First published in 1884, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a masterpiece of world literature. Narrated by Huck himself in his artless vernacular, it tells of his voyage down the Mississippi with a runaway slave named Jim. As the two journey downstream on a raft, Huck's vivid descriptions capture the sights, smells, sounds, and rhythms of life on the great river. As they encounter traveling actors, con men, lynch mobs, thieves, and Southern gentility, his shrewd comments reveal the dark side of human nature. By the end of the story, Huck has learned about the dignity and worth of human life—and Twain has exposed the moral blindness of the "respectable" slave-holding society in which he lives. Huckleberry Finn was Twain's greatest creation. Garrison Keillor approaches it with the respect and affection it deserves. "This is an abridgement of Mark Twain's book, keeping the parts I loved as a boy—Huck's story, the big river at night, the boasting of the raftsmen, the Duke and the Dauphin, the lynching, the feud—and lopping off the last third of the book, where Tom Sawyer comes in and makes a big production of freeing Jim. I had Huck free him instead. If you enjoy the reading, I am sure Mr. Twain will forgive me." —Garrison Keillor
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.