Long cherished by readers of all ages, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is both a hilarious account of an incorrigible truant and a powerful parable of innocence in conflict with the fallen adult world.
The mighty Mississippi River of the antebellum South gives the novel both its colorful backdrop and its narrative shape, as the runaways Huck and Jim—a young rebel against civilization allied with an escaped slave—drift down its length on a flimsy raft. Their journey, at times rollickingly funny but always deadly serious in its potential consequences, takes them ever deeper into the slave-holding South, and our appreciation of their shared humanity grows as we watch them travel physically farther from yet morally closer to the freedom they both passionately seek.
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. The recent discovery of the first half of Twain's manuscript, long thought lost, made front-page news. And this unprecedented edition, which contains for the first time omitted episodes and other variations present in the first half of the handwritten manuscript, as well as facsimile reproductions of thirty manuscript pages, is indispensable to a full understanding of the novel. The changes, deletions, and additions made in the first half of the manuscript indicate that Mark Twain frequently checked his impulse to write an even darker, more confrontational book than the one he finally published.