Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Book Review of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: With Connections (Hrw Library)

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: With Connections (Hrw Library)
bup avatar reviewed on + 164 more book reviews

In high school I was taught this is America's greatest novel, and that it's our epic. Thirty years later, I read it again with more confidence in my own opinion.

The first part of the book, before Huck and Jim take off down the river, is great. Their island really is majestic, Huck's deception of his pa entertains and interests, as well as speaking volumes about Huck's character.

The middle of the book, Huck and Jim are too much of bystanders watching other stories - the feuding families, all the adventures with the King and the Duke.

The end of the book, when Tom Sawyer shows up? Ouch. It's a thin joke gone way too far. Just tiring to read. Then the denouement fairy shows up on literally the last 2 pages to sweep away the 2 major points of conflict in the book.

That said, it's still a very powerful, humorously ironic upending of racist America in the middle 1800's, and Twain should be proud that some doofuses still get worked up that his book has that word in it. The novel also expresses Twain's love and knowledge of America's great river well.

I think I'll read it again in 30 years.

Want fewer ads?