Series: Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, #2
Page Count: 327
Genre: Classics, Fiction, Literature, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Adventure
Read Count: Twice
Duration: June 20th-23rd, 2015.
Rated? Four Stars
Of all the contenders for the title of The Great American Novel, none has a better claim than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Intended at first as a simple story of a boy’s adventures in the Mississippi Valley – a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – the book grew and matured under Twain’s hand into a work of immeasurable richness and complexity. More than a century after its publication, the critical debate over the symbolic significance of Huck’s and Jim’s voyage is still fresh, and it remains a major work that can be enjoyed at many levels: as an incomparable adventure story and as a classic of American humor.
A fun story with a series of colorful characters and a brutally honest narrative.
The last time I read this book was in high school, sophomore year, as part of the English curriculum. I didn’t remember not liking it so I thought, shoot, I’ll read it again. And what fun it is! I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (though I know enough about it; Mark Twain is so ingrained in our culture), though I certainly will.
Twain, through Huck, paints the most blatantly honest view of people, from his abusive, greedy Pap to the sad, deceased Emmeline Grangerford. He’s a sweet boy, and it’s such fun to go down the Mississippi on his raft with himself and Jim.
Like anything of this era, it’s incredibly important to remember that Huck Finn is a product of his times and while the view of the world has changed, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a notorious banned book, we should not hide literature away in a cupboard because of the world which produced it. I have similar feelings to this novel as I do Gone With the Wind, because of its racist sentiments, but one absolutely cannot let this ruin the book, as when it was written, this would have been even controversially abolitionist. Just food for thought.
To sum up, I just want to add that Tom and Jim’s discourse about the necessities of prisonerhood and the need to keep a pet rattlesnake and so forth had me all but laughing out loud in the middle of my quiet office as I listened to the audiobook. That, and Elijah Wood does a recording through Audible that is absolutely sublime.