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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics) Revised Edition

236 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140390469
ISBN-10: 0140390464
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Paperback, January 7, 1986
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Editorial Reviews Review

Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, tells the story of a teenaged misfit who finds himself floating on a raft down the Mississippi River with an escaping slave, Jim. In the course of their perilous journey, Huck and Jim meet adventure, danger, and a cast of characters who are sometimes menacing and often hilarious.

Though some of the situations in Huckleberry Finn are funny in themselves (the cockeyed Shakespeare production in Chapter 21 leaps instantly to mind), this book's humor is found mostly in Huck's unique worldview and his way of expressing himself. Describing his brief sojourn with the Widow Douglas after she adopts him, Huck says: "After supper she got out her book and learned me about Moses and the Bulrushers, and I was in a sweat to find out all about him; but by and by she let it out that Moses had been dead a considerable long time; so then I didn't care no more about him, because I don't take no stock in dead people." Underlying Twain's good humor is a dark subcurrent of Antebellum cruelty and injustice that makes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a frequently funny book with a serious message.


"All modern American literature comes from [this] one book." —Ernest Hemingway --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (January 7, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140390464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140390469
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,404,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Phillips on August 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
Back during my school days this was still not a book that was considered to be politically incorrect and so I was supposed to read it. As was far too often the case, I got by on little more than watching the movie version and never bothered to read this masterpiece. A few months ago I picked up a copy to put in my library for my grandson to use when he got old enough to go to school. Unfortunately this has been classified as a children's book and so I had little intention of reading it when I bought it.

After discussing a book about President Grant and Mark Twain with a friend I decided that I should read this book and I soon found out just how much of an adventure I had been missing. Twain's well deserved reputation as a storyteller is on clear display in this book from cover to cover. The reader is drawn into the lives of the characters to the point of being really disturbed when something bad happens to them. Sure, they steal and they lie but you will love them in spite of everything.

The story basically follows the adventures of young Huckleberry Finn and a runaway slave named Jim. Finn is trying to escape has father and the efforts of the townspeople to civilize him while Jim is trying to escape slavery. More to the point, Jim is trying to escape being sold down the river, which was always a worry for slaves in the upper south.

There is a strong moral point to this book as Huck slowly learns to love Jim as a friend and not think of his skin color. Early on Huck is worried about helping a runaway slave and isn't sure what to do. Having been raised in Missouri, Huck has been taught that helping a slave run away is one of the worst sins imaginable and that African-Americans are pretty much worthless except as slaves.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
"All modern literature stems from this one book. There was nothing before, there has been nothing as good since." I wish I could have been the one to coin that description of Twain's best known work. I guess coming from Ernest Hemingway it does carry a bit more weight. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is one of the more commonly referred to works when people speak of the "Great American Novel." A fictional account of a young boy's voyage down the Mississippi River, Huck Finn guarantees that as long as he is around people will still care about American literature. It combines Twain's knack for humor with very real and mature social issues.
The main character is of course Huckleberry Finn. When "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" . . . Huck had found $12,000 and was living with the Widow Watson. At the beginning of this book Huck is kidnapped by his Pap, who only has come back to get his son's money. Huck escapes his father and soon finds himself floating down the Mississippi River with a slave named Jim. Jim was the property of the Widow Watson and overheard her plans to sell him to a slave trader. When he realized he would be leaving the relative comfort of the widow's home he decided to escape.
Brought up by a racist, abusive and drunken father, Huck at first sees the escape by Jim as totally wrong. However, as the two travel along the river enjoying one adventure after another Huck finds himself growing fond of his companion and the two form a strong bond.
"The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" can only be described with one word, classic. It is one of the few novels that can be read by a child and then re-read year after year without becoming the least bit stale. Such staying power is rare and is proof positive that this book before most others most assuredly belongs on the shelves of every school library. But don't read it because it's a classic -- read it because it's fun! And let me suggest another quick pick: The Losers' Club by Richard Perez
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
It is said that there are two great moments in all of American literature; one occurs in <Moby Dick> when Ishmael joins Queequeg in observing a pagan ritual. The other is found in <Huckleberry Finn> when Huck decides against turning Jim in, even though his soul would rot in hell for it. The point is that Huck really believed that he was going to be damned for helping Jim (which was why the decision was so difficult to make), but was willing to face the consequences anyway.
The major letdown of this book is that last part with Tom Sawyer. The book's tone changes suddenly; it becomes almost juvenile. Those last chapters are what's keeping me from giving this book the full five stars.
As for the dialects, I had surprisingly little trouble with them even though English is not my first language. A suggestion; if you come across a word you really don't get, try reading it aloud. If that doesn't work, read the whole sentence aloud. You'll be able to deduce what the word is supposed to be.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Whitaker on October 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
I received this book as a Christmas present in 1955 when I was eight years old. I had wanted a baseball glove and was deeply disappointed. It sat for three years, unread and unwanted. When I finally did pick it up and begin to read, I was transported in a way that was to change my life. It would be years before I would understand the meaning of such words as irony, satire and metaphor, but I sensed these things in the way I believe they were intended as I read Huckleberry Finn for the first time.
I am perplexed and disturbed when I hear how thoroughly misunderstood and controversial this book has become to some, and it saddens me that those that deem it offensive fail to understand how sympathetic it was towards more positive race relations at the time when it was written.
William Faulkner spoke of what was most important to writing in his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He suggested that the best writing deals with problems of the human heart in conflict with itself. Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" succeeds in a beautiful and remarkable way by subtly illustrating the conflict in Huckleberry's mind between what he has been told by society and what he feels in the intellect of his heart.
I shall always be grateful to Mark Twain for this work. It was the portal through which my young mind first grasped the immensity of great literature.
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