The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Press: Barnes & Noble (July 1993)
Publication Date:1993-7
Author Name:Mark Twain


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. 
From the beginning of the novel, Twain makes it clear that Huck is a boy who comes from the lowest levels of white society.
His father is a drunk and a ruffian who disappears for months on end.
Huck himself is dirty and frequently homeless.
Although the Widow Douglas attempts to “reform” Huck, he resists her attempts and maintains his independent ways.
The community has failed to protect him from his father, and though the Widow finally gives Huck some of the schooling and religious training that he had missed, he has not been indoctrinated with social values in the same way a middle-class boy like Tom Sawyer has been.
Huck’s distance from mainstream society makes him skeptical of the world around him and the ideas it passes on to him.
Huckleberry Finn is the narrator of this story, and he starts off by describing his life to the reader.
After moving in with the Widow Douglas, who buys him new clothes and begins teaching him the Bible.
Huck is uncomfortable with all of these "restrictions" on his life, and soon runs away to avoid being "civilized".
Tom Sawyer goes after Huck and convinces him to return to the Widow's house after promising that they will start a band of robbers together.
Huck agrees to return, but still complains about having to wear new clothes and eat only when the dinner bell rings, something he was not used to while growing up with his Pap.
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River.
Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.

From Publishers Weekly

Considered the first great American novel, part of Finn's charm is the wisdom and sobering social criticism deftly lurking amongst the seemingly innocent observations of the uneducated Huck and the even-less-educated escaped slave, Jim. 
William Dufris's voice, unpretentious and disarming, like the book's main characters, seems the perfect armature on which to hang this literary strategy.
Although he does an expert job with the entire cast, Dufris's delivery of Jim's dialogue is his crowning achievement.
Out of context, Dufris's Jim might sound mocking and racist, due to his expert delivery of Twain's regional vernacular.
Ignorance and intelligence, however, are not mutually exclusive, and taken as a whole, Jim's mind and heart come shining through, allowing the listener to reflect on their own assumptions.
Tantor Media includes the entire text as a digital e-book on the final CD, a wise and thoughtful move in a market with swift and changing currents.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up-All the highwater tales of Huck's journey are in this abridged versionAhis faked death, the Jackson Island sojourn, the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud, the Duke and the King, and his reunion with Tom Sawyer. 
Along the way, we are treated to a sensual feast of the sights, smells, and rhythms of the Mississippi River and the humanistic education of Huck that culminates in his assisting in Jim's escape.
The familiar adventures of Huck and runaway slave Jim's odyssey on a raft floating down the Mississippi have been well documented previously in audio format with noted versions read by Ed Begley, Will Wheaton (both from Dove), and the 1985 Grammy nominated Durkin Hayes production read by Dick Cavett.
This version, beautifully read by actor Mike McShane, is a wonderful contribution to the recorded Twain canon.
McShane handles multiple characterizations well, but excels in Huck's folksy narrative voice and Jim's understated power and dignity.
School and public libraries should not miss this excellent rendition.Barry X.
Miller, Austin Public Library, TX Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

With at least six unabridged recordings of Huckleberry Finn already available, what can another recording possibly offer that is new? The answer is plenty. 
For starters, this is apparently the only set of tapes to include a long passage known as the "raft chapter," which Twain reluctantly removed from the book's first edition.
Restoration of that passage not only repairs the novel's disrupted continuity, it adds a specimen of 19th-century Southwestern humor and some of the most outrageous boasting ever preserved in print.
It's a delight made all the more so by Patrick Fraley's reading, performed in a way never attempted before: in the voice of a teenage Huck, the story's narrator.
Along the way, he gives individual voices to more than 100 characters.
This type of reading can be a gamble; if it fails, the results may be unlistenable.
However, Fraley succeeds brilliantly, adding dimensions not possible in standard readings.
This masterpiece will make an ideal addition to any audio collection and is essential for libraries patronized by young readers.-R.
Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"Although he does an expert job with the entire cast, [narrator William] Dufris's delivery of Jim's dialogue is his crowning achievement.…Jim's mind and heart come shining through." ---Publishers Weekly Audio Review

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. 
It will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction.
The series will be extensive and open-ended and will provide school students with a range of edited texts taken from a wide geographical spread.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Founded in 1906 by J.M. 
Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price.
Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary.
All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art.
But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price.
Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

(back cover)  aI donat care if it is a sinaIave got to set him free.a  Young Huckleberry Finn and his friend Jim, an escaped slave, drift down the Mississippi River on a raft, trying to keep out of trouble. 
Will they be able to stay out of the clutches of the various cheats, thieves, con men, and killers they meet on the way.
And will Jim the slave ever be a free man? Mark Twainas unforgettable tale is vividly and faithfully retold in graphic novel format.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Referring to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. 
Mencken noted that his discovery of this classic American novel was "the most stupendous event of my whole life"; Ernest Hemingway declared that "all modern American literature stems from this one book," while T.
Eliot called Huck "one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet."The novel's preeminence derives from its wonderfully imaginative re-creation of boyhood adventures along the mighty Mississippi River, its inspired characterization, the author's remarkable ear for dialogue, and the book's understated development of serious underlying themes: "natural" man versus "civilized" society, the evils of slavery, the innate value and dignity of human beings, the stultifying effects of convention, and other topics.
But most of all, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful story―filled with high adventure and unforgettable characters (including the great river itself)―that no one who has read it will ever forget.Unabridged Dover (1994) republication of the text of the first American edition, published by Charles L.
Webster and Company, New York, 1885.
New introductory Note.

About the Author

Mark Twain was a humorist, satirist, lecturer and writer. 
Twain is most noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which has since been called the Great American Novel, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
During his lifetime, Twain became a friend to presidents, artists, leading industrialists and European royalty.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From Robert O'Meally's Introduction to The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnAs an African-American who came of age in the 1960s, I first encountered Huckleberry Finn in a fancy children's edition with beautifully printed words and illustrations on thick pages, a volume bought as part of a mail-order series by my ambitious parents. 
While I do not remember ever opening that particular book-as a junior high schooler I was more drawn to readings about science or my baseball heroes-I do recall a sense of pride that I owned it: that a classic work was part of the furniture of my bedroom and of my life.
Later I would discover Twain's ringing definition of a classic as "something everyone wants to have read but nobody wants to read."Like many others of that generation-and then I suppose of every American generation that has followed-I was assigned the book as part of a college course.
Actually I was taught the book twice, once in a course in modern fiction classics (along with Cervantes, Mann, Conrad, Wolfe, Faulkner), then in a course tracing great themes in American literature, including those of democracy and race.
In both these classes, Mark Twain and his Huckleberry Finn appeared as heroic and timeless exemplars of modernism in terms of both literary form and progressive political thought.
Here was an American novel told not from the standpoint or in the language of Europe but from the position of the poor but daring and brilliant river-rat Huck, whose tale was spun in lingo we could tell was plain Americanese-why, anybody could tell it, as the boy himself might say.His was a story of eager flight from the rigidities of daily living, particularly from those institutions that as youngsters we love to hate: family, school, church, the hometown itself.
That white Huckleberry's flight from commonplace America included a deep, true friendship with black Jim, who began the novel as a slave in Huck's adopted family, proved Huck's trust of his own lived experience and feelings: his integrity against a world of slavery and prejudice based on skin color.
Huck's discovery that he was willing to take the risks involved in assisting Jim in his flight from slavery connected the youngster with the freedom struggle not only of blacks in America but of all Americans seeking to live up to the standards of our most sacred national documents.
Here was democracy without the puffery, e pluribus unum at its most radical level of two friends from different racial (but very similar cultural) backgrounds loving one another.
Here too was a personal declaration of independence in action, an American revolution (and some would say also a civil war) fought first within Huck's own heart and then along the Mississippi River, the great brown god that many have said stands almost as a third major character in this novel of hard-bought freedom and fraternity, of consciousness and conscientiousness.I understood these themes as supporting the civil rights movement of that era, and, further, as significant correctives to sixties black nationalism, which too often left too little space, in my view, for black-white friendships and, alas, for humor, without which no revolution I was fighting for was worth the sacrifice.
In those days, Huckleberry Finn was also part of my arsenal of defenses against those who questioned my decision to major in literature during the black revolution; for me, it served to justify art itself not just as entertainment but as equipment for living and even as a form of political action.
For here was a book whose message of freedom had been so forcefully articulated that it was still sounding clearly all these years later, all over the world.
What was I doing in the 1960s, 1970s, and beyond that was as courageous and selfless (and yet as individually self-defining)-as profoundly revolutionary-as Huck's act of helping to rescue Jim?And yet I do have to say that even in those student days of first discovering this novel, I was troubled by the figure of Jim, with whom, from the very beginning, I found it impossible to identify.
Though as a college sophomore or junior I wrote an earnest essay in defense of Jim as a wise man whose "superstitions" could be read as connections to a proud "African" system of communal beliefs and earned adjustments to a turbulent and dangerous new world, it was definitely Huck whose point of view I adopted, while Jim remained a shadowy construction whose buffoonery and will to cooperate with white folks' foolishness embarrassed and infuriated me.
Then too the novel's casual uses of the word "nigger" always made my stomach tighten.
Years later, when I read about black students, parents, and teachers who objected to the novel's repeated use of this inflammatory word, I knew just what they meant.
Lord knows, as a student I had sat in classes where "Nigger Jim" (that much-bandied title never once used by Twain but weirdly adopted by innumerable teachers and scholars, including some of the best and brightest, as we shall see) was discussed by my well-intentioned white classmates and professors whose love of the novel evidently was unimpeded by this brutal language.
(Did some of them delight in the license to use this otherwise taboo term? What might that have meant?)Using some of these ideas about democracy and race (including some of my doubts and questions), for fifteen years I taught Huckleberry Finn at Howard, at Wesleyan, and then at Barnard.
And then somehow my battered paperback, my several lectures, and my fat folder of articles by some of the novel's great critics-Eliot, Hemingway, Ellison, Trilling, Robert Penn Warren, Henry Nash Smith-all were set aside.
I suppose that one problem was simply that the book was taught too much-that students came to me having worn out their own copies already.
And too often they seemed to respond not to the book itself but to bits and pieces of the classic hymns of critical (and uncritical) praise, grist for the term-paper-writer and standardized-test-taker's mill.
In recent years, when I wanted to teach Twain again, I turned to the novel Pudd'nhead Wilson, with its own tangled problems of racial and national masks and masquerades; to short fiction and essays (including perhaps his funniest piece of writing, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses"; see "For Further Reading"), and to The Mysterious Stranger, in which wry, darkly wise Satan drops in on a hamlet very much like the ones of Twain's best-known fictions, including Huckleberry Finn.
One of Satan's messages is close to Huck's, too: that it is better to be dead than to endure the ordinary villager's humdrum (and very violent) life.

From AudioFile

Tim Behrens's 1990 reading is a fully voiced, virtuoso performance. 
His Huckleberry is young and believable.
His pacing is good, as is his understanding of the novel, and his sincerity in transmitting it excites the listener.
When Jim scolds Huck for playing a humiliating practical joke on him, the listener feels shame and embarrassment for Huck.
Behrens' acting ability carries the day, and we are treated to the feast of voices and dialects that make up, in large part, the magic of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Tim Behrens's versatile and inspired performance captures the soul of this great novel.
(c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     One of the best of american licterature!
  •     I read both books in high school and wanted to re-read them. I thought this would be a good deal, and convenient because both books were bound in one. However, after I received my copy, I realized that this book is too short to contain the full original text of both novels. I emailed the publisher and was told this is an abridged version of the books.If you are looking for an unabridged version, this is not for you. I checked carefully, and did not find any indication on the book that this is an abridged version of the original novels (which is why I emailed the publisher to ask).To be clear, I think both books are good, and are certainly worth reading at least once. I prefer unabridged versions of books, especially of American classics. As such, I returned this book to Amazon and will be purchasing the unabridged versions of these books.
  •     This review applies specifically to the April 2010, Sterling Edition, illustrated by Robert Ingpen:I'm beginning to feel quite frustrated with the limited publishing information given to books on Amazon. For example, most books where you may click to "look inside" will default to the most common paperback. For books like Tom Sawyer, that is fine if you need the book for high school English class, where any copy cheap enough to write notes in the margins will do. I wanted a copy of Tom Sawyer to keep and love. I saw this publication on Amazon, but it had so little info and the one review given was a single sentence about the general value of Twain's story. The truth is, one doesn't buy this particular printing unless one is already convinced of it's literary excellency! So I am about to do Amazon a huge favor by telling you what it didn't tell me. For about $15, the asking price at the time of this review, you can invest in a real treat for your self or someone you love and wish to inspire.This printing was meant to mark the one hundredth anniversary of Twain's death (2010). The story is unabridged, provided in full original text. It is positively rich with watercolor illustrations by Robert Ingpen. I just skimmed through the book looking for one that I especially liked, but I couldn't pick just one. In design, they are exactly as I would have dreamed them to be. Barefoot Tom, balancing a piece of straw on his nose, Huck Finn with a dead cat, Tom and puppy in church, Injun Joe- terrifying....each one pulls me in to read the text. The fabulous, wrapping cover art is also printed at the end of the book, so won't be lost if the dust jacket is damaged. The sewn binding is well constructed and the book lays nearly flat when open, so you may enjoy all of the pictures and layout without damaging the book. The inclusion of a pale blue place marking ribbon is a lovely touch. There is a thoughtful biography of Mark Twain proceeding the story. Also, provided are the author's and illustrators notes.I have a boy, six going on seven. He is a reader and is happy to consume Magic Tree House and Box Car Children books at alarming speed under the covers at night when he is supposed to be asleep. I'll admit I was missing our former habit of reading together. So we read classics aloud together as a family. For less money than a video game this book will provide hours of family entertainment. I hope my son will be inspired to read it again and again. It will have a place in our library and be a reference for years to come. It is heirloom quality. It would make a very special gift to a favorite boy of any age. In fact, I am considering getting another copy for my father, who loves Twain. Incidentally, not being able to ascertain the quality of this book through the Amazon web site, I went to a little local bookstore where I could put my hands on it first. I ended up buying it there, paying full price- about $5 more than Amazon was asking. They wrapped the book for free in nice heavy paper and since there was no shipping- I think I came out better for it. Before my son had opened this package, he knew it was a book to be awed by. Awesome it is- mostly for Mark Twains' masterful kntting of prose, but also for the cover and publishing.
  •     Lovely book.
  •     I had read excerpts from the first book on Tom Sawyer and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and I knew of the other two books in the collection but never had a chance to read...
  •     Classic
  •     Great
  •     This is the Abridged version if you are looking for the full book this is not it other than that it's a good listen
  •     great books for young children
  •     This edition is missing some passages from the original works. For example, there are about three pages missing (as measured from a paperback copy) from Chapter 21 of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  •     OK
  •     It was a great book with a lot of good details, and it has impacted the lives of people around the world.
  •     This is NOT a review of Twain's book. It's a review of the Kindle edition.The table of contents is useless. This may seem like a minor quibble but it isn't, not when you're reading a Kindle edition. You need to be able to navigate the book easily, and that's just impossible with this edition. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has 43 chapters. Yet none of the chapters appear in the table of contents. Here are the first four entries in the table of contents:1. Introduction by John Seelye2. Suggestions for Further Reading3. A Note on the Text4. Appendix: The Raft EpisodeWhoever put the Kindle edition decided to insert the entire text of the novel, all 43 chapters as well as a couple of prefatory bits, right after "A Note on the Text." In other words, for the entire length of the novel, your Kindle will think you are reading "A Note on the Text." This makes the reading-progress features useless, prevents chapter-by-chapter navigation on the older Kindle Keyboard, and makes finding or going to an individual chapter on touchscreen Kindles absurdly cumbersome. In contrast, free public-domain Kindle edition has a proper, functional table of contents.Also, while this is supposedly an "enriched ebook," the so-called enrichments are mostly as worthless as the extras that typically pad a movie DVD. Plus, one of the included collections of photographs appears under the wrong entry in the table of contents.
  •     DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. I don't even know how to describe it, it's not a real book, like a homemade bootlegged copy someone printed with tiny print. There is no title page, no copyright page, no table of contents, no writing on the spine, no illustrations, nothing but tiny print and excessively large margins. 4 books are crammed into one with no separation between them. I just opened it and am going to initiate a return immediately. If you look at all the positive reviews, they are for the kindle addition, NOT the paperback. I love Tom Sawyer as much as anyone but you'll have to find another version of this classic story, do NOT buy this one.
  •     This novel should be read by every person on Earth. The story of a young boy in Middle America at a pretty peaceful and settled agrarian time. Tom's story is that of every boy of that age, no matter where that boy, who has now become a man, lives. He may not whitewash a fence, or run away to play pirates, but all the little things that Tom enjoys and experiences, we all have or wish we had. Please don't stop at seeing the many remakes of this book at the movies. Experience the fun, love and excitement of Tom as he experiences his young life. I would recommend The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to everyone from the ages of about twelve years to old folks like me. It is fun, entertaining and enduring. Enjoy this novel by the genius of Mark Twain. David G. Parsons
  •     A true classic.

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