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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American classic that must be read by all (and never banned)
If there's any book out there that needs no introduction (or review, to be honest), it's Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Yet here I am reviewing it, anyway. I must admit (not without a fair share of embarrassment) that I just now got around to reading this American classic for the first time. I never had to read it in school, and to some degree I felt...
Published on May 5 2007 by Daniel Jolley

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3.0 out of 5 stars An Adventurous Tale
The Adventures of Hucleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, is a wonderful story about the adventures a young boy could have in the 1850's. The story takes place in the states along the Mississippi River during America's early years. Huckleberry, also known as Huck, is a young boy who grew up with an abusive and drunk father. When Huck's father disappears, he is taken in by a widow...
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Brittanie Hillman


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5.0 out of 5 stars The best novel ever written!!!, Sept. 10 1999
By A Customer
This is book is completely amazing! It was required of me to read this book for my AP English 11 class during the summer and I found it to be the most classic book ever written. I say this because it showed me the different events that young Huck experienced. Through his adventures, he was able to understand himself and where he belongs in world full of discrimination and prejudice. Mark Twain does an outstanding job in constructing the sequence of events in this book. The adventures that Huck encounters happens almost immediately after the preceding adventure. This type of plot allows the reader to stay interested in the feelings and trials that the characters had to endure. Mark Twain also related situatins that were currnet in his time and applied them to this book. After reading it, I saw how ignorant the people were and how they made such arbitrary decisions in there time. Overall, this book is highly recommendable. It will give readers a broader sense of understanding of Mark Twain's society. This is a great book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars America's Quintessential Novel, July 17 1999
By A Customer
Huck Finn is, along with Faulkner's Sound and Fury, the greatest American novel. The novel is a hillarious slap at romantic chivalry, a great adventure story, an evolution of a man coming of age, as well as a plea to end slavery. I too was forced to read this novel in high school (this year), not once but twice. I am indebted to my teachers. The sinking of the Sir Walter Scott, Huck's decision to endure perdition in order to save Jim, and Tom and Huck's quioxic rescue of Jim are some of the most fantastic scenes in literature. The vernacular is well employed by Twain, not in a racist way, but in a tolerant one. As Huck travels farther into the slave country, he realizes that Jim is a man just like himself. Huck even says that "I knowed he was white." Huck understands the implications of disagreeing with the orthodox barriers of the time (Walter Scott), but he knowingly violates these supposed values to set Jim free. A boat accident occurs and the response to the question of whether anyone was killed is "Nome. Killed a nigger." Twain is satirizing the stupidity of this response, not advocating a racist dogma. Jim and Huck discuss the fact that frenchmen talk in a different manner from themselves, but frenchmen are still men. Huck and Jim speak differently, but both are men. This is the messege of this timeless classic. All American novels come from one novel, Huck Finn. If I'd a know'd how hard it was to write a review, I wouldn't a written one in the first place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The lessons of Finn, June 11 1999
By A Customer
There is a deeper genius in the adventures of Huckleberry Finn in that the book is written from the perspective of 14 year old boy who is stuggling with what he has been taught and what he learns in this adventure. Huck is fleeing his troubled family life when he comes across, widow Watson's slave, Jim. He decides that he will help him find freedom in Ciaro, Illinois. He and Jim have exciting and at times very chilling adventures. In one great irony of the book, Huck and Jim are swept past the meeting of the two rivers and carried further and further into the slave south. Huck captures the spirit of a nation struggling with his/its conscience concerning slavery. In this book, Huck considers Jim an adventure but comes to respect him as a man who he cares about and a man who cares about him. Huck learns the value of friendship and the value of mutual respect along the way. I would say that the ending disappointed me in that I felt that the reappearence of Tom Sawyer played to the lessening of the lessons that Huck learns along the way. The trick he plays on Jim and Huck for that matter softens the blow that this book should level. My review as with others I have read cannot do this book justice for the very human experience it provides. One must come to grips with an era of American thought which is hard to stomach and not nearly reflected on enough.
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5.0 out of 5 stars At least the children can write, a little..., April 13 1999
It amuses me no end to see so many irate reviews, obviously written by spoiled schoolkids resenting their stoopid 'ol teacher making them read this stoopid 'ol book by some stoopid 'ol dead guy.
There's rich material there for a cynic like Twain, or even more for one the likes of Ambrose Bierce or H. L. Mencken. Tiny, immature, ill formed minds incapable of grasping a truth deeper than Nintendo or Playstation lash out in outrage at a genius who holds up a mirror to expose their ignorance.
The fact is, this is THE American experience of the 19th century, a microcosm of the defining characteristic of our country's beginning and of our national shame and curse. How did a nation, conceived in liberty, holding self evident so many truths about Man's rights, institutionalize the degredation of Black Americans, the utter denial of their very humanity? How could the noble idealistic American eagle ever swallow such a poisonous pill?
Huck's bitter determination to "go to hell" in order to save his friend Jim is to me the most moving and courageous moment in all literature. Huck "knows" that Jim is not really human, that he is mere property, that he has no rights and deserves no consideration, and that Huck's social duty is to return the slave owner's lost property. Yet he knows even more deeply that Jim is his friend, mentor, companion, and in not saving him he will lose his own soul, regardless of what his society holds to be true. Thus Huck makes himself an outcast and outlaw in civilized society, and thus he prefigures the cataclysm of the Civil War, in which this vile contradiction nearly destroyed our nation. All the blood spilled during that war, however, has not expunged our Original Sin, and we have been paying for it ever since, and perhaps always shall.
So try to expand your mind, at least accept the concept that the past is not a Real World episode in period costume, that people of another time did think and talk and act differently, that what "everybody knows" today will surely be as ludicrous a century hence as slavery may seem to us now. Reflect, also, on the courage of those who recognized evil ahead of their time and stood up to it, even though in this case such a hero is a fictionalized semi-literate boy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A defining novel of America, Jan. 18 1999
I have read the past several reviews printed of this novel, and have noticed that the negative reviews are because the reader simply didn't understand the book. This novel is an adventure story brilliantly disguised as a tirade against the civilization of mankind. Twain makes his political points well felt throughout the story, but what saves this novel from being a dry and boring political statement is the grandness of the adventure contained within it. Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Jim are three immortal characters of literature. Huck especially I will always picture as traveling on his raft, up and down the Mississippi River forever, painting a picture of America that will never be equaled, for the novel was written in a defining time in American culture, when a sense of adventure that separated us from our English ancestry ran rampant throughout our country. A wonderment prevailed, asking questions about what lay out beyond the horizon. Huck Finn defines that sense of mystery. Maybe he was the first truly American hero, and maybe he was also the last. But his words, "I been there before," will be immortal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars perhaps the greatest American novel, July 7 1998
By A Customer
All right, this is a rather subjective viewpoint. I could say, IN MY OPINION--but what's the purpose. Surely one of the best known and most readily acknowledged American classics, there is more to this book than all the tame discriptions and virulent hate mail imply. It is a rather bleak, desolate tail about two people running away from the world. The only problem is, they have no where to go. Let's ignore the so-called contoversy surrounding this book. It is idiotic, as nowhere in this book is it implied that the racist attitudes of some of the characters is a good thing. Twain was a master of dialect and speech patterns and this was, ultimately, a story about the evils of slavery and the hopelessness of many who tried to run away. Huck grows to truly love Jim. In the end, he is his only friend, the only person he trusts, the only person who has ever been good to him. Cherished characters like Tom Sawyer are distorted into manifest destiny oriented monsters, politicians of the day always trying to trick people and bend them into their will for a laugh or a selfish end. Yet Huck remains a conscientous person, seeing the evils of slavery, the cruelty of Tom's behavior, the ills of the world, the pointlessness of what his own life has thus far amounted to. A word can be used with many meanings. The controversy of this book, raging since its publication, is based solely on the USE of this word, not its context, not its implications within the narrative. This book is one of the most savage indictments of institutional racism one could ever hope to come across, yet people who refuse to read it out of fear of getting their feelings hurt or their political agendas ruffled, are missing out on this point. Twain suffered through this book. He set it aside for several years after a certain point, not knowing how to end it, getting more and more unhappy with the state of the Reconsruction. There is a rather bleak punch-line at the end of the book. Huck still wants to live his brief happiness w! ith Jim, run away again to escape society's expectations of how people are supposed to be. He thinks about "light(ing) out for the territory ahead of the rest". Twain knew, by the time he wrote the book, the territory was no more, already plundered by the government and the corporate interests. Huck's next journey would be just as pointless, just as ultimately meaningless as this river ride down the Ole Miss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting novel that leaves a person completely satisfied!, May 25 1998
By A Customer
I read this, since it was my school's outside reading assignment. The printing was so small, that I first thought it would be a boring read. But I soon figured that I was wrong. I found myself slowly slipping into the story as if it was all happening before my own eyes. The characters were very interesting. Especially Huck Finn seemed like a very likable person with a strong identity, wit, and a soft heart. He does not want to sit and let the world rule over him, but instead test his own ideas and proves to the world that he can be better than what the society expacts him to be. And although many say it is a racially biased book because of its frequent use of N word, nobody can deny that it was a commonly used word in the 1800 where the rogue institution called 'slavery' was considered healthy and inevitable. As a matter of fact, this is a book that actually tries to tell the world about the evilness of racial prejudice not promote it. One should read between the lines, in order to acknowledge Twain's subtle attempts. It was a thrilling experience and I recommend people to have for their own!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Huck Finn was an exciting book and it caught my attention, May 17 1998
The Adventures of Hucklebury Finn, written by Mark Twain, was an excellent book. The manner in which the novel was written caught my attention just from the start. Twain combined his distinctive dry humor with some of his exaggerations creating the Mark Twain style. The Adventures of Huck Finn was a sequal of The adventures of Tom Sawyer. Upon reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer I decided to read The Adventures of Huck Finn. The novel starts off telling us about the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In conclusion Tom and Huck find a treasure so Huck is put a home living with Widow Douglas. Here Huck is'nt so happy. She is trying to teach him all of the proper ways. Soon after his drunken father finds out he has a treasure and beats him almost to death so Huck will give it to him. Huck runs away to an island where he meets a runaway slave, Jim. He and Jim become friends and decide to run away to the free states up north. They find a raft so they can travel by river. Hoping not to be seen, Huck and Jim travel by night. A little while later they encounter a ferryboat which recognizes that they are runaways. After selling Jim to be a slave again, Tom and Huck decide they must free him. In the conclusion of the book, Jim is freed because his prevoius owner had freed him just before she died. The Adventures of Huck Finn was an excellent novel. This work along with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer forever placed Mark Twain amongst the ranks of the greatest writers on earth let alone the United States. The Adventures of Huck Finn, often mistaken as a children's book, has since its creation instigated widespread timult. It and Tom Sawyer were banned in various places around the world for their "questionable" racist content. Nontheless, these novels made powerful statements about the anti-bellum South, in a manner that only Mark Twain could convey.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Criticism of Civilization, March 22 1998
A young innocent boy who feels the whole world is against him. Huckleberry Finn feels he is trapped and cornered. His actions are constrained and his freedom is limited. This is what civilization has done to Huck. The only place where he can find sanctuary is the river. For Huck and Jim, the river becomes a place where the only bliss in civilization exists. Everywhere else, civilization is just a force trying to mold them into shapes that they do not want to be. What is civilization? Is it like the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons who would do anything to kill each other or is it like Miss Watson or the Phelpses who buy and sell slaves as if they were chattel? None of the characters have totally civilized characteristics. It appears as though no one wants to be civilized. Even the proper Miss Watson cannot live without her dear slaves. Whether she is good to them or not is not an issue. The fact that she does not look at them as her equal takes points off her character. How can a society consider itself civilized if they deny the humanity of large numbers of people in it? The satirical novel ridicules civilization. Mark Twain tries to look for civilization everywhere but in vain, he finds it where it is least expected. He finds civilization away from the towns and away from the busy people's lives. Civilization lies in the almost isolated surroundings of the river. There is great contrast in the river and the shore. The hands of 'civilization' drive people onto the river. People want to believe that civilization exists on the shore. But the hopeless attempts to reach civilization on the shore show that the river is a better place that is more humanized. It is only in the parts where Jim is treated as a human being where the positive aspects of civilization are shown. Civilization is not when Huckleberry Finn has to wear his nice new clothes or when he has to come for supper when a bell is rung. As Huck says in the last line of the book - "Aunt Sally she's going to adopt and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before" ( Twain 369) Huck doesn't feel he is 'sivilized' when he follows all the proper and decent manners of Aunt Sally. Only when he helps Jim escape from his dreaded fate does he feel humane and good about himself. Instances like when he does the 'right thing' by not giving up Jim, give Huck a more civilized character than anyone else in the book. There is irony in the fact that the person who cares the least about being civilized may in fact be having one of the most civilized emotions of all the characters. He is more civilized and mature than his elders precisely because he looks at the world from a different angle. He rejects the notions on what is necessary and real and goes by feelings other than what the supposedly civilized world follows. His non-conformist nature makes him bold and civilized. "..and so when I couldn't stand it any longer, I lit out. I got into my old rags, and my sugar hogshead again, and was free and satisfied" ( Twain 49) Everyone lives in their own unrealistic realm. Jim wants to be a free man, the Duke and the King believe they can get away with anything, Miss Watson and Widow Douglas think everything can be made perfect and Tom lives in a world of adventure and excitement. No one lives in the real world. If they would just look around they would realize that it is not civilization they are living in. They have created imaginary worlds. Nature and the river is needed to snap them out of their beliefs and bring them to the real world where civilization exists. Even Jim started to accept the fact that it was a next to impossible mission to make himself and his family free. The rich families of the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons are in a feud. Huck Finn and Mark Twain see no sense in the killings between the families. Even for the time the book was written, when civilization was not as advanced as it is today, the feud was looked upon with amazement as to how people could kill senselessly. Both families indulge in uncivilized acts. It is certainly not expected for two families of such elite standing to follow barbarous doings. The King and the Duke hope to get away with their hoodwinking play. They believe that people would fall for it precisely because they haven't yet reached that advanced stage of social development called civilization. Both of them think themselves to be more civilized than any of the people on shore. But the reader knows just how civilized the Duke and the King are. They are nothing but mere scoundrels. And if they are more civilized than the people on shore, then those people do have a long way to go before they reach civilization. Although the people eventually see through their sneaky act, Mark Twain still does not think the people to be worthy enough to have reached the level of civilization that he pictures. The examples of uncivilized people in the book show how society thinks themselves to be civilized. This gives them a feeling of having an edge over those who are not civilized. It is this very feeling that also makes them uncivilized. This is how Mark Twain has viewed people in the book. This is his criticism of civilization. Out of a handful there lie very few that can be called civilized in the world.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An American Classic? or A Racist Novel?, Feb. 19 1998
By A Customer
Is "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" a racist novel? It certainly does not portray Jim in a very favorable light in the last few chapters especially after he had been portrayed as a warm, loving human being in the middle of the novel. But just because the book seems to fall apart after Chapter 31 doesn't make it a failure and it certainly is not a racist novel. Just consider Twain's use of Pap, of all the people he could have chosen, as the spokesman for white superiority as he denounces the black college professor from Ohio; who looks ridiculous? Pap, of course; the drunken, child abusing bum who contributes nothing to his society except bad breath after he drinks, who considers himself superior to Jim solely on the basis of his skin color. There are also many other instances in the novel that clearly show how Twain uses Huck's willingness to test things out early in the novel(remember his testing out of Miss Watson's ideas about prayer and also Tom Sawyer's story about the genie and the lamp?) to prepare us for his growth in love for Jim the black slave, whom he comes to love enough to go to hell for rather than allow him to remain in captivity. Huck gradually learns to have feelings for Jim, feelings that his society told him were wrong, and he also learns to accept the fact that Jim has the same feelings for his own family as a white person does. Huck says, "It don't seem natural, but I guess it's so." Is he grudgingly admitting this here? No, no more than Twain himself is grudgingly writing about it. Is the book a racist book? Hardly. It is a book about the stupidity of racism, a major problem still in our society today, but one that hopefully one day will be wiped away just as Huck's was by the time Twain wrote Chapter 31. What happens after that chapter is a disappointment perhaps, since Jim reverts to the subservient slave he had been early in the novel, and Huck lets Tom take over, but at the end, when Huck rejects Aunt Sally's offer to adopt him and 'sivilize' him, he decides to light out for the territory; if what he has experienced in the white adult world is civilization, he wants no more of it. He is probably a lot like Biff Loman at the end of Death of a Salesman, who, having recognized the falseness of his father's dreams, rejects the crazy city of New York and heads out for his own territory. Both characters are reborn at the end of the respective works. But Tom Sawyer and Happy Loman have learned nothing from their experiences; Happy is going to stick it out in the big city and show them that Willy Loman did not die in vain; Tom Sawyer even gets shot in his game of escape but he wears the bullet around his neck as a badge of honor. Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" calls for us to reassess our values and to know who we are; but Mark Twain had Huck do the same nearly a century before.
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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Paperback - May 26 1994)
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