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The Annotated Huckleberry Finn: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade) Hardcover – Bargain Price, October, 2001

24 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October, 2001
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hearn, who edited The Wizard of Oz for Norton's Annotated series, has taken on that formative fiction of American culture, Huckleberry Finn a seemingly transparent work that, as presented in Hearn's exhaustive research, harbors linguistic complexities worthy of an Eliot or a Joyce. In his long introduction, Hearn chronicles Huck's publishing history, from its on-again, off-again composition, to Twain's stormy relationship with his publishers, to the book's embattled trip to the printer (trailing censorious editors in its wake) and its instant success on the market. Hearn offers a thorough cataloguing of the book's critical reception and many controversies, an ample pinch of biography, a lengthy analysis of dialect and a fairly sketchy historical background. The notes themselves (presented alongside the text) are eclectic, sometimes charmingly so: we learn what a huckleberry is, and a sugar-hogshead, and how corn pone is made. Huck's vast repertory of Southern superstitions is carefully glossed, and Hearn wisely includes quotes about the book from Twain (who could scarcely open his mouth without saying something funny) whenever possible. The notes go overboard in their extensive translation of the book's idiomatic speech (readers probably don't need "powwow" defined and can figure out for themselves that "hoss" means horse). On the whole, Hearn supplies interesting information with a light touch possibly too light in the last third of the book, which seems more thinly annotated than the beginning. Restored passages not seen in the original appear in the appendices. Though a stronger anchor in cultural history could have made this volume better, this liberally illustrated and beautifully designed book offers many pleasures for the general reader. (Oct.)Forecast: This is the perfect gift book for all of Huck's fans and should sell very well with the aid of a six-city author tour and national media appearances. Also, in January 2002, a Ken Burns series on Twain will air.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Having given us The Annotated Wizard of Oz, Michael Patrick Hearn illuminates another American favorite.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Annotated edition (October 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393020398
  • ASIN: B001F7APFW
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.8 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,861,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Elaine Cunningham on March 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for my son, a high school student who was assigned HUCKLEBERRY FINN in an American Studies class, and promptly fell in love with it. The commentary is delightful, and the many illustrations (many taken from the original edition,) photographs, prints, cartoons, and maps give a real sense of time and place. Homey details that might not be familiar to the modern reader are explained in some detail, as are customs of the time. The author includes material from Twain's notes and details about his life, always in a manner that illuminates the passage.
HUCKLEBERRY FINN frequently turns up on lists of banned books, and it's interesting to read of the controversy that dogged this story from the beginning. The particulars of readers' outraged sensibilities might change, but the response this book has always engendered suggests the timelessness of Twain's targets: ignorance, cruelty, hypocracy, racism. The story is a clear-eyed yet subversive look at a society in transition, and a relentless skewering of treasured myths concerning childhood. These themes remain as troubling today as they were in the 1840s, the supposed setting of the novel.
This book is an excellent resource for students and teachers, as well as for those of us who love Mark Twain's stories. The book itself is beautiful, with high quality paper and binding. A worthy addition to every library!
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Until something better comes along, The Annotated Huckleberry Finn will be the preferred way to journey with Mark Twain through The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. When you get an outstanding illustrated, annotated, and introduced version of an American classic, how could anyone view the result as less than five stars?
The book is massive. The introduction alone is almost full-book length. There are over 175 delightful original illustrations, supplemented by dozens of photographs (including the "obscene" one), drawings, cartoons, maps, memorabilia reproductions, and prints. The annotations often overwhelm the text in their extensiveness.
I found the introduction to be a joy. Although massive compared to most, the introduction is done in an interesting, illustrated style which added much to my enjoyment of the story by covering a lot of background. The introduction begins with the personal habits of Mark Twain and goes on to provide a mini-biography of him and a history of the book's creation, editing, publication, reviewer and reader reactions, bans on the book, promotion, and subsequent history. In this section, I was pleased to read what prominent African-Americans have had to say about the racist and anti-racist elements that are present here, and how the story affects young African-Americans. Most people will be amused by the attempts by Mrs. Clemens, his editors, and Mark Twain himself to eliminate his tendency to make his stories a little too colorful in their references to religion and use of swearing. These changes are well documented in both the introduction and in the annotations. Those who love to read about the process of writing will find this section to be a joy.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By The Hammer on December 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The greatest American novel, still. The country it sees is still in front of our eyes. The Americans it shows, we still are, though we live nearer to highways now than rivers. Twain's tale can be read both intellectually (yuck) as symbolic of the American quest for masterlessness (see Studies in Classic American Literature by D.H. Lawrence) and as a kid-on-a-raft-let's-see-what-happens story. Art and fun. Not an easy achievement to tie those two rascals together with one rope. Master of structure and flinger of fun though he be, the most exciting reason to read Twain is the language. The book is a hundred and sixteen years old, the writing ain't --"Steamboat captains is always rich, and get sixty dollars a month, and they don't care a cent what a thing costs, you know, long as they want it. Stick a candle in your pocket; I can't rest, Jim, till we give her a rummaging. Do you reckon Tom Sawyer would ever go by this thing? Not for pie, he wouldn't. He'd call it an adventure-that's what he'd call it; and he'd land on that wreck if it was his last act. And wouldn't he throw style into it?" --One caveat: Be careful the illustrations don't mess up the pictures the author can put in your head with his sentences.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Seaman on October 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Bravo! Michael Patrick Hearn has done it again! He has done the same great honor to HUCKLEBERRY FINN as he did last year to THE WIZARD OF OZ. Here is an exquisite, sumptuous edition of the Great American Novel supplemented with a lengthy and informative introduction and countless notes on all the autobiographical, literary, and historical allusions in the story. This commentary has greatly enlightened my reading of the novel and is a treasure trove of Southwestern and Twainian lore. Is there anything about Mark Twain that Hearn has not read? He even quotes from many previously unpublished sources. He meticulously traces the book's long and often controversial history from from being "the veriest trash" to the cornerstone of American literature. I had no idea so much mud has been thrown at poor Huck Finn! All of the original E. W. Kemble illustrations from the first edition are included as well as several drawn later for other purposes and numerous rare contemporary prints, photographs, maps, and other pictures. Hearn takes into consideration the various revisions Twain made in the text over the years and reprints the recently discovered suppressed "Jim and the Dead Man" episode. And Hearn is not afraid to answer the charge of racism head on. The book will be a great help in the classroom and to anyone else interested in American literature. A superb job all around. I look forward to when my grandchildren are old enough so I can share it with them.
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