The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
There are very few American young people who were able to finish high school and college without reading this novel. My 11th grader is scheduled to start this in a week or two. Required reading or not, it is a good book. It's worth reading because you want to instead of just have to. I picked it up to check a passage for a project I had going. Next thing I knew, I was hooked again.
Huck Finn tells his own story from the time he was rich and involuntarily left Hannibal, Missouri, until he is able to return. He is fourteen, torn between what he is taught by the upright townspeople that he should do and what he wants to do. When his abusive father returns, he just wants to get away.
He escapes on a raft going down the Mississippi river with a runaway slave, Jim. Huck knows Jim and knew Jim's probable fate, so agreed to help Jim get to Ohio. They meet a variety of people on their way down the river that were typical of the people Clemens knew as a child.
Twain (Clemens) uses Huck's observations to comment on all life styles. He is able to poke fun at the religious folks, show the stupidity of feuds, ridicule lawyers, show the true colors of con men, pick on doctors, and generally mock almost everyone, including fourteen-year-old boys. Huck does not normally comment on the foolishness of others. Instead, he reports their activities which then show them in their true lights.
There were times I had to put the book down for the break, but was soon back in it. For colorful, biting Americana, this is a good portrayal.
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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