Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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Revered by all of the town's children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature.

Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic world of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is firmly grounded in early reality. From the abusive drunkard who serves as Huckleberry's father, to Huck's first tentative grappling with issues of personal liberty and the unknown, Huckleberry Finn endeavors to delve quite a bit ...

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Penguin Enriched eBook Classic

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Overview

Revered by all of the town's children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature.

Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic world of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is firmly grounded in early reality. From the abusive drunkard who serves as Huckleberry's father, to Huck's first tentative grappling with issues of personal liberty and the unknown, Huckleberry Finn endeavors to delve quite a bit deeper into the complexities-both joyful and tragic of life.

The adventures of a boy and a runaway slave as they travel down the Mississippi River on a raft.

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Editorial Reviews

Ernest Hemingway
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.
Children's Literature
What does a young boy do when he witnesses a murder but is terrified the murderer will come after him and kill him if he tells anyone what he saw? This terrible quandary is just one of the trials young Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn face after they see a man killed. On top of this worry about being attacked by the murderer, Tom has to deal with a meddlesome aunt, an ornery teacher, and a pretty girl who does not respond to his schoolboy affection. Quite an adventure for a boy who started his summer trying to get out of having to whitewash a picket fence! Fans of adventure stories, mystery buffs, or readers who enjoyed getting into scrapes with Tom years ago will enjoy this tale of a mischievous boy and his assorted pranks, trials, and intrigues. The book is funny, interesting, and thought provoking. Readers may be put off by archaic language and slang, but once you get beyond the printed words, Tom Sawyer is a wonderful book about a loveable boy who could not stay out of trouble. Part of the "Adventure Classics" series. 2005 (orig. 1876), HarperCollins, Ages 8 to 12.
—Caitlyn Payne
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
What a classic story. The book about Tom Sawyer is in the elite class of novels that will never fade away. Mr. Hall has taken the original story and condensed it into a graphic novel so that it can be enjoyed by a wider level and range of readers. Because this book is written in graphic form, it opens the door to reading for ESL students and reluctant readers, and provides high interest at a lower level. Young adults who want to read anything they can get their hands on will also enjoy the graphic format and fast paced text. The author includes a box on most pages that includes narration giving extra information to the reader to help with comprehension. Also helpful are the first two pages that introduce the characters by names and pictures. This is definitely an outstanding tool for helping the reader to follow the story. When Huck and Tom are hunting for a treasure and discussing what each would do with the money, Tom's friend Huck says he would buy a pie every day. I bet a lot of boys would agree with him. Included at the end of the book is further information about Tom Sawyer, "Discussion Questions," and "Writing Prompts," other books in the "Graphic Library Series," and step-by-step directions about how to use the Fact Hound web site. This web site is particularly beneficial because it is set up to allow the user to select the grade level of information they want. Every boy should read this story at least once in his life. It is also a wonderful book for a father to read with a son.
Publishers Weekly - Audio
11/25/2013
Twain’s classic novel describes the exploits of young Huckleberry Finn as he escapes his hometown and travels down the Mississippi River on a raft with escaped slave Jim. They encounter folks of all walks of life and repeatedly save one another from danger as they travel the American South. Eric G. Dove provides solid narration in this audio edition. Although his raspy, deep voice doesn’t quite capture the youthful Huck and his naiveté, Dove delivers a lively performance that boasts unique character voices and believable accents. And his pacing is perfect throughout: it’s appropriate to the material and more than able to hold listener attention. (Aug.)
Forrest Robinson University of California
"Broadview's new Adventures of Huckleberry Finn answers the need for an edition of America's most popular canonical novel that provides readers—and most especially student readers at all levels—with the critical tools essential to serious inquiry. The text is reliable and beautifully produced; Stephen Railton's introduction is copious, well informed, and critically suggestive; and the several appendices, featuring a wide selection of contextual materials, nicely anticipate readers' needs.”
Eric J. Sundquist Johns Hopkins University
"This welcome new edition brings beautifully to life Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as Mark Twain conceived it. Along with the excellent critical introduction and notes, the abundant contextual materials offer a superb recreation of the historical and cultural context in which the novel was written and read.”
From the Publisher
"Although he does an expert job with the entire cast, [narrator William] Dufris's delivery of Jim's dialogue is his crowning achievement.…Jim's mind and heart come shining through." —-Publishers Weekly Audio Review
School Library Journal - Audio
02/01/2014
Gr 7 Up—Two American classics transport listeners to Twain's Missouri with the mischievous antics of Tom Sawyer and the less savory, but equally appealing, jaunts of Huckleberry Finn. With characters drawn from his hometown, Twain's tales reveal the 19th-century culture, yet remain current. The boys' conquests range from Tom saving himself and his delicate sweetheart from a deep cave to Huck rafting down the Mississippi with a runaway slave and two con men. While far from perfect, the titular teens are never mean-spirited, and their misbehavior is often humorous. Narrator Eric G. Dove takes on roles from sweet, young Becky Thatcher to mean Injun Joe with clear dialect and country accents. This high-quality sound recording is a natural way to introduce Twain to students with one caution: the N-word, common in that era, is found in both novels. These recordings are useful additions to middle and high school libraries and solid components in any public library collection.—Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789626340738
  • Publisher: Naxos of America, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1995
  • Series: Junior Classics Series
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 CDs
  • Pages: 38
  • Product dimensions: 5.61 (w) x 4.91 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Twain is the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He is the author of the beloved classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and The Prince and the Pauper.

Biography

Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri; his family moved to the port town of Hannibal four years later. His father, an unsuccessful farmer, died when Twain was eleven. Soon afterward the boy began working as an apprentice printer, and by age sixteen he was writing newspaper sketches. He left Hannibal at eighteen to work as an itinerant printer in New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. From 1857 to 1861 he worked on Mississippi steamboats, advancing from cub pilot to licensed pilot.

After river shipping was interrupted by the Civil War, Twain headed west with his brother Orion, who had been appointed secretary to the Nevada Territory. Settling in Carson City, he tried his luck at prospecting and wrote humorous pieces for a range of newspapers. Around this time he first began using the pseudonym Mark Twain, derived from a riverboat term. Relocating to San Francisco, he became a regular newspaper correspondent and a contributor to the literary magazine the Golden Era. He made a five-month journey to Hawaii in 1866 and the following year traveled to Europe to report on the first organized tourist cruise. The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Sketches (1867) consolidated his growing reputation as humorist and lecturer.

After his marriage to Livy Langdon, Twain settled first in Buffalo, New York, and then for two decades in Hartford, Connecticut. His European sketches were expanded into The Innocents Abroad (1869), followed by Roughing It (1872), an account of his Western adventures; both were enormously successful. Twain's literary triumphs were offset by often ill-advised business dealings (he sank thousands of dollars, for instance, in a failed attempt to develop a new kind of typesetting machine, and thousands more into his own ultimately unsuccessful publishing house) and unrestrained spending that left him in frequent financial difficulty, a pattern that was to persist throughout his life.

Following The Gilded Age (1873), written in collaboration with Charles Dudley Warner, Twain began a literary exploration of his childhood memories of the Mississippi, resulting in a trio of masterpieces --The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), on which he had been working for nearly a decade. Another vein, of historical romance, found expression in The Prince and the Pauper (1882), the satirical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889), and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc (1896), while he continued to draw on his travel experiences in A Tramp Abroad (1880) and Following the Equator (1897). His close associates in these years included William Dean Howells, Bret Harte, and George Washington Cable, as well as the dying Ulysses S. Grant, whom Twain encouraged to complete his memoirs, published by Twain's publishing company in 1885.

For most of the 1890s Twain lived in Europe, as his life took a darker turn with the death of his daughter Susy in 1896 and the worsening illness of his daughter Jean. The tone of Twain's writing also turned progressively more bitter. The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894), a detective story hinging on the consequences of slavery, was followed by powerful anti-imperialist and anticolonial statements such as 'To the Person Sitting in Darkness' (1901), 'The War Prayer' (1905), and 'King Leopold's Soliloquy' (1905), and by the pessimistic sketches collected in the privately published What Is Man? (1906). The unfinished novel The Mysterious Stranger was perhaps the most uncompromisingly dark of all Twain's later works. In his last years, his financial troubles finally resolved, Twain settled near Redding, Connecticut, and died in his mansion, Stormfield, on April 21, 1910.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Langhorne Clemens (real name); Sieur Louis de Conte
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1835
    2. Place of Birth:
      Florida, Missouri
    1. Date of Death:
      April 21, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

1

I Discover Moses and the Bulrushers


YOU DON'T KNOW about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly - Tom's Aunt Polly, she is - and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.

Now the way that the book winds up is this: Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece all gold. It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece all the year round - more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back.

The widow she cried over me, and called me a poor lost lamb, and she called me a lot of other names, too, but she never meant no harm by it. She put me in them new clothes again, and I couldn't do nothing but sweat and sweat, and felt all cramped up. Well, then, the old thing commenced again. The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn't go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn't really anything the matter with them - that is, nothing only everything was cooked by itself. In a barrel of odds and ends it is different; things get mixed up, and the juice kind of swaps around, and the things go better.

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.

Pretty soon I wanted to smoke, and asked the widow to let me. But she wouldn't. She said it was a mean practice and wasn't clean, and I must try to not do it any more. That is just the way with some people. They get down on a thing when they don't know nothing about it. Here she was a-bothering about Moses, which was no kin to her, and no use to anybody, being gone, you see, yet finding a power of fault with me for doing a thing that had some good in it. And she took snuff, too; of course that was all right, because she done it herself.

Her sister, Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on, had just come to live with her, and took a set at me now with a spelling book. She worked me middling hard for about an hour, and then the widow made her ease up. I couldn't stood it much longer. Then for an hour it was deadly dull, and I was fidgety. Miss Watson would say, "Don't put your feet up there, Huckleberry"; and "Don't scrunch up like that, Huckleberry - set up straight"; and pretty soon she would say, "Don't gap and stretch like that, Huckleberry - why don't you try to behave?" Then she told me all about the bad place, and I said I wished I was there. She got mad then, but I didn't mean no harm. All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change, I warn't particular. She said it was wicked to say what I said; said she wouldn't say it for the whole world; she was going to live so as to go to the good place. Well, I couldn't see no advantage in going where she was going, so I made up my mind I wouldn't try for it. But I never said so, because it would only make trouble, and wouldn't do no good.

Now she had got a start, and she went on and told me all about the good place. She said all a body would have to do there was to go around all day long with a harp and sing, forever and ever. So I didn't think much of it. But I never said so. I asked her if she reckoned Tom Sawyer would go there, and she said not by a considerable sight. I was glad about that, because I wanted him and me to be together.

Miss Watson she kept pecking at me, and it got tiresome and lonesome. By and by they fetched the niggers in and had prayers, and then everybody was off to bed. I went up to my room with a piece of candle, and put it on the table. Then I set down in a chair by the window and tried to think of something cheerful, but it warn't no use. I felt so lonesome I most wished I was dead. The stars were shining, and the leaves rustled in the woods ever so mournful; and I heard an owl, away off, who-whooing about somebody that was dead, and a whippowill and a dog crying about somebody that was going to die; and the wind was trying to whisper something to me, and I couldn't make out what it was, and so it made the cold shivers run over me. Then away out in the woods I heard that kind of a sound that a ghost makes when it wants to tell about something that's on its mind and can't make itself understood, and so can't rest easy in its grave, and has to go about that way every night grieving. I got so downhearted and scared I did wish I had some company. Pretty soon a spider went crawling up my shoulder, and I flipped it off and it lit in the candle; and before I could budge it was all shriveled up. I didn't need anybody to tell me that that was an awful bad sign and would fetch me some bad luck, so I was scared and most shook the clothes off of me. I got up and turned around in my tracks three times and crossed my breast every time; and then I tied up a little lock of my hair with a thread to keep witches away. But I hadn't no confidence. You do that when you've lost a horseshoe that you've found, instead of nailing it up over the door, but I hadn't ever heard anybody say it was any way to keep off bad luck when you'd killed a spider.

I set down again, a-shaking all over, and got out my pipe for a smoke; for the house was all as still as death now, and so the widow wouldn't know. Well, after a long time I heard the clock away off in the town go boom - boom - boom - twelve licks; and all still again - stiller than ever. Pretty soon I heard a twig snap down in the dark amongst the trees - something was a-stirring. I set still and listened. Directly I could just barely hear a "me-yow! me-yow!" down there. That was good! Says I, "me-yow! me-yow!" as soft as I could, and then I put out the light and scrambled out of the window on to the shed. Then I slipped down to the ground and crawled in among the trees, and, sure enough, there was Tom Sawyer waiting for me.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

Appendix A: Related Mark Twain Texts

1. "A True Story Reprinted Word for Word as I Heard It," Atlantic Monthly (November 1874)

2. From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)

3. From Life on the Mississippi (1883)

4. "Jim's Ghost Story," excluded manuscript passage from Huckleberry Finn (1876)

5. Sequel to Huckleberry Finn, from Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894)

6. Introducing Huckleberry Finn (1895)

7. From "Chapters from My Autobiography, XIII," North American Review (March 1907)

Appendix B: Contemporary Representations of Slavery and Race

1. From "The Negro Out of Politics," Chicago Tribune (24 April 1877)

2. Blackface Minstrelsy (1880, 1884)

3. "Tom Shows" (1882)

4. From Thomas Nelson Page, "Mars Chan," Century Magazine (April 1884)

5. From George Washington Cable, "The Freedman's Case in Equity," Century Magazine

(January 1885)

Appendix C: Illustrating Huckleberry Finn

1. E.W. Kemble, Illustration for The Thompson Street Poker Club (1884)

2. From E.W. Kemble, "Illustrating Huckleberry Finn," The Colophon (February 1930)

3. E.W. Kemble, Illustration of African Slavery, Century Magazine (February 1890)

4. E.W. Kemble, New Illustrations for Huckleberry Finn (1899)

Appendix D: Selling Huckleberry Finn

1. Sales Prospectus Blurb for Huckleberry Finn (1884)

2. Sales Prospectus Poster for Huckleberry Finn (1884)

3. Promotional Flyer for Huck Finn (1885)

4. "Twins of Genius" Lecture Program Minneapolis - St. Paul (1885)

5. Advertisement from Webster & Co. Catalogue Advertising Editions of Huck Finn (1892)

Appendix E: Reception of Huckleberry Finn

1. Reviews

a. Athenaeum (27 December 1884)

b. Brander Matthews, Saturday Review (31 January 1885)

c. Hartford Courant (20 February 1885)

d. Life (26 February 1885)

e. Boston Evening Traveler (5 March 1885)

f. Daily Evening Bulletin (14 March 1885)

g. San Francisco Chronicle (15 March 1885)

h. T.S. Perry, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (May 1885)

i. The Atlanta Constitution (26 May 1885)

2. Coverage of Concord Library's Banning of Huckleberry Finn

a. New York Herald (18 March 1885)

b. Literary World (21 March 1885)

c. San Francisco Chronicle (29 March 1885)

d. The Critic (30 May 1885)

e. Hartford Courant, with Mark Twain's response (4 April 1885)

3. Reviews of Twain's Performance of the Novel Onstage

a. The Washington Post (25 November 1884)

b. The Globe (9 December 1884)

c. The Pittsburgh Dispatch (30 December 1884)

d. The Cincinnati Enquirer (4 January 1885)

e. The Minneapolis Daily Tribune (25 January 1885)

f. Wisconsin State Journal (28 January 1885)

g. Chicago Daily Tribune (3 February 1885)

Appendix F: Freedom versus Fate

1. From The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)

2. From Life on the Mississippi (1883)

3. From A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)

4. From "Corn-Pone Opinions" (1901)

5. From Twain's Seventieth Birthday Dinner Speech (1905)

6. From "The Turning Point of My Life," Harper’s Bazaar (February 1911)

Select Bibliography

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First Chapter

Chapter I: Tom Plays, Fights, and Hides "Tom!"

No answer.

"Tom!"

No answer.

"What's gone with that boy, I wonder? You, TOM!"

No answer.

The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service -- she could have seen through a pair of stove lids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:

"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll -- "

She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.

"I never did see the beat of that boy!"

She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance, and shouted:

"Y-o-u-u, Tom!"

There was a slight noise behind her and she turned just in time to seize a small boy by the slack of his roundabout and arrest his flight.

"There! I might 'a' thought of that closet. What you been doing in there?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing! Look at your hands. And look at your mouth. What is that truck?"

"I don't know, aunt."

"Well, I know. It's jam -- that's what it is. Forty times I've said if you didn't let that jam alone I'd skin you. Hand me that switch."

The switch hovered in the air -- the peril was desperate --

"My! Look behind you, aunt!"

The old lady whirled round, and snatched her skirts out of danger. The lad fled, on the instant, scrambled up the high board fence, and disappeared over it.

His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.

"Hang the boy, can't I never learn anything? Ain't he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can't learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what's coming? He 'pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it's all down again and I can't hit him a lick. I ain't doing my duty by that boy, and that's the Lord's truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I'm a-laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He's full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he's my own dead sister's boy, poor thing, and I ain't got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it's so. He'll play hooky this evening, and I'll just be obleeged to make him work, tomorrow, to punish him. It's mighty hard to make him work Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than he hates anything else, and I've got to do some of my duty by him, or I'll be the ruination of the child."

Tom did play hooky, and he had a very good time. He got back home barely in season to help Jim, the small colored boy, saw next day's wood and split the kindlings before supper -- at least he was there in time to tell his adventures to Jim while Jim did three-fourths of the work. Tom's younger brother (or rather, half brother), Sid, was already through with his part of the work (picking up chips), for he was a quiet boy and had no adventurous, troublesome ways.

While Tom was eating his supper, and stealing sugar as opportunity offered, Aunt Polly asked him questions that were full of guile, and very deep -- for she wanted to trap him into damaging revealments. Like many other simple-hearted souls, it was her pet vanity to believe she was endowed with a talent for dark and mysterious diplomacy, and she loved to contemplate her most transparent devices as marvels of low cunning.

"Tom, it was middling warm in school, warn't it?"

"Yes'm."

"Powerful warm, warn't it?"

"Yes'm."

"Didn't you want to go in a-swimming, Tom?"

A bit of a scare shot through Tom -- a touch of uncomfortable suspicion. He searched Aunt Polly's face, but it told him nothing. So he said:

"No'm -- well, not very much."

The old lady reached out her hand and felt Tom's shirt and said:

"But you ain't too warm now, though." And it flattered her to reflect that she had discovered that the shirt was dry without anybody knowing that that was what she had in her mind. But in spite of her, Tom knew where the wind lay, now. So he forestalled what might be the next move:

"Some of us pumped on our heads -- mine's damp yet. See?"

Aunt Polly was vexed to think she had overlooked that bit of circumstantial evidence, and missed a trick. Then she had a new inspiration:

"Tom, you didn't have to undo your shirt collar where I sewed it, to pump on your head, did you? Unbutton your jacket!"

The trouble vanished out of Tom's face. He opened his jacket. His shirt collar was securely sewed.

"Bother! Well, go 'long with you. I'd made sure you'd played hooky and been a-swimming. But I forgive ye, Tom. I reckon you're a kind of a singed cat, as the saying is -- better'n you look. This time."

She was half sorry her sagacity had miscarried, and half glad that Tom had stumbled into obedient conduct for once.

But Sidney said:

"Well, now, if I didn't think you sewed his collar with white thread, but it's black."

"Why, I did sew it with white! Tom!"

But Tom did not wait for the rest. As he went out at the door he said:

"Siddy, I'll lick you for that."

In a safe place Tom examined two large needles which were thrust into the lapels of his jacket, and had thread bound about them -- one needle carried white thread and the other black. He said:

"She'd never noticed if it hadn't been for Sid. Confound it! sometimes she sews it with white, and sometimes she sews it with black. I wish to geeminy she'd stick to one or t'other -- I can't keep the run of 'em. But I bet you I'll lam Sid for that. I'll learn him!"

He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though -- and loathed him.

Within two minutes, or even less, he had forgotten all his troubles. Not because his troubles were one whit less heavy and bitter to him than a man's are to a man, but because a new and powerful interest bore them down and drove them out of his mind for the time -- just as men's misfortunes are forgotten in the excitement of new enterprises. This new interest was a valued novelty in whistling, which he had just acquired from a Negro, and he was suffering to practice it undisturbed. It consisted in a peculiar birdlike turn, a sort of liquid warble, produced by touching the tongue to the roof of the mouth at short intervals in the midst of the music -- the reader probably remembers how to do it, if he has ever been a boy. Diligence and attention soon gave him the knack of it, and he strode down the street with his mouth full of harmony and his soul full of gratitude. He felt much as an astronomer feels who has discovered a new planet -- no doubt, as far as strong, deep, unalloyed pleasure is concerned, the advantage was with the boy, not the astronomer.

The summer evenings were long. It was not dark, yet. Presently Tom checked his whistle. A stranger was before him -- a boy a shade larger than himself. A newcomer of any age or either sex was an impressive curiosity in the poor little shabby village of St. Petersburg. This boy was well dressed, too -- well dressed on a weekday. This was simply astounding. His cap was a dainty thing, his close-buttoned blue cloth roundabout was new and natty, and so were his pantaloons. He had shoes on -- and it was only Friday. He even wore a necktie, a bright bit of ribbon. He had a citified air about him that ate into Tom's vitals. The more Tom stared at the splendid marvel, the higher he turned up his nose at his finery and the shabbier and shabbier his own outfit seemed to him to grow. Neither boy spoke. If one moved, the other moved -- but only sidewise, in a circle; they kept face to face and eye to eye all the time. Finally Tom said:

"I can lick you!"

"I'd like to see you try it."

"Well, I can do it."

"No, you can't, either."

"Yes, I can."

"No, you can't."

"I can."

"You can't."

"Can!"

"Can't!"

An uncomfortable pause. Then Tom said:

"What's your name?"

"'Tisn't any of your business, maybe."

"Well, I 'low I'll make it my business."

"Well, why don't you?"

"If you say much, I will."

"Much -- much -- much. There now."

"Oh, you think you're mighty smart, don't you? I could lick you with one hand tied behind me, if I wanted to."

"Well, why don't you do it? You say you can do it."

"Well, I will, if you fool with me."

"Oh, yes -- I've seen whole families in the same fix."

"Smarty! You think you're some, now, don't you? Oh, what a hat!"

"You can lump that hat if you don't like it. I dare you to knock it off -- and anybody that'll take a dare will suck eggs."

"You're a liar!"

"You're another."

"You're a fighting liar and dasn't take it up."

"Aw -- take a walk!"

"Say -- if you give me much more of your sass I'll take and bounce a rock off'n your head."

"Oh, of course you will."

"Well, I will."

"Well, why don't you do it then? What do you keep saying you will for? Why don't you do it? It's because you're afraid."

"I ain't afraid."

"You are."

"I ain't."

"You are."

Another pause, and more eying and sidling around each other. Presently they were shoulder to shoulder. Tom said:

"Get away from here!"

"Go away yourself!"

"I won't."

"I won't either."

So they stood, each with a foot placed at an angle as a brace, and both shoving with might and main, and glowering at each other with hate. But neither could get an advantage. After struggling till both were hot and flushed, each relaxed his strain with watchful caution, and Tom said:

"You're a coward and a pup. I'll tell my big brother on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I'll make him do it, too."

"What do I care for your big brother? I've got a brother that's bigger than he is -- and what's more, he can throw him over that fence, too." (Both brothers were imaginary.)

"That's a lie."

"Your saying so don't make it so."

Tom drew a line in the dust with his big toe, and said:

"I dare you to step over that, and I'll lick you till you can't stand up. Anybody that'll take a dare will steal sheep."

The new boy stepped over promptly, and said:

"Now you said you'd do it, now let's see you do it."

"Don't you crowd me now; you better look out."

"Well, you said you'd do it -- why don't you do it?"

"By jingo! for two cents I will do it."

The new boy took two broad coppers out of his pocket and held them out with derision. Tom struck them to the ground. In an instant both boys were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each other's noses, and covered themselves with dust and glory. Presently the confusion took form and through the fog of battle Tom appeared, seated astride the new boy, and pounding him with his fists.

"Holler 'nuff!" said he.

The boy only struggled to free himself. He was crying -- mainly from rage.

"Holler 'nuff!" -- and the pounding went on.

At last the stranger got out a smothered "'Nuff!" and Tom let him up and said:

"Now that'll learn you. Better look out who you're fooling with next time."

The new boy went off brushing the dust from his clothes, sobbing, snuffling, and occasionally looking back and shaking his head and threatening what he would do to Tom the next time he "caught him out." To which Tom responded with jeers, and started off in high feather, and as soon as his back was turned the new boy snatched up a stone, threw it and hit him between the shoulders and then turned tail and ran like an antelope. Tom chased the traitor home, and thus found out where he lived. He then held a position at the gate for some time, daring the enemy to come outside, but the enemy only made faces at him through the window and declined. At last the enemy's mother appeared, and called Tom a bad, vicious, vulgar child, and ordered him away. So he went away, but he said he "'lowed" to "lay" for that boy.

He got home pretty late, that night, and when he climbed cautiously in at the window he uncovered an ambuscade, in the person of his aunt; and when she saw the state his clothes were in her resolution to turn his Saturday holiday into captivity at hard labor became adamantine in its firmness.

\

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Foreword

1. Critics have long disagreed about exactly what role Jim plays in Huckleberry Finn. Some have claimed, for example, that his purpose is solely to provide Huck with the opportunity for moral growth, while others have argued that he is a surrogate father figure to Huck. What do you think is Jim's role in the novel?

2. The ending of Huckleberry Finn has been the source of endless critical controveryse. Though no less than T.S. Eliot and Lionel Trilling defended the ending on the grounds that it is structurally coherent ("It is right," Eliot stated, "that the mood of the book should bring us back to the beginning"), many critics feel that the return of Tom Sawyer and his elaborate scheme for Jim's escape reduces what had been a serious quest for freedom to a silly farce. Bernard de Voto wrote, "In the whole reach of the English novel there is no more aburpt or more abrupt or chilling descent." How does the ending strike you?

3. The Mississippi can be considered a character in its own right in Huckleberry Finn. Discuss the role of the river in the novel.

4. How do humor and satire function in the book?

5. Critic William Manierre argued in a 1964-65 essay that "Huck's 'moral growth' has...been vastly overestimated," noting for example, that when his conscience begins to give him trouble, he decides he will "do whichever came handiest at the time," and that while Huck can be seen to achieve a kind of moral grandeur when he tears up the note he's written to Miss Watson, that achievement is underminded by his easy acceptance of Tom Sawyer's scheme in the last ten chapters. Do you agree ordisagree?

6. In "The Greatness of Huckleberry Finn," Lionel Trilling stated that the style of the book is "not less than definitive in American literature," and Louis Budd has noted that "today it is standard academic wisdom that Twain's precedent-setting achievement is Huck's language." Discuss the effect of Twain's use of colloquial speech and dialect in the novel.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. Critics have long disagreed about exactly what role Jim plays in Huckleberry Finn. Some have claimed, for example, that his purpose is solely to provide Huck with the opportunity for moral growth, while others have argued that he is a surrogate father figure to Huck. What do you think is Jim's role in the novel?

2. The ending of Huckleberry Finn has been the source of endless critical controveryse. Though no less than T. S. Eliot and Lionel Trilling defended the ending on the grounds that it is structurally coherent ("It is right, " Eliot stated, "that the mood of the book should bring us back to the beginning"), many critics feel that the return of Tom Sawyer and his elaborate scheme for Jim's escape reduces what had been a serious quest for freedom to a silly farce. Bernard de Voto wrote, "In the whole reach of the English novel there is no more aburpt or more abrupt or chilling descent." How does the ending strike you?

3. The Mississippi can be considered a character in its own right in Huckleberry Finn. Discuss the role of the river in the novel.

4. How do humor and satire function in the book?

5. Critic William Manierre argued in a 1964-65 essay that "Huck's 'moral growth' has... been vastly overestimated, " noting for example, that when his conscience begins to give him trouble, he decides he will "do whichever came handiest at the time, " and that while Huck can be seen to achieve a kind of moral grandeur when he tears up the note he's written to Miss Watson, that achievement is underminded by his easy acceptance of Tom Sawyer's scheme in the last ten chapters. Do you agree ordisagree?

6. In "The Greatness of Huckleberry Finn, " Lionel Trilling stated that the style of the book is "not less than definitive in American literature, " and Louis Budd has noted that "today it is standard academic wisdom that Twain's precedent-setting achievement is Huck's language." Discuss the effect of Twain's use of colloquial speech and dialect in the novel.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 50 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2007

    okay

    I think this book was good, but at some parts it was kind of boring. The way it is narrated by Huck is perfect, because that's the way people talked at that time. When Jim talked, it was strange, because some words were written wrong and that mixed up what he was saying.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2007

    Had to keep reading!

    We had to read this book in English class for Junior year. I enjoyed it alot! It is amazing! The improper grammer is hard to follow at times, especially Jim but otherwise most people in our Class LOVE IT!!!! great reading!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2005

    Amazing, Classic, Funny. Why was it ever banned?

    Huckleberry Finn was once said to be the source of all american literarture. Earnest Hemingway said that and was right. Huck Finn and his friend Jim, a slave, have some amazing and amusing journeys as they travel down the Mississippi River. Recommended for anyone looking for a laugh and a life lesson.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

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  • Posted February 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel of sorts.  First

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel of sorts.  First came The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which Huckleberry Finn was a character in just as Tom Sawyer was in this one.  In this adventure Huckleberry runs away from his alcoholic father and along the way runs into a slave Jim, who is trying to gain his freedom.   As they stop in towns along the river they always seem to run into trouble.




    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was more enjoyable to read on my own then it was to read for school.   Huck definitely has a original imagination to get them through all the hijinks they go through.




    I felt that by the Tom Sawyer showed up the book could and probably should have ended.  Many of the people in the town were pretty gullible to believe Huck, Tom and other characters like the Duke or King. 




    An Interesting read. Not sure I understand why it is a classic except that is by Mark Twain.  I could see the authors humor throughout the book, which he was known for. 

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain

    3 Stars

    Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain <br />
    <br />
    3 Stars <br />
    <br />
    This is the sequel to Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It starts out were it left off. Huck is kidnapped by his dad who wants his money. His dad is a horrible person and a drunk. Huck meets an escaping slave Jim along the way and they set off in search of the freedom they are both looking for. This of course leads to many amusing adventures. They get into all sorts of things and meet up with a lot of questionable characters on the Mississippi river. Jim gets caught and is being held as a runaway slave. Huck decides that he must go save him even if it means he will go to hell. Arriving at the plantation where Jim is being kept leads to a whole new adventure and the arrival of help to pull off stealing Jim back and setting him free for good.<br />
    <br />
    This is one of those books that I wish I had read when I was young and was reading adventures like Call of The Wild and the like. I know I would have loved it then. That is the only reason for the 3 stars. It was a good read and amusing but I didn't relate with it as much at this time. The imagination that is involved in these stories is wonderful. I had to laugh at the reasons things were accomplished the way they were so that they would be done right and moral in keeping with stories of great adventurers. Because who could possibly want to do anything the simple way. It did make me long for the days when using that imagination made for the best times ever.<br />

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Suprisingly Good Read

    I never thought I would actually enjoy reading this book but was pleasantly surprised. Twain intertwined good humor with meaningful themes making for a book that made you not only laugh at all the ingenious plotlines but also think about the cruelties of our so-called "sivilized" world. You truly fall in love with these characters. I recommend this book to anyone searching for an adventure, comedy, or heartwarming and meaningful book. An honestly wonderful read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is about the adventure of a young man traviling down the mississippi river after running away from his abusive father. He meet meny people in his travils and learns alot about life. This book have fowl language and is intended for mature readers.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    The South in their terms

    Mark Twain is pure genius in this novel of a mere slave wanting freedom and a poor boy wanting to live on his own terms. The book stars Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. As Jim wants to get back to his family both he and Huck go on multiple adventures both exciting and dangerous. Some of which include false identities and immodest plays.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2007

    Huck Finn, not the greatest adventure.

    This great book is about a young boy that is very crazy, his name is Huckleberry Finn. He isn¿t like most kids today because he really likes the outdoors. He doesn¿t like to be inside the house, and he¿d rather go out hiking in the woods than sitting in the house and watching TV. He has a very cruel dad that never allows him to leave the house, and takes all of Huck¿s money. One day he ends up running away from his dad¿s house, and goes on a very long adventure. He finds many people. Some end up being his friend, and others are just there for their own convenience and lie about everything. He ends up having to go back to his old lifestyle and is somewhat happy that he got a life lasting adventure! This book is very fun for people that have the patience to go through and read every word carefully, because you get confused very easily. It has a great accent, but sometimes it¿s just a little too much. I didn¿t really think that the author Mark Twain had much of a message to this story, except for one that wasn¿t really a message but it¿s as close as I can get, and that is to go for what you want, and don¿t let anybody hold you back! And that¿s also what I learned about this book! But the greatest thing in this book is that he never gives up, and really fights for what he wants! He always goes for what he believes in, and doesn¿t care for anyone else!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2007

    Huckleberry Finn, ummm not as good as Tom Sawyer

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Huckleberry Finn isn¿t really the best book I have ever read , but it is interesting in an adventurous sort of way. Huckleberry Finn is a young boy who is best friends with Tom Sawyer. Huck and Tom are quite rascally little boys. They create a gang, steal, sneak around, and do many other adventurous things. Huck doesn¿t really have a home. His dad is an alcoholic and he steals Huck¿s money. Also he won¿t let Huck go to school. Huck lives with a very clean, uptight family for a while and then gets tired of wearing all the tight nice clothes so he runs away. He ends up in a big problem where he has to be very brave, but he figures everything out and goes back to his old lifestyle. Huck is happy living with the pigs and running around all day with Tom. I think that there are many things that you can learn about people by reading this, but also if you¿re not up for reading parts over and over then don¿t read Huckleberry Finn. Many parts of the book you may not understand because of the dialogue that Mark Twain uses. Mark Twain also wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In my opinion Tom Sawyer is a better example of Mark Twain¿s abilities as an author. This book is more for the older reader as well. Some of the language may be inappropriate for younger people too, but it is just how they talked back then. Huckleberry Finn was okay, but not the best book I have ever read. If you want a good read then you should go for Tom Sawyer. Huckleberry Finn is more entertaining if you have nothing to do. ¿Well there is nothing more to write about Huck and his adventures¿ - Huck

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2007

    NOT THAT SERIOUS

    This book is definitely nothing special.Everyone makes a big deal about this book but it is average. There are many other books that are wayyyyyy better!!!!if you dont read this book...life goes own..your not missing anything. Save your time and read a better book

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2006

    A Very Intersting Classic Novel!

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is a very interesting classic novel. The novel¿s main character, Huck Finn, runs away from home and finds a runaway slave called Jim. Huck and Jim become friends and decide to run away together. They have many adventures and see the different types of people in America. They come across some obstacles but they overcome them together. Most importantly, they learn new things and have some fun. I really enjoyed reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn because it showed the unanimity between two people from different racial backgrounds. The characters were realistic and each had an interesting personality. The book had some sentences and phrases that were difficult to understand at first but I was able to understand their meanings after rereading them. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the best books I have ever read (and that¿s a lot of books). I would recommend it to anybody who likes classics. This book can also be read by anyone who likes mischief and adventure because this book contains a lot of those and more. If you read it, hope you¿ll enjoy it as much as I did.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    Freedom and Friendship

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is nothing short of a great classic. Mark Twain¿s novel proves to be a novel full of adventure, maturity, and growth. Through Huck¿s journey down the Mississippi River, the author illustrates that often times, a person can¿t see the essence of someone until he or she gets close enough to share lives with that person. Huckleberry Finn, the main character and protagonist in the story, sets of on a journey to escape not only the wrath of his drunken and abusive father but also the clutches of American civilization. Huck is a paradigm of someone who has an awakening during his journey down the Mississippi River. Throughout the entire novel he continues to change and mold into a better person. For example, Huck says, ¿It made me feel so mean I could almost kissed his foot to get him to take it back. It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger, but I done it, and I warn¿t ever sorry for it afterward, neither¿ (Twain 90). Huck no longer sees the Jim as only a slave, but he sees him as a real friend and more importantly a true friend. In fact, Jim is the major reason for Huck maturity. Several times throughout the book Huck contemplates turning Jim in for running away however, he decides not to because he has built a special friendship with him. Twain uses metaphors to describe the river that proves to an important element in the novel. For example, he writes that one part of the river had ¿a cut bank with smoky ghosts of big trees on it¿ (Twain 86). The Mississippi River symbolizes Huck¿s journey from repressed civilization to a new life of freedom. When he begins his journey, he is only a young boy who is dependent on what others think. After he, musters up enough courage to leave his father and embarks on his travels, Huck grows not physically but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He becomes more mature and much more independent. Through Twain¿s inclusion of the people and adventures Huck encounters, the reader is able to see the process of Huck¿s growth. Huck¿s continued struggle for freedom and more distance from civilization can be seen when he says ¿But I reckon I got to light out for the territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she¿s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can¿t stand it. I been there before¿ (Twain 283). Another thing that made this novel great was Twain¿s use of irony. Throughout the whole novel everyone thinks that Huck is dead however, we, as readers know that he is not dead, but he actually faked his death and staged the crime scene. Another example of Twain¿s use of irony is the fact that Huck and Jim are traveling down the Mississippi River and deeper into slave territory when they are trying to gain Jim his freedom. I enjoyed this book very much, and I hope you will too.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2006

    Huck Finn is a masterpiece

    Wolfgang doesn't know what he is talking about.Huck Finn is clearly a great novel.It shows truth and life lessons.The reason why its so hard to understand because Twain wrote the way Jim talked.It showed the way a uneducated slave probably would have spoke.It has good morals and lessons.Its not racist either.Its truth!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    amazing...

    We read this in my english class and i was excited from the start...i simply fell in love with the book. Twain did a great job placing you in society of that time and bringing up the issues of then and issues we still face now... it was simply amazing

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2005

    great novel, except for the third act

    everyone who uses the hemingway quote should finish it, where old ernest said you have to quit reading when tom sawyer comes back into the story, because the rest is cheating. 100 pages! the story reaches its natrual, moral, artistic and thematic climax, and the only thing left is for huck to free jim and light out for the Territory--and what does twain do? He drags tom sawyer back into the story, and everything falls apart. and that's the great american novel? no. parts of it are beautiful and the best, like hemingway said, but the ending, twain's overuse of the theme of death and rebrith, and many other artistic faults, which we don't have time to get into, make it a manuscript about twenty drafts and two years from completion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2005

    Zero Stars If Possible

    I don't understand what is so good about this waste of trees. This is a badly written peice of work. It seems that Mark Twain has a problem with staying in a specific view (third person to first vice versa). His verb tenses always seem to be conflicting each other and he likes to jump events so much that it is plain frustrating by the time you get to the actors. Another annoying thing that Twain does that does not please much, is his ignorant way of writing someone's dialogue into their speech. It was so annoying that I just skipped all of his speech. In much better writings then Twains, they tell you the region from which his accents from and then continues to write normal dialogue. When they do that, then your imagination does the job and forming what the accent sounds like. I believe that Twain was not a good writer, but just a rebellious one for his language. And everyone knows from material today, the more contriversial it is, the more popular it will be. I think we need to quit idiolizing him in the schools, he was NOT that good of a writer. There were and are better writers. Edgar Alan Poe, for the earlier date, and Richard Matheson for a later date. And of course the God of the Typewriter, Stephen King.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2005

    I LOVE THIS BOOK

    this book was OK it wasnt the best but it was OK. it got me confused befause theu like to discribe alot of things and they say realy bbad swares and are veyr mean to each other. they say stuff abuot boys and girls body parts touching and nasty stuff like that . if u are a perfert u would read this book.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2005

    Huckleberry Finn

    I think this book was good, but at some parts it was kind of boring. The way it is narrated by Huck is perfect, because that's the way people talked at that time. When Jim talked, it was strange, because some words were written wrong and that mixed up what he was saying. I think this is a good book that everyone should read if you have enough time, and is willing to take their time in understanding the book.

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