The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain, Gary Paulsen

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Overview


The great American writer Ernest Hemingway, had this to say about Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn: "All modern, literature, stems from this one book." In this quintessential American novel, Tom Sawyer's best friend, Huckleberry Finn, travels down the Mississippi River on a raft with a slave named Jim, getting himself in and out of danger along the way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442457485
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 04/17/2012
Series: Aladdin Classics
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 710,297
Lexile: 980L (what's this?)
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author


Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens. His humorous tales of human nature, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), remain standard texts in high school and college literature classes. Twain was born and died in years in which Halley's Comet passed by Earth: 1835 and 1910.


Gary Paulsen is one of the most honored writers of contemporary literature for young readers. He has written more than one hundred book for adults and young readers, and is the author of three Newbery Honor titles: Dogsong, Hatchet, and The Winter Room. He divides his time among Alaska, New Mexico, Minnesota, and the Pacific.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

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.

Table of Contents

Referring to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. L. Mencken noted that his discovery of this classic American novel was "the most stupendous event of my whole life"; Ernest Hemingway declared that "all modern American literature stems from this one book," while T. S. Eliot called Huck "one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet."
The novel's preeminence derives from its wonderfully imaginative re-creation of boyhood adventures along the mighty Mississippi River, its inspired characterization, the author's remarkable ear for dialogue, and the book's understated development of serious underlying themes: "natural" man versus "civilized" society, the evils of slavery, the innate value and dignity of human beings, the stultifying effects of convention, and other topics. But most of all, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful story―filled with high adventure and unforgettable characters (including the great river itself)―that no one who has read it will ever forget.
Unabridged Dover (1994) republication of the text of the first American edition, published by Charles L. Webster and Company, New York, 1885. New introductory Note.

What People are Saying About This

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.

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

EBOOK COMMENTARY

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.

T. S. Eliot

...We come to see Huck... as one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction; not unworthy to tak e a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet, and other great discoveries that man has made about himself.

Lionel Trilling

One can read it at ten and then annually ever after, and each year find that it is as fresh as the year before...

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn2 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
cassala on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good story, although sometimes it gets repetitive and Huck's language is sometimes hard to read.
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There is a reason this book is a classic. Twain's tale of Huck Finn leaving his home and traveling with the slave Jim up the Mississippi is endearing. Not only is it telling of the time period, but it also tells the story of a kid and the mischief a young boy can get into.
MissWoodhouse1816 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you haven¿t read the book and want to, then I wouldn¿t read this. However, if you are never going to get through the book and want to sound somewhat informed, then by all means read on!Huck finds himself miserable under the adoptive care of Widow Douglas and her sister. When all signs begin pointing to a return of Huck¿s father, Huck sells his $6000 (see Adventures of Tom Sawyer) to Judge Thatcher for a dollar, which is soon drunk up by Pap who drags Huck away from his ¿soft¿ life. Ever resourceful, Huck arranges the scene of his own murder to escape from Pap¿s beatings- and promptly runs into Big Jim, a runaway slave of Widow Douglas¿.Huck and Big Jim have a mostly pleasant time floating on the river on a raft, until they miss the stop that would allow Jim to escape to freedom. Things go downhill after that as Huck and Jim are joined by a couple of shyster conmen who mistake the runaways for a couple of fools. The four are able to run several successful scams until a particularly daring one goes too far. Jim ends up in captivity on a small plantation, and Huck evades the conmen in order to set out and rescue Jim.At the plantation, Huck finds himself in over his head as the family mistakes him for a visiting relative. Everything seems to turn around though as Huck discovers that the family has mistaken him for none other than Tom Sawyer- until Tom himself shows up. With Tom and Huck under the same roof they turn the house upside down as the boys set up an elaborate plan to set Jim free. I am not a huge Mark Twain fan, and I¿ve tried for years to get through this book. If it wasn¿t for my book club, it would still be sitting on my shelf in the ¿partially read¿ category. All that said I did enjoy the book more than I thought I would. Twain is very gifted at revealing the motives and intentions that drive people¿s lives, and this talent is in full display throughout the book. Personally I feel that it wouldn¿t be such a big deal today if it hadn¿t been banned, but that is just my opinion. Overall, an interesting read.
Aelione on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I always liked Huck more than Tom. Tom always struck me as something of a brat, while I sort of identified with Huck, and his lack of parental security and support. I was rooting for him, and his scrappy can-do ways.
libraryclerk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Took me years to finally get around to reading this book. It was a fun and sad adventure. It told of racial pregudices that are even around today.
SeriousGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Mark Twain titled this Adventures of Huckleberry Finn he wasn't kidding. Huck is a almost orphaned boy living with a widow. Dad is an abusive alcoholic who shows up occasionally to try to steal from Huck. While Huck is grateful to the widow for a roof over his head and food to eat he is of the "thanks, but no thanks" mindset and soon runs away. He would rather be sleeping out under the stars, floating down the Mississippi while trapping small game and fishing than minding his ps and qs and keeping his nose clean in school. Huck is a clever boy and he shows this time and time again (getting away after being kidnapped by his father, faking his own death, dressing like a girl, tricking thieves etc), but his immaturity often catches up to him. Huck's partner is crime is Jim, slave of Miss Watson's. Together they build a raft and travel down the Mississippi getting into all sorts of mayhem. One of the best things about The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the descriptions of the people and places Huck and Jim encounter along their journey.
mike_frank on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fantastic... a struggle to get started with but incredibly rewarding. Twain's word play, sarcasm, and general demeanor are invigorating. Can finally check this off the books I lied about reading in high school... ;)
Hamburgerclan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Huck Finn years ago, when I was a boy, and finally got around to rereading it now that I'm a bit older and wiser. I never really enjoyed it much as a young'un, but now I think it's just great. What more can I say? It's funny, engaging and makes one question the status quo. We put it on our shelf in an attempt to get a nice library of children's books, but I'm keeping it there for my own entertainment.--J.
HeatherSwinford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Huckleberry Finn has been taken in by Widow Douglas and her sister, Miss Watson, who intend to teach him religion and proper manners. Huck soon sets off on an adventure to help the widow's slave, Jim, escape up the Mississippi to the free states. Huck tell's his own story, the book is able to tell the painful contradiction of racism and segregation in a "free" and "equal" society.
eejjennings on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found it hard to believe that this book was written in the late 1800s since Twain had such a modern sensibility. He continues to be relevant over 100 years later! One of my all-time favorite authors!
alexandraboxer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a good book about morality and growing up. Throughout the book Huck Finn matures and really grows into a respectable young man. Huck runs into many problems. He has money of his own, but his drunk father wants to take it from him. When he is finally given a safe home, he doesn't feel comfortable because he is so used to not being treated right. After his dad locks him up in their home, he runs away with a slave. Huck constantly questions society and realizes how wrong the mistreatment of Jim is. The story is long, but good. It teaches many lessons and is a great tale of growing up.
minnesotadebbie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorite books! Huck's redemption scene - and the fact that he doesn't even know he has saved himself - is the most powerful moment that I know of in American literature. Coming-of-age, travel, friendship, and social commentary: this book gets my nomination for the Great American Novel! Oh - and don;t forget the two greatest rapscallions in American literature: the King and the Duke. PS: Thanks to my long-ago English teachers who first helped me get into this book!
silverdaisy1975 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of the backbone books of post Civil War American Literature. Twain writes a wonderful story about the journey of a runaway boy and a slave. He uses regional dialect so it helps to read out loud in parts, otherwise the dialect adds a great layer to the story.This book is really funny! Don't read it becauseit is literature, read it because it is good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It was a really good book but don't read it if you are afraid of a few bad words. But if you do take the time to read the book it is very good and you might even get something out of it. There are a few things in the book that could even be considered a life lessen
Charlottes-son More than 1 year ago
One of the Classics and a great read. Don't be afraid of a few bad words. It is a clear slice of life, all dressed up, just as it was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Adamfchms143 More than 1 year ago
This book is very hard to read.With southern accents the sentences are like ‘’How we gwyne git em?’’ Its very hard to understand. I understand why the author did this because it was in older times.So the English wasn’t the greatest.When I read this book every time i got to a wierd scentence I had to sound out every word to figure out what the author was trying to say.The story itself wasn’t bad but I had trouble at some parts trying to read.I didn’t like how this book was written.
Natalie_Carlo More than 1 year ago
It was so exciting and marvelous. I thought it was a new adventure each chapter and it was so adorable to experience Huck's and Jim's friendship evolve and grow. I wanted to just keep reading.
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ConfuzzledShannon More than 1 year ago
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. 
mgoodrich718 More than 1 year ago
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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