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Huckleberry Finn (Dover Children's Thrift Classics) Paperback – June 10, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0486403496 ISBN-10: 0486403491 Edition: abridged edition

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Referring to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. L. 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. S. 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.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Children's Thrift Classics
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; abridged edition edition (June 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486403491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486403496
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

The way he uses literary style such as dialect and tone is just amazing.
HanHan001
I would recommend that before you read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn you read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, both written by author Mark Twain.
Marrion Elementary Readers
The book also serves as a commentary on slavery and race relations in the nineteenth century.
Fan of Time-Life Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Orfield on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
One hundred and twenty years after its publication, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remains the quintessential American novel. It is an amazingly well crafted piece of work, as complex or as simple as you want it to be. On one level, it is a dissertation on society, slavery, morality and the meaning of civilization. On another, it is simply an entertaining yarn. Whether you are 8 or 88, there is something here for you.

At the heart of the novel is the unlikely but heartfelt friendship between Huck and Jim, a runaway slave. Both are outcasts of sort, running away from a society they cannot comprehend. It is through his friendship with Jim and their adventures together on the river that Huck truly finds himself. He is continually confronted with the question of right and wrong and he learns to stay true to himself and follow his own heart, regardless of conventional, social, or religious mores. Huck's instincts rarely fail him. And, as Huck suspects all along, he learns more on the river than he ever did in school or Sunday school.

Many readers see the ending (Huck's adoption and continued "civilization") as a disappointment. I disagree. Huck has grown so much that his individuality has already been forged. Aunt Sally can't change him, no matter how hard she tries to "sivilize" him. Besides, Huck always has the option of escape.

The book has been lambasted in recent years for its shocking language. But I think it is important to understand that Twain was simply being honest and faithful to the dialect, language, and social sensibility of the times. It would be unfair (and a mistake) to apply present day sensibilities and standards of political correctness (well intended or not) to this book. The language may seem harsh but it should seem harsh.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By George Schaefer on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the granddaddy of American literature. Mark Twain is an American icon. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn slyly purports to be a boys book about freedom on the river. It pretends to have no moral or motive at all. This is not so. Mark Twain, in spite his opening rebuke against anyone finding a meaning in the book, is seeking to make a statement. This is a polemic against the evils of slavery. I often felt that Huck Finn parallels Twains own youth. Huck grows to see Jim as a man and a friend. Twain came from a family which owned slaves but he himself came to be vehemently opposed to slavery. Huck Finn comes from a background where slavery is perfectly acceptable. The grand climax is when Huck decides he will go to Hell rather than let his friend be sold back into slavery. He continues to help Jim. This is an amazing tale although the ending is a bit anticlimactic. One is happy that Jim is free however. He emerges as the one true man and gentleman in the whole novel. This is one of the great underlying ironies of the novel. It is often overlooked due to the politically incorrect racial slurs. The slave is the man with the greatest dignity and integrity. It is unfortunate that this point is missed. Mark Twain wrote a masterpiece. The current controversy will eventually fade but The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will endure as one of the great works of American and World literature.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin M. Elsaesser on February 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
As a high school teacher, a question we always face when teaching the classics is... will my students think this boring, irrelevant, and inscrutable? While many of my students struggled through Hawthorne, Emerson, and Thoreau, Mark Twain's Huck Finn caught their interest more deeply.

What makes this classic appealing to high school students is its taboo character, its humor, and its characters. The novel is a taboo; knowing that the book has been banned in places all across the nation rouses students ("oooo... they say we can't read it? I'm in!"). With heated issues like the use of the n-word, smoking and stealing, students are in. Further, the novel is genuinely funny, even to teenagers. Huck is honest to the bone-his observations about conventions are amusing. And the messes he gets into with Jim (among other things, dressing up like women) are hilarious. Finally, the characters are genuinely likeable-students can relate to Huck's restlessness and mistrust of authority, and can despise the rigidity of the Widow.

There are many particularities about Huck that students will love. For one, he smokes and questions traditional things like prayer and Christianity. He hates school and doesn't see the point of wearing nice clothes. He sneaks out late at night. There is one scene that students will particularly find amusing. Huck has run away from the widow and ventured into town incognito to find out what people are saying about him. The thing is, he is dressed like a girl. It is hilarious to read the descriptions of this lanky boy attempting to play the part of a sweet modest girl. The students read with interest and enjoy making fun of Huck here. They appreciate his wild side.

There are a few precautions in teaching this book to high school students.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By shsu2009 on September 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
I completely agree with some of the reviewers postings about the fact that this book has been banned by some schools in the past and banned from communities in general, yes it can be racist but it is literary genius on Mark Twain's part by taking this touchy subject of racism and running with it. This is a story about a troubled boy who gets into all sorts of adventures, even with those of different races. Put aside race and open this book and read between the lines on what Mark Twain was actually trying to achieve. Huckleberry Finn has become a literary hero along with his friends in the story, and it is a well known book that should be read!
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