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

142 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.

About the Author

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835, and died at Redding, Connecticut in 1910. In his person and in his pursuits he was a man of extraordinary contrasts. Although he left school at twelve when his father died, he was eventually awarded honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Missouri, and Oxford University. His career encompassed such varied occupations as printer, Mississippi riverboat pilot, journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He made fortunes from his writing but toward the end of his life he had to resort to lecture tours to pay his debts. He was hot-tempered, profane, and sentimental���and also pessimistic, cynical, and tortured by self-doubt. His nostalgia helped produce some of his best books. He lives in American letters as a great artist, the writer whom William Dean Howells called ���the Lincoln of our literature.���

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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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on April 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Huckleberry Finn is truly a classic, and an indispensable part of the American literary canon. I put off reading the book for many years because I had - a many of you may have - an inaccurate preconception of the book: i.e., "I don't like that kind of country humor", or "I don't like those old-fashioned novel", or "I just don't like that kind of book." If you yourself have this kind of feeling about the book - let me assure you, friends, you should READ THIS BOOK. It is much, much more than that. It is a rich, stunningly accurate portrayal of the pre-Civil War South. It is also an enduring portrait of childhood. It is, quite simply, a masterpiece. Huck Finn is a character that, no matter who we are or how far removed from him we are, we can all relate to. It is also, in its use of particular American dialect, a very influential book. A quote you often see is the one Ernest Hemingway himself made about this book being the very archetype of the American novel. And it is true. Tom Sawyer was the first step, but this book is the culmination - it is the masterpiece. It is here that American literature found its voice, and stepped out from under the shadow of its neglected step-child relationship with English literature. It has a voice distinctly its own - distinctly American, and couldn't have come from anywhere else - and its immense influence on subsequent American lit is enormous, and cannot be overestimated. It is an absolutely archetypal novel. Also, its heroic portrayal of slavery was a very immediate thing as well. Its influence on such writers as Alice Walker and John Steinbeck - as well as, in some form, literally all great literature to come out America since - is profound. For this reason, and for its sheer adventure and narrative drive, it is an essential read for simply everybody.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Gibson on April 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Looking for a good book to read? Well, just pick this one up, because The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a great book. This is a very interesting piece of literature and is not like anything else I have ever read. Listen and you'll see why. This book is written in first person, and the story is told from the view of Huck Finn, a twelve or thirteen year old child of St. Petersburg, Missouri. The English used by Mr. Twain does not seem very good. He meant to write in this way, though, to give it a little more southern flavor and sound like a young teenager. The language itself makes the story interesting, and somewhat of a challenge to try and figure out what the characters are saying. Some words used, even in the first couple of pages, are "whippowill", "didn'", "gwyne", and "sumf'n". As you can see, Twain is very good at speaking in old American and southern talk. Another aspect of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the satire Twain uses. This helps us learn about the people of the time, as well as add to the entertainment value of the book by showing things that we find ignorant, which can be funny. Twain also uses satire to show weaknesses in society and look to make a point. Twain criticizes how gullible people are, how you can't trust everyone, and how some things that could be easily done are overdone. The gullibility of people keeps coming up in the book. First, they don't see the capability of everyone, especially the young. This can be seen on page 33 where Huck portrays himself as dead after using an ax and a pig to put the cabin in ruins with blood and his hair. Another instance is in Chapter 21. Huck dresses up as a girl and goes into a cabin to get some things for Jim and him.Read more ›
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