Saturday, 4 October 2008

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

I really wanted to like this one. I really did. I tried hard, I promise. I absolutely adore Tom Sawyer, so much that I can safely say it would make my top 10 of all-time favourites. That's why I wanted to like this too. But probably I should have picked a better time to read it, when my mind didn't keep wondering somewhere else. And that isn't a small issues when the book you're reading is written in 19th century American English. When I was concentrated enough to follow the story I did enjoy it. At least till the storyline shifts away from Huck and starts focusing on two annoying crooks, who call themselves the Duke and the King. I hoped they would get out of the way soon enough, but they were still there when I "temporarily" put it aside for something else.

I'm sure it's not even necessary to tell what the book is about. Most of the people know it is about Tom Sawyer's friend Huck, who escapes on a raft with his runaway "nigger" friend Jim, to avoid being pestered by his drunk father. Following the river, they get into all sorts of adventures, including getting involved in a family feud and in several elaborated scums with the King and the Duke.
It was never easy to get into the flow of the story. I picked up some of the southern accent at the beginning, and I was able to read Jim's accent as well, but it was never relaxing.
But I love Huck, so I kept going. He is so careless and peaceful. All he needs is a raft, a pipe and a starry sky to feel happy. No rules for him, no manners or schedules. All he wants is to be free and be left that way. I also admire how he instinctly helps Jim even if he thinks he shouldn't. He feels guilty but still can't bring himself to betray him.
He is only a kid but he has this spontaneous wisdom that allows him to deal with the most unexpected situations with incredible ease. He knows that the King and the Duke are fakes, but he lets them believe he doesn't so not to hurt they're pride.
He is one of the most tolerant character in literature I've met. He is the epitome of the longing for freedom. You have to love him for that.

So excuse me Huck if I couldn't finish to read your adventures. I know you will take care of yourself, I trust you. I just hope you ditch those two little scumbags because they really aren't worth your time.

Other blog reviews:
Becky's Book Reviews
Tower of Books

Let me know if you've reviewed it too!


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

It's been a long time since I've read this one--over 10 years and I'd love to revisit it. BUT, I also remember how hard it was for me to get through it. The dialect is tough--I've heard it is easier if read aloud but that takes a lot of work and can't always be done. :) And with this book--probably don't want to do that in public anyway.

Don't feel bad--we all have the classics that work for us and the ones that don't. I'd love to re-read Tom Saywer one day as well.

Amy said...

Aw, I loved this. When I read it something like 10 years ago. :)

Ana S. said...

It took me two tries to manage to get through this book. I enjoyed it the second time around, but still not nearly as much as Tom Sawyer. I think it's a book that requires you to be in the right sort of mood.

ibeeeg said...

I must admit, I have never read Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. I have never been interested.
Reading your post has, however, peaked my interest to read Tom Sawyer.
Thanks for your review.

Kya said...

I'm halfway through reading Tom Sawyer to my 11 year old daughter. I want her to read some of these books but she won't on her own so I'm reading it to her. Some parts are very funny and always good natured although the scene with the murder wa sa little dark. Sorry, Huck didn't work as will for you.

valentina said...

Trish, I'm glad I'm not alone to find it hard to read, especially causen it's not my first language:P
I think I should re-read Tom Sawyer again just to make me feel better:D

Amy, yeah it seems like a lot of people's favourite. Maybe I'll come back to it one day.

Nymeth, so true. Still I don't think it could ever match Tom sawyer because that book is linked to my childhood and you can never match that!

Ibeeg, you should totally read it!like now!

Kya, well done! The first time I read it I picked it from my dad's books of when he was a boy. Very old and very dusty edition, but I still loved it so much. Hope your daughter will enjoy is just as much.