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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Chartwell Classics) Hardcover – September 21, 2021
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About the Author
Mark Twain (1835–1910) grew up in Hannibal Missouri. He began his career as a journeyman printer and journalist. His youthful experiences along the Mississippi inspired some of his most famous works—and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In addition to his well-known works of fiction, he was also a prolific travel writer. Among his best-known works is Life on the Mississippi. He was also a star of the lecture circuit.
- Publisher : Chartwell Books (September 21, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0785839909
- ISBN-13 : 978-0785839903
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 1.74 pounds
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,371,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Jim is the story's most noble of character. Jim is a runaway slave. Jim is black. And, almost always, Jim is introduced by the N-word. A word that is so pejorative today, was surely not intended to be offensive when it was used to introduce kind, loyal, powerful and patient Jim. Today that N-word is only used as a disgusting insult. Hence schools are banning the reading of the book. In my view Mark Twain would understand and would support deleting the word completely or, perhaps, substituting something less hurtful. But, without the author's blessing, that would be considered destructive of literary authenticity.I will leave it to society to determine what should be done. I am glad I could just re-read the book after many years solely for my enjoyment, just as the author intended.
As I said, I read about Huck and Tom, long before I ever heard of the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, or any of the Fifties numerous Child's adventures. My first and second grade teachers have me good grades, besides notes on every report card, saying things like. " Herman doesn't like to participate in class, and seems to daydream a lot. Well, Duh, I was reading at a sixth-grade level before I ever heard of stupid " Dick and Jane", and their babyish buddy's.
Readers of this review are going to ask: "who is HE to review perhaps the greatest work of fiction in American literature?" I have a literary education and am both a reader and a writer. That helps. I first read 'Huckleberry Finn' as a youth and I marveled at the unfamiliar world of the Mississippi River valley and the unfamiliar time in the history of our country. I read the work purely for its adventure. There is plenty of that. Even today, when readers are more sensitive to the struggle for Civil Rights for all Americans...and when regional dialects are possibly of little interest, the book holds up well as an adventure and as a coming of age story. Most teens will sympathize with Huck's desire for freedom from adult supervision. This has its parallel in Jim's desire for freedom from slavery as an adult. Mark Twain is also spinning a 'yarn' about a young nation and about a frontier full of people who are very resistant to 'gentrification' along 'Eastern' or European lines of civilization and manners.
The professional literary critics who have applied their talents to this book feel that Twain not only spun a yarn but that he spun the book out with a padded and unsatisfying third quarter where Tom Sawyer is brought back into the story to little good purpose. Ever mindful of his commercial market, Twain tried everything he knew to attract readers. He was famed as a humorist but he didn't hesitate to descend into burlesque where he thought that would boost sales. American authors also relied on salesmen to solicit subscriptions to works, releasing sections of the book in sequence over time at attractive prices. Longer works meant a higher overall price for a complete work. It appears that Commerce trumped Art in the final parts of 'Huckleberry Finn.'
Readers with an advanced interest in American literature will likely relish the careful report of local color championed by Twain and Ambrose Bierce (et al.) and 'Huckleberry Finn' is still widely admired for its nuanced treatment of local dialects and usage in the development of American English. Those features are present on the page of both editions but are only explained for the uninitiated in the Norton critical text edition.
Top reviews from other countries
My understanding is that this book was removed from being taught in school on the grounds of racism, which I find utterly bizarre. It is true that throughout the book slaves are referred to using the n***** word, which is obvious distasteful. But the book is a reflection of its time and this word is primarily used by white people to illustrate their bigotry and ignorance. Throughout the book slaves are portrayed as altruistic, considerate, warm-hearted and family orientated, whilst all the fraudsters and violent drunks, including Huck's father, are white.
That aside, this is a very funny book in which Huck gets into all kinds of scrapes along with Jim, a slave he is trying to free.
Personally I found Tom Sawyer the most engaging character despite his late appearance. Indeed, Tom and Huck as a double act come across as a childish precursor for the likes of Morecambe and Wise with Tom and as the daft Eric and Huck as the straighter Ernie.
I wonderfully entertaining and occasionally thought provoking read.