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"Although it carries on the picaresque story of the characters from Tom Sawyer, the sequel is a more accomplished and a more serious work of art as well as a keener realistic portrayal of regional character and frontier experience on the Mississippi." (The Concise Oxford Companion to American Literature)
"Throughout the course of this humorous but enigmatic American classic, Killavey's dispassionate narration works surprisingly well. Killavey reads with steady objectivity. His voice changes only for different characters, yet infuses significance into every sentence." (Booklist)
"chuckle, think and feel"
I have read “Huck Finn” over ten times, and it always wins my heart. I am amazed that ole’ Samuel Clemens can still make me chuckle, think and feel... all at the same time.
Ostensibly, “Huck” an adventure book: Simple but kind Huck Finn takes flees his drunk father. Together with Jim, a noble hearted run away slave, Huck runs down the Mississippi in the mid 1800’s, collecting experiences. Yet, below the surface, “Huck Finn” is much, much more.
One a deep level, the novel is a morality play about individual responsibility versus societal norms. (But don’t worry … The book itself is so entertaining, you will never guess!) Society has “meanness” in it: Slavery, con men like the King and the Duke, clan rivalries killing off entire families. Yet, the true regard that Huck feels for Jim cuts through this meanness. The real conflict is how simpleton Huck, partially in the grip of the masses, judges himself for helping Jim escape. This aid is “evil” in society’s eyes. By choosing the “evil” of his love for Jim, Huck becomes the most moral character in the book.
At first I thought the narrator sounded too northern and dry. But, as the story progressed, I grew to like the crispness of his style. Though he does a pretty sub-average job of rendering some dialects (especially deep southern and Jim’s), at least he does not over-do it. Being a northerner myself, the narrator’s rendering comes close to the way the dialog sounded in my mind as I read “Huck” first in junior high. I rated the entire package as a 5, though I could easily have shaven off half a star for the dialect handling. But the book is so excellent, and the narrator so understated, the package is well worth the cost.
The reader is great and the story is timeless. Too bad I was introduced to this in elementary school when I was too young to appreciate it. Now decades later-its great
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