I cannot believe that I waited until my forty-first year of life to read this book! It was a long, slow trip for me–I started it back in December for my bookclub which postponed its last meeting of 2014 to the first week of January of 2015. Then I didn’t finish it before the meeting. However, I was determined not to give up on it; I was enjoying it too much! I read the free Kindle version (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tom Sawyer’s Comrade) and listened to it via OneClick Digital through my local library. Although listening is not my preferred method for enjoying a story, I have to say that this particular book works extremely well as an audiobook. The various dialects and characters were read to perfection by Norman Dietz. I found myself smiling and laughing aloud at Huck’s hijinks as read by Norman Dietz, even as I walked around my neighborhood “plugged in” to my iPhone. (I wonder what my neighbors thought?) Rather than discuss the plot or even the characters much here, today I’m just sharing some random thoughts about the book.
- I loved all of the wonderful descriptions of the Mississippi River and its environs. Some people dislike a lot of description in stories, but really, I’m more interested in the description and characterization than I am the plot. Not, of course, that Huck Finn is devoid of plot, but I definitely don’t think the plot is its strongest point.
- I noted with interest the episodic nature of the story. Many of the chapters could stand alone as short stories. This is very good for someone who reads in short allotments of time!
- Of course, I love Twain’s sly commentary about slavery and human dignity that we hear through Huck’s and Tom’s discussions.
- I also love the relationship between Huck and Jim.
- Early in the story I realized that one of my favorite authors, Richard Peck, sounds an awful lot like Mark Twain, and my opinion was only strengthened the further in Huck Finn that I read. If you’ve read and enjoyed Huckleberry Finn, give Richard Peck’s historical novels a try. A couple of his that I have reviewed here are The Teacher’s Funeral and Here Lies the Librarian. They are hilarious and SO good!
- I can definitely see why this book is considered a classic.
- The funniest part to me is when Tom and Huck meet back up in the last quarter or so of the book, and Tom keeps making Jim’s rescue much more difficult that it needs to be. That kept me in stitches!
- I read Tom Sawyer for the first time a few years ago , and many of the sentiments I expressed about it I also feel about Huck Finn. Most important is that I had also built this story up to be complicated and difficult, and it isn’t at all. It’s mostly FUN, with the added bonus of a subtly powerful message. With all of that said, I adore Huck while I merely really like Tom.
I wish I could share a really thoughtful review about this story, but alas, the way I read this one (back and forth between Kindle and audio) makes it very difficult to do so. I did share a quote I love a few weeks ago, and had I the time, I could share a hundred more. However, I AM already calling this one as a top pick of 2015! I enjoyed it that much!
And with that, I mark another one off my Classics Club list! 🙂