Publication Date: 1884
Status: Sequel to Tom Sawyer but can be read as a standalone
Page Count: 307
Rating: 3/5 but how does one even rate a classic on a scale of one to five??
This was the first novel that I read for my American Literature class this semester. I had never read this, or anything by Mark Twain before. I bought myself the Penguin Deluxe Classic Edition because I want to start a little collection of them, and it is a very beautiful book (and it always helps if required reading looks pretty)
As mentioned above, this is technically a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but it can be read as a standalone. It summarizes the events of the first novel for you in the beginning, and it really is a completely separate story. This book tells the story of Huck Finn's adventures while traveling on the Mississippi River with a runaway slave named Jim.
I liked a lot of things about this book, and I didn't like a lot of things about this book. I liked that the book was narrated by Huck himself, as that gave a really interesting layer of depth and meaning to the themes in the book and it added some humor to the story, since Huck is a young boy of about twelve years old.Huck doesn't use Standard English spelling all the time, and he mixes his words up, but he is genuine, thoughtful, and quick on his feet. This book made me laugh a few times, and has some very powerful themes about loyalty, equality, and freedom.
It was a bit of a slow read though, for a few reasons. Huck Finn is well known for its very close to true use of Southern dialects, and that can make the reading go slow if you are not used to the dialects. You do get into a groove with Huck's manor of speaking because he is the narrator, but it can be difficult to understand some of the other characters dialogue in the novel. I also felt that this book dragged on in the middle. The middle of the book didn't really seem to contribute to the over-all plot very much and was a little bit boring, which also made the book a slower read, and then it picked up again until the end where there was five or six chapters that just drug out the ending of the novel.
Overall, I respect this classic's place in history, and it is a great piece that sparks debate over censoring and banning books. I enjoyed this read more than I thought I would, but I wouldn't say it was one of my favorites or anything.
If you have read this, let me know what you thought about it? Have you read Tom Sawyer?