Trudi Miller Rosenblum
Patrick Fraley previously recorded what is surely the definitive audio version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and he achieves the same masterful result with this title. Fraley sounds less like a narrator and more like a storyteller spinning a colorful yarn. His folksy accent is perfect for Huck, and he creates a host of distinctive voices that bring to life the story's colorful cast of characters. Students new to Twain's work will find this an inviting introduction, while adults and Twain fans who have read Huckleberry Finn many times will find added enjoyment and meaning in the new audio version.
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.
As admirable as is now to be expected from the Mark Twain Project of the Bancroft Library.
Yearbook of English Studies
Los Angeles Times
The story of the classic, controversial tale's latest edition is one of painstaking literary detective work. 'It's like filling in the genome,' for the book, said noted Twain scholar Louis J. Budd. 'Maybe nothing is ever the last word, especially on Twain, but this seems like it.'
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
This is the definitive critical edition of Huckleberry Finn you've been waiting for. Ingenious textual detective work rescues Twain at last from hundreds of careless errors by typists, typesetters and proofreaders. The fascinating explanatory notes help us decode allusions that were familiar to readers in Twain's time but are obscure today, while the reproduced manuscript pages let us compare for the first time first and final drafts of some of the book's most memorable passages. This splendid book belongs in every library, home, and literature classroom.
Charles H. Gold
The University of California Press has presented everything needed to understand Twain and his works. They have made him the most accessible of major American writers, the most thoroughly documented.
M. T. Inge
No other American writer has been served so competently or so successfully in the publication of sound texts as has Samuel L. Clemens by the Mark Twain Project of the University of California in Berkeley.
San Fransico Chronicle
The Mark Twain Project looms over the landscape of literary scholarship like Mount Everest.
Louis J. Budd
Because of the lately recovered half of the manuscript we now have the genome filled in for Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, along with the Mississippi-wide expertise that shows us how to comprehend this edition. To borrow from one of the Connecticut Yankee's walking ads, 'All the Prime-Donne will use it.'
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The man touted as "America's favorite storyteller," Garrison Keillor, has joined leagues with America's other favorite storyteller, Mark Twain. He reads his own adaptation of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn." [brought to you by HighBridge Audio] ...Where most readers make Finn sound like a gritty, stream-smart little river rat, Keillor gives him a whiff of wistfulness andyeseven an ingenuous quality. And it will go down in history as the only recording that changes the ending of the book....Keillor even has his own bit of fun, including on the cassette jacket "A Note From the Hero's Father," one Newton P. Finn, a three-term member of Congress from Missouri. Finn claims that the book "has some true parts in it, but most of it is stretched, as you'd expect from a writer who doesn't even use his own name." The whole thing is a powerful lot of fun.
Radio personality and best-selling author Garrison Keillor lends his considerable charm, enthusiasm and taste to this superb reading and abridgment of Twain's classic [brought to you by HighBridge Audio]. His cutting makes no concessions to the Comstockery that has made "Huckleberry Finn" an object of heated debate. Instead, he gives us a "good parts" version, his personal pick of choice passages, edited with sensitivity to narrative flow, style and theme. The same literary tact plays in his voice, along with love and a childlike ingenuousness. The pristine recording is an excellent introduction to Keillor, as well as to Sam Clemens, two of America's most engaging heartland storytellers.
This is the first edition of the classic American novel, the first ever to be based on Twain's entire original manuscript.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this centenary year of the first American edition of Huckleberry Finn, Neider, who has worked long and well in the thickets of Twain scholarship (this is the ninth Twain volume he has edited), offers a most fitting tribute, for which he will be thanked in some quarters, damned in others. Neider's contribution is twofold: he has restored to its rightful place the great rafting chapter, which the author had lifted from the manuscript-in-progress and dropped into Life on the Mississippi, and he has abridged some of the childish larkiness in the portions in which Huck's friend Tom Sawyer intrudes into this novel. For decades, critics have lamented the absence of the ``missing'' chapter and deplored the jarring presence of Tom in episodes that slow the narrative, but not until now has anyone had the temerity to set matters right. In paring back the ``Tom'' chapters (which he fully documents in his lengthy, spirited introduction, with literal line counts of the excised material), Neider has achieved a brisker read. Though there may be some brickbats thrown at him for this ``sacrilege,'' few should object to the belated appearance of the transplanted rafting chapter in the novel in which it clearly belongs. October 25
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.
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.
The Mark Twain Project used the second half of the original manuscript of Twain's masterwork (given by Twain to the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library), together with the first half from the first American edition of 1885, for its 1985 edition of the novel. In 1990, however, the first half of the original manuscript was found in the attic of the great-granddaughter of James Gluck, the curator of the Buffalo library. While the recovery of the first half of the manuscript (told in detail in "Note on the Text") is itself an interesting detective story, the upshot of the matter is that the present text represents the whole manuscript as Twain surely intended it before typesetters and proofreaders introduced the errors that we have been reading all these years. Most of those numerous errors are minor (misspellings and punctuation errors), but some are significant (three revised sections of the novel, for example). Few but Twain scholars will appreciate the meticulous editing that has gone into this volume, but those who care will be able to see more clearly than ever how carefully Twain revised the novel into its greatness. Highly recommended for all scholarly libraries. Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
(Gr 5-Up) - Lapointe has colorfully illustrated various scenes from Twain's original story with detailed paintings and captioned each one with a quote from the text. Additional historical maps, reproductions, modern photographs, and other types of pictures from numerous sources give readers a better insight into life in the 1800s. They include pictures of Hannibal, MO, Mark Twain's birthplace and the inspiration for much of his work; animals and plants appear in the text along with common objects of the times. Most of them enhance readers' understanding. The result is a combination picture story/social commentary on the period. The trim size is a bit larger than that of most novels, allowing for a comfortable print size. Almost every page has at least one illustration and there are several double-page spreads. The only drawback to this version is that youngsters who are not familiar with the story may find the abundance of captioned illustrations in their myriad styles, formats, and colors distracting. However, for those who already know the story or are studying it in conjunction with 19th-century America, this version is a must. - Nancy P. Reeder, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, Columbia, SC
"One can read it at ten and then annually ever after, and each year find that it is as fresh as the year before..."--Lionel Trilling
Childrens Book Watch
The St. Charles Players presents a multi-cast dramatization of Mark Twain's classic American novel, Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn in their unique and totally entertaining "Radio Theatre" style. This familiar story of Huck Finn, a young boy running away from home with Jim, a Negro slave seeking escape to freedom, is wonderfully retold with each bend of the Mississippi River bringing a new adventure, a chance encounter, a wealth of mischief, fun, and memorable characters. Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn is a rewarding, entertaining, highly recommended, two cassette, 141 minute, audiobook addition to any personal, school or community library collection.
Childrens Book Watch
Read an Excerpt
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.