This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Published by Charles L. Webster And Company on December 10, 1884
Genres: Classic, Humor & Satire, Literature & Fiction
Format: Kindle, Print
Buy on Amazon
“You feel mighty free and easy comfortable on a raft.”
The sequel to ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ remains one of the greatest creations in American fiction. 'Huckleberry Finn' is a picaresque tale, told in Huck’s own voice, of his adventures on a raft on the Mississippi River. It begins with Huck’s escape from his drunken, brutal father to the river, where he meets up with Jim, a runaway slave. The story of their journey downstream, with occasional forays into the society along the banks, is an American classic that captures the smells, rhythms, and sounds, the variety of dialects and the human activity of life on the great river.
The novel is also a penetrating social commentary that reveals corruption and moral decay through Huck and Jim’s encounters with traveling actors and con men, lynch mobs, thieves and southern gentility. Through Jim, and through his own observations and experiences, Huck learns about the dignity and worth of human life.
Welcome to another installment of the United States of Books! See full details here. Today we will visit Missouri with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Entertainment Weekly say’s “Twain’s masterpiece about Missouri’s most iconic literary contribution, Huck Finn, will resonate for as long as America’s rivers flow.”
I’m not sure how I never read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn before now. I read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in high school and upon looking on my shelves I discovered I already owned both of them. Finn takes place soon after the events of Sawyer, with both boys wealthy and Finn living with the Widow Davis as his alcoholic father has not been seen in a year. Stifling under the rules, Finn seeks adventure. He rejoices when he is able to sneak past Jim, a slave who keeps watch over the house, to join his friends as they play robbers at night. When his Pap finds out about his windfall, he returns to town seeking the money. He kidnaps Huck and locks him in an isolated cabin. Huck the stages his own death to escape and sets off down the river. He happens upon Jim, who is also running after hearing about plans that he is to be sold. A series of madcap adventures follow, including grifters pretending to be royalty, cross-dressing, family feuds and an elaborate plan to save Jim.
This was a hard book to rate as it is not on the same level as current books. The six distinct dialects used made it not flow as modern literature does, but added a unique aspect to each word said. The writing was humorous and full of heart. Yes, at times, the words used do not match what we consider proper, but for the time it is accurate. The plot was all over the place, but always made its way back to Huck at the center. The pacing was quick and the story never lagged.
A true classic in terms of setting, language and speech patterns, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is a unique look at a not so shiny time in our country’s past. That being said, the correlation between Huck running from what he considered slavery, and an actual slave running with him for real freedom was powerful. Seen from a child’s eyes, what was normal became unthinkable, as Huck learned to count on Jim. Mark Twain crafted a nuanced picture of such a specific time frame, I think The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will never not be read by those seeking to understand the past.
Favorite lines – It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars, and we didn’t ever feel like talking loud, and it warn’t often that we laughed—only a little kind of a low chuckle. We had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all—that night, nor the next, nor the next.
Biggest cliché – “Running away will be super easy and fun.”
Have you read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 Diverse Books Reading Challenge
- Mount TBR Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge