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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 30 Jan 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (30 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141439645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141439648
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

A seminal work of American literature that still commands deep praise and elicits controversy, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is essential to the understanding of the American soul. The recent discovery of the first half of Twain's manuscript, long thought to be lost, made front-page news. And this unprecedented edition, which contains for the first time omitted episodes and other variations present in the first half of the handwritten manuscript, as well as facsimile reproductions of thirty manuscript pages, is indispensable to a fuller understanding of the novel. The changes, deletions and additions made in the first half of the manuscript indicate that Mark Twain frequently checked his impulse to write an even darker, more confrontational book than the one he finally published. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn...There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since" (Ernest Hemingway)

"The quintessential American novel" (Guardian)

"It is Huck who gives the book style. The River gives the book its form. But for the River, the book might be only a sequence of adventures with a happy ending. A river, a very big and powerful river, is the only natural force that can wholly determine the course of human peregrination.... Thus the River makes the book a great book... Mark Twain is a native, and the River God is his God" (T.S. Eliot)

"The invention of this language, with all its implications, gave a new dimension to our literature. It is a language capable of poetry" (Robert Penn Warren)

"Running all through the book is the sharpest satire on the ante-bellum estimate of the slave" (San Francisco Chronicle) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Back during my school days this was still not a book that was considered to be politically incorrect and so I was supposed to read it. As was far to often the case, I got by on little more than watching the movie version and never bothered to read this masterpiece. A few months ago I picked up a copy to put in my library for my grandson to use when he got old enough to go to school. Unfortunately this has been classified as a children's book and so I had little intention of reading it when I bought it.
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.
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By A Customer on 10 Dec. 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My mum read this to me (aged 8) and my brother (aged 10). We thought it was very funny and all the adventures Huck had were really cool. I liked the part where he said: "Telling the truth is like sitting on a keg of gunpowder and lighting it just to see where you'll go". It made us laugh a lot. We learnt a lot about superstitions, like touching a snakeskin brings bad luck, and a hairy chest makes you rich. But it wasn't funny to find out about how people used to think about slaves.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn is not only Twain's best work, but is considered by some, one of the greatest novels ever written. Episodic in form (as Twain warns, "persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot"), Huckleberry Finn is clearly, along with Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, one of the three most ambitious and artistically successful novels of America's 19th century.
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.
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By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Dec. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ever since I first read this as a child I have come back to it many times over the years, and I personally prefer it to ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’. This is a sequel as such to that novel which I think most people have read, but it doesn’t really matter if you haven’t read it before this. What Samuel Clemens, or rather Mark Twain as he is better known treats us to here is something that is quite complex, although on the surface a child would not understand all this but still enjoy the story, which is probably one of the reasons that this has gained such a reputation and become so well loved.

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.
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