Another Monday, another recap. Y'all. This is my fourth straight week posting a book recap. I'm tearing up my 2016 book list, and I am right on track to meet my 20-book goal this year. #winning
Today we're bustin' the recap on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens, and before we get into it, let me share a few interesting details about the author with you. Mark Twain has been lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and Faulkner called him "the father of American literature". He picked up his pen name piloting steamboats. "Mark twain" was the leadsman's cry for a measured river depth of two fathoms which was a safe water depth for steamboats. Mark Twain was born in November of 1835 shortly after the closest approach to Earth by Halley's Comet. In 1909, Twain predicted he would go out with the comet saying:
"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'"
And as Providence would have it, Twain died of a heart attack the day after the comet's closest approach to Earth. Interesting, right? Mark Twain was probably best known for his novels about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, and with that, let's talk about Huck Finn.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in 1885 as a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer which was published nine years earlier in 1876. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has come to be known as "The Great American Novel" and it was Huck Finn that established Mark Twain as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is just that: the escapades and scrapes of a 14 year old boy named Huckleberry Finn strung together and presented in book form. Mark Twain gives notice before the book begins that any "persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot." And it's a pretty fair warning. To be honest, it took me a little while to get into this one, and for the first 18 chapters, I really was wondering to myself why this little novel was such a big deal. I mean, it was amusing, but it certainly didn't seem very compelling or mind-blowing to me. Once I hit chapter 19 though, I was invested and I finished it up in a matter of days.
I'm not really sure how to describe this book. It was kindof heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. As I was reading it, I kept thinking, "This is the Anne of Green Gables for boys." Not much of a plot, but you can't help loving it and wanting to be with Huck on his raft floating down the Mississippi River and inventing tall tales to get you out of whatever mischief you've just gotten yourself into. I really wish I had read Tom Sawyer first, but as you may know, I didn't have that one when I was making my list for this year. I have since acquired it and plan to put it on next year's list. Tom Sawyer had his share in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and he is a trip. I was laughing out loud at his antics, and I'm really looking forward to reading his adventures.
All in all, I would recommend this book just because of its renown if for no other reason. It made me laugh, it made me sad, and at times it even made me think. For whatever reason, this books feels really personal to me. Reading it was like visiting with a friend that you can be completely vulnerable with, and for reasons I can't even explain, I feel protective of the thoughts I had while I was in its pages. It's like Huck Finn shared secrets with me that I can't share with anyone else. Even now, I feel as if I've said too much, and if you're reading this, you probably think I'm bat-crazy. But I'm okay with that. Mainly because I am a little crazy, I guess, and if you haven't figured that out by now, you probably haven't been reading this blog long enough.
Have you ever read Huck Finn? Are you ready to have me committed after that last paragraph? What were your thoughts while reading it? Did you love it, hate it, or did you just read it because you had to for school? Would you recommend it to others? I'd love to discuss this more in the comments, so bring it on!