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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn » User review

A Timeless Classic

  • Nov 16, 2010
Rating:
+5

Not only is The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a brilliant and funny story of an adolescent boy, it is the story of an adolescent nation: the United States circa 1885. It raises broad, moral questions whose answers still elude us today, as it addresses the question of slavery in terms that are deeply personal, moral, political, social and economic.

Through Huck and the fugitive slave Jim, Twain looks at important issues of marginality, not just for people of color, but for people of all sorts who live outside of social norms, either by accident of race and class, by virtue of fate, or by a choice they have made. Some are outlaws and con men. Others are honest souls whose luck just ran out. Still others are merely independent-minded people who refuse to bend to stereotypes of race, class and gender. All share circumstances that put them outside of the societal norm and onto the road less traveled.

The first great novel that was written in the vernacular, this novel has been criticized for its use of slang and pejoratives, especially for its liberal use of "the n word." For me, it's important to remember that Twain was reflecting the language of the times and of the social class that Huck came from, as it is he who narrates the story. While I understand the objections, in the end, for me, they do not hold up if the choice is between reading or not reading this great American classic.

I adored this book at age 7 and again at age 19 when I read it in college. And I continue to adore it as an adult, for each time I read Huck Finn something different and important is revealed to me. I can't recommend this book highly enough and think that there is no better time to read it than on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of its publication.

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November 16, 2010
I've read Tom Sawyer but I haven't read this one yet (believe it or not). I'll look forward to it even more now. Nice review.
 
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More The Adventures of Huckleberry ... reviews
Quick Tip by . April 12, 2011
One of Mark Twain's greatest books and an extremely enjoyable read. It is a very humorous and great adventure story.
review by . June 17, 2010
I return to this novel again and again. It’s a coming-of-age story, an adventure story, a comedy, a drama, a biting social commentary, and just a great read. The fact that it can be read and argued about more than a century after its publication proves its worth. Mark Twain creates an iconic character in Huck, an unlikely and often unwilling hero, whose journey takes him not only down the Mississippi River but also toward a growing awareness of the world. Much of the controversy over the …
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
Another book everyone should read. It teaches a lesson about family, hard work. and friendship.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Excellent adventure story for any age. Huck Finn is quite the character. Lots of humor.
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
Of course, Twain (Clemens) is the quintessential American author. Whereas many who were born in America but still wrote from an English perspective, he developed an American style that was separate from any other influence.
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
such a classic! I enjoyed reading it
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
one of the great American Authors!
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
A great story of friendship and adventure. Brings back memories of a younger me.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
could never get into this as much as it is hailed such a classic.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Always a classic
About the reviewer
Bonnie McEwan ()
Ranked #130
I own a communications consultancy in NYC called MAKE WAVES, which serves nonprofit organizations and foundations. I also hold a Visiting Lecturer position at Milano: The New School for Management & … more
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Wiki

Like its popular predecessor, this critical edition is designed for "teaching the conflicts" surrounding Mark Twain’s classic novel. It reprints the 1885 text of the first American edition (with a portfolio of illustrations) along with critical essays representing major critical and cultural controversies surrounding the work. The novel and essays are supported by distinctive editorial material — including introductions to critical conflict in literary studies, to Twain’s life and work, and to each critical controversy highlighted in this edition — that helps students grapple not only with the novel’s critical issues but also with cultural debates about literature itself. In addition to several new critical essays, the second edition includes an appendix on how to argue about the novel so that students may more effectively enter the critical conversation about its issues.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0312400292
ISBN-13: 978-0312400293
Editor: Gerald Graff;, James Phelan
Author: Mark Twain
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Format: Paperback
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