This book has languished on my book shelf for many years just yearning to be read. Somebody purchased it for me as a gift when I was a child, along with a copy of the Wizard of Oz. I have no idea what happened to the Wizard of Oz, although I do remember it having a green cover (strange the things you remember). When I was younger I used to love to play libraries (now I love to play blogging – I’ve always been a geek!) and I remember checking this one out to my nan to read. Whether she read it or not I don’t know, she may have just taken it away to be polite and play along with my imaginary game. Either way I decided that any book that was good enough for my nan to read, was good enough for me and so it sat there on my bookshelf waiting to be read for… well I don’t know how long.
And on that basis, I wanted to love it. I really did. I wanted it to be an indulgent escape into childhood filled with adventure. I didn’t love it. I barely liked it. In fact, at some points it downright annoyed me. The book tells the tale of Huckleberry Finn and his adventures as he runs away from his home town and travels down the Mississippi.
On the plus side the language was extremely evocative of the deep south. Unfortunately this made it extremely hard work to read. I guess it must be remembered that this book was written in 1884, so whilst it’s not exactly Chaucer the use of language is going to vary considerably from that of modern authors. But, I was prepared to be challenged. And that’s what I found. There aren’t many books which I struggle to complete. Even books that I’m not sure about at first I tend to persevere with. This one I really struggled with. Looking back some of the stories were sweet and well concocted – but weirdly it didn’t feel like that at the time. In fact towards the end when Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer team up to try to free the slave who has been imprisoned on a neighbouring farm (I think it was a farm, I’d drifted off a bit by that stage) I just wanted to scream at them to stop procrastinating and get the hell on with it.
I’m sure this book was magical when it was first released. Full of adventure and adrenaline for young boys, but now, to me at least, it seems a little twee. But judging my its literary significance, perhaps I’ve missed the point?
Fabulous rating: 2/5
Fancy a read? Get The Adventures of Hucklberry Finn by Mark Twain from Amazon.co.uk