Narrated by Huck and with a lot of the language in the vernacular this makes for some very colourful reading, which every time you read this gives you more to think about. There have been over the decades many discussions about this book and it has always to varying degrees been thought of as controversial. The characters are to a certain extent stereotypes, but as you read this you will begin to understand why, as this is about challenging people’s preconceptions at the time. Jim has many superstitions, but so do many of the other characters here, whatever colour they are.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book arrived really quickly but did have writing in it from someone's notes ell in all fine for a quick readPublished 1 month ago by katrina johnson
Interesting glimpse inside black slave's mind. A good lot of humour and good story theme.Published 1 month ago by King David II
Well, it's a classic! Has me rolling on the floor every thing me!Published 2 months ago by Bearus maximus