rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oh, the shame! How did I reach the ripe old age of 34 without having ever read Huck Finn??? I read Tom Sawyer back in elementary school, but never got around to reading Huck Finn. Well, now I am making up for lost time.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn picks up the story of Huck Finn where Tom Sawyer left off. Huck is now six thousand dollars richer and is living in town under the guardianship of a widow. He’s going to school and learning proper manners…until his father shows up and pulls Huck back into a life of wildness and uncertainty. The book follows Huck as he embarks on an adventure on the Mississippi river, stopping in several towns and interacting with a variety of people.
The novel paints the picture of life in the American rural south in the 1800’s. It’s a time of slavery and Huck bucks society’s idea of race relations by befriending a runaway slave, Jim. Jim & Huck venture along the Mississippi together, both running away from their pasts.
Having read it now as an adult, I am almost glad that I didn’t read it in junior high since the book deals with some serious topics, mostly the dark side of society and race relations in America. The book features several characters who repeatedly try to swindle other characters out of money and possessions. Through his characters, Mark Twain makes us take a look at the way we live our own lives and how we deal with those around us. Plus, he does all of this with a narrative voice filled with Southern local flavor.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was named one of the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. It will count toward the 1% Well Read challenge that I have been participating in for the past few months. I am truly glad that I finally got around to reading Huck Finn as it is an important work of American fiction (plus now I don’t feel like such a poorly read loser 😉 )