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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn [Norton Critical Edition, 3rd ed.] (1884)

by Mark Twain, Thomas Cooley (Editor)

Other authors: Earl F. Briden (Contributor), Robert Bridges (Contributor), David Carkeet (Contributor), Bloodgood H. Cutter (Contributor), Victor A. Doyno (Contributor)12 more, T. S. Eliot (Contributor), Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Contributor), William Ernest Henley (Contributor), Sociable Jimmy (Contributor), James R. Kincaid (Contributor), Brander Matthews (Contributor), Julia A. Moore (Contributor), Toni Morrison (Contributor), Thomas Sergeant Perry (Contributor), Jane Smiley (Contributor), David L. Smith (Contributor), John H. Wallace (Contributor)

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831719,774 (3.94)7
This volume reprints the Iowa-California text of Twain's classic novel about the son of the town drunk who joins an escaped slave in a bid for freedom down the Mississippi River. Includes annotations, documents, information about the author, and critical excerpts.

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I read the Adventures of Huck Finn in high school and very quickly thereafter read Tom Sawyer. Both are such great adventure stories but also a lesson in writing in dialect. While there are aspects that are unfortunate/unpleasant in the way of terrible events and actions in history regarding 'The South' and the stain of the nation, it's an entertaining look into the past through the point of view of a young boy just making his way. Of course it definitely offers up opportunity for further and deeper discussion, but on the surface, it's an adventure story. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
I'd read this book before, but the Norton Critical Edition info made it much more enjoyable. Taking off half a star for the problematic ending. But still, it's easy to get caught up in the adventure of this book. ( )
  selfcallednowhere | Jan 20, 2013 |
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. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Sep 28, 2011 |
Although I've read the story before, I haven't read it since I bought this Norton Critical Edition, with all the wonderful supplementary material at the back. This past Christmas struck me as the perfect time to read about good old Huck Finn - although I'm not at all sure why I felt like it was a holiday book - so I picked it up for a reread.

I enjoyed this novel the first time I read it, back in high school, and then again when it was assigned college reading material. Yes, that makes this the third time I've read Twain's highly acclaimed, highly controversial, masterpiece. I find that reading a book three times can lead to deeper understanding and enjoyment, although I rarely have had the experience, because there are so many other books I want to read. This only ever happens, actually, when I get assigned to read the same book over again in classes or conferences. This time around, I was able to enjoy the story, since it had been quite a while since I last read it, and at the same time look at the literary composition that makes it a classic of literature and the subject matter that has made it so contentious.

No doubt about it, Twain wrote a powerful story. I'm reading the earlier Tom Sawyer to my daughter right now, and it just doesn't hold a candle to this novel. Using Huck as narrator was genius, and the way he captures his voice, innocent yet jaded, full of naive ethical morality and unwitting social commentary, is really amazing. Not to mention the wide variety of dialects used in the novel. Then there's Jim, who I love, and who becomes Huck's father figure (in the better moments of the novel). You can't help but fall for the rascally Duke and King, too, at first; yet their true nature is never hidden, and I was happy when they met their just rewards. The framework of the story, with the flowing river always pushing the characters on and holding them back, is a great piece of composition. The motifs of the novel are intertwined with the river and with the characters. Twain's craftsmanship, on so many levels, is high.

Of course, a person can write a book that is wonderfully made and still be terrible. Many people feel that Twain's book either is complicit in its acceptance of racism, or outright endorses it. This, despite the fact that Twain clearly makes a point of criticizing the society that Huck lives in, especially in regards to their treatment of slaves (and other classes of people) and makes Jim a real person that was a far cry from the accepted portrayal of African Americans at that time. Twain either doesn't go far enough, according to some, or still encourages racist stereotypes at the same time that he is purportedly denying them. After reading the story, and many of the commentaries at the end, I find the matter to be complicated, frankly. I'm a white woman, so I can't claim being able to see every angle of this issue. I can see how this book would make other African Americans uncomfortable, especially if it is taught to school children without expert handling by a teacher. Definitely, any one who reads this story will have to navigate the terrain of racial matters, and it should be handled sensitively and with understanding. For my part, I felt that Twain was trying to criticize the way African Americans were treated, both in his time and the time that the story takes place. While he obviously was still under the influence of his society and background, he was taking a bold move on his part to shake the assumptions of his contemporaries. Perhaps he could have done more, but the attempt, the desire to change things, is evident in his portrayal of Jim and Huck. The only way to come to your own evaluation of his motives is to just read the book yourself, and see what you think.

As to the format of the novel - this edition of the book will appeal to some and not others. It has a plethora of material at the conclusion of the novel to aid in deeper research into the novel. If you're like me, you'll enjoy the essays, letters, contemporary reviews and modern reviews, and other writings that accompany the text. I enjoy deconstructing my literature and finding deeper meaning; it makes me miss my undergrad English literature days. If you're like my husband, who doesn't want to be bothered with afterwords and forewords, even, but just get to the meat of the story, then this edition is not for you. Find a different edition of the story, but still find one, because this is a piece of literary history that should not be missed. ( )
  nmhale | Sep 8, 2010 |
A story that everyone knows but still a good read. Huckleberry Finn's adventures will never be forgotten. ( )
  shmuffin | Apr 16, 2009 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mark Twainprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cooley, ThomasEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Briden, Earl F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bridges, RobertContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carkeet, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cutter, Bloodgood H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Doyno, Victor A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eliot, T. S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fishkin, Shelley FisherContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Henley, William ErnestContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jimmy, SociableContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kincaid, James R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Matthews, BranderContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, Julia A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morrison, ToniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perry, Thomas SergeantContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smiley, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, David L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, John H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work.

In addition, the Norton Critical Edition book is not the -- or "a" -- "standard" edition. Rather, it is the complete book, as Twain intended it, taken from the original final MS, half of which was missing for over a century. It is, therefore, a DIFFERENT BOOK IN TEXTUAL CONTENT.

Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.

The three editions of the NCE are different in content. Please do not combine.
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This volume reprints the Iowa-California text of Twain's classic novel about the son of the town drunk who joins an escaped slave in a bid for freedom down the Mississippi River. Includes annotations, documents, information about the author, and critical excerpts.

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