Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, The

Mark Twain
HarperCollins is proud to present a range of best-loved, essential classics.'We said there warn't no home like a raft, after all. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't. You feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.'Huck Finn escapes from his alcoholic father by faking his own death and so begins his journey through the Deep South, seeking independence and freedom. On his travels, Huck meets an escaped slave, Jim, who is a wanted man, and together they journey down the Mississippi River. Raising the timeless and universal l issues of prejudice, bravery and hope, the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was and still is considered the great American novel.


Reviewed: 2018-11-10
It seems silly to write a short review of a classic. I will confine myself to a few comments:
--One of the reasons I hadn't read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn until now is that I've never been very fond of 'dialect' in writing. I'm still not, but Twain does it better than any other example I'm familiar with. The problem is that while writing (and spelling) 'the way people actually talk' is ostensibly realistic, unless you are already familiar with the dialect in question, you have to decode it. But this act of decoding is the very opposite of the realistic intent of writing in dialect in the first place. The reader is brought by the writer into a community of characters not as a hypothetical fellow member of that community, but as a outsider-- an anthropologist, rather than a villager. The 'realism' of dialect writing is thus an 'artificial realism', which performatively contradicts itself.
Twain's ear for the dialects here is outstanding, but it's still a limiting form. I liked it despite this, though.
--The line "'He had a dream,' I says, 'and it shot him.'"(Ch 41) is absolutely going to be my new motto. I literally laughed out loud when I read this, which I almost never do--certainly not when reading a classic. The layers the build up and surround this joke are incredibly intricate and well done. I could go on in more detail, but I won't. Someone probably already wrote a dissertation or two on it, anyway. I'm amazed it's not quoted more often, in any case.
--Gotta run, again. Will there ever be time to write a full review? I doub
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