The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (4.3 Stars)

Spoiler-free Review

I first bought this book because it was on my reading list for university – though only one or two chapters. Still, I thought it was worth buying the entire book, instead of only reading the suggested material from an anthology. Additionally, I once called the radio to answer a question concerning this book – and have gotten it right. I knew I had to read it. I also knew I had to start at the beginning, which are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I read them. I loved them. I couldn’t wait to get started on Huck.

I actually had to start twice, as, for some reason, the first time round it wasn’t exactly what I felt like reading at that time. Also, it is very difficult for a non-native speaker of English, who is also more used to the British accents than the American ones. Once I did start again, however, I read it in a matter of days – over the very busy Christmas break.

I liked to be reminded of Tom Sawyer and his adventures – though I must admit he appears a lot more annoying and less clever when he is seen through someone else’s eyes. His stories are so much grander and more ridiculous, what I liked in his books, but then I thought I actually prefer it when Huck is making up the stories. And, boy, does he a lot. They are good stories and he almost makes them believable.
I have to admit I even enjoyed reading Jim and all the other characters with heavy accents speak after some time, trying to make out the words that are written and don’t look English and convert them into “real” English in my mind.
I also felt that I learned much more about the slave trade. On the one hand, it was always clear to me that the dark-skinned people had no rights whatsoever; on the other hand, I found it hard to believe that this was actually and deeply ingrained in people’s minds. So some of the thoughts Huck has about Jim were shocking and eye opening.

It was fifteen minutes before I could work myself up to go and humble myself to a nigger – but I done it, and warn’t ever sorry for it afterwards, neither.

Huck’s adventures were great. Absolutely entertaining, manifold, and reliably unexpected. Most surprising, to me, was perhaps the final development, which I did not see coming at all. Crazy good.

Rating

Idea: 4 Stars
Characters: 4 Stars
Realization: 5 Stars
Writing Style: 4 Stars
General Rating: 5 Stars
Personal Rating: 4 Stars

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