The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, written by Mark Twain has been popular since it was first published in 1884. Told in the first person by “Huck” Finn, best friend of Tom Sawyer. it is known for its colorful and often scathng look at the people and places along the Mississippi River at a time when racism was an entrenched attitude in the Southern antebellum society. Huck and his friend, Jim, a runaway slave, share friendship and adventure as they journey down the Mississippi River on a raft, bringing one of the most enduring images of escape and freedom to American literature. The strong point of view, masterful depiction of dialects and confrontations of issues of prejudice and race have inspired crtics to dub it “the great American novel.”
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“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the only one of Mark Twain’s various books which can be called a masterpiece. I do not suggest that it is his only book of permanent interest; but it is the only one in which his genius is completely realized, and the only one which creates its own category.”
T. S. Elliot
“A seminal work of American literature that still commands deep praise and still elicits controversy, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is essential to the understanding of the American soul.”
— Amazon.com, editorial review
“All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.”
— Ernest Hemingway
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About Mark Twain
Mark Twain, pseudonym of Samuel L. Clemens (1835–1910), was born in Florida, Missouri, and grew up in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. He attended school briefly and then at age thirteen became a full-time apprentice to a local printer. When his older brother Orion established the Hannibal Journal, Samuel became a compositor for that paper and then, for a time, an itinerant printer. With a commission to write comic travel letters, he traveled down the Mississippi. Smitten with the riverboat life, he signed on as an apprentice to a steamboat pilot. After 1859, he became a licensed pilot, but two years later the Civil War put an end to the steam-boat traffic.
In 1861, he and his brother traveled to the Nevada Territory where Samuel became a writer for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise, and there, on February 3, 1863, he signed a humorous account with the pseudonym Mark Twain. The name was a river man’s term for water “two fathoms deep” and thus just barely safe for navigation.
In 1870 Twain married and moved with his wife to Hartford, Connecticut. He became a highly successful lecturer in the United States and England, and he continued to write.
About Don Hagen
Don Hagen has been behind the microphone since fifth grade. He is a nine-time winner of the Peer Award for narration/voice-over and twice winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award. He has also been heard in radio and television commercials and documentaries. In addition to his freelance voice work, he is a member of the audiobook narration team at the Library of Congress.