Mark Twain’s tale of a boy’s picaresque journey down the Mississippi on a raft conveyed the voice and experience of the American frontier as no other work has done before. When Huck escapes from his drunken father and the ‘sivilizing’ Widow Douglas with the runaway slave Jim, he embarks on a series of adventures that draw him to feuding families and the trickery of the unscrupulous ‘Duke’ and ‘Daupin’. Beneath the exploits, however, are more serious undercurrents — of slavery, adult control and, above all, of Huck’s struggle between his instinctive goodness and the corrupt values of society, which threaten his deep and enduring frienship with Jim.
All modern American literature comes from… “Huckleberry Finn”. It’s the best book we’ve had. —Ernest Hemingway
Probably the most stupendous event of my whole life. —Henry Louis Mencken
[Huck is] one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet… —T. S. Eliot
The mark of how good ‘Huckleberry Finn’ has to be is that one can compare it to a number of our best modern American novels and it stands up page for page, awkward here, sensational there — absolutely the equal of one of those rare incredible first novels that come along once or twice in a decade. —Norman Mailer
The first truly American writer, and all of us since are his heirs. —William Faulkner
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