The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn fakes his own death to escape his drunken father, and travels down the Mississippi River with Jim, a runaway slave.
First off, I didn’t read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, to which this book is the sequel. I don’t really think it would have changed my opinion, but who knows. I’m not giving this a great rating, but I also didn’t dislike it. It was fine. There were things I enjoyed about it, and things I didn’t.
I liked the way the book was written. It’s written in the vernacular and, even in parts where some of the language is unfamiliar, it’s descriptive enough to be an immersive representation of the time period. That being said, a lot of language in the book didn’t age well. Although the story as a whole is anti-racist, there is a lot of racist language used. I know this is a product of the time period, but reading it now, as someone who doesn’t agree with slavery and racism, I couldn’t connect with the moral journey of learning those things maybe aren’t so great.
The main reason I didn’t like this book more, is there’s a fair portion of it that doesn’t feel like anything is actually happening. Huck encounters a lot of people and places on his way down the Mississippi River. The rotating cast of side characters, combined with the descriptive writing, really slowed things down for a while. Even when things were happening, a lot of times it felt like Huck just happened to be there and he wasn’t really doing anything. Maybe that is still exciting for a young boy, but it wasn’t for me.
Overall, I think this is a well written story about a young boy living in the south toward the end of slavery in America, but it’s not one I’ll be recommending to my friends.