Monkeyshines

Present Tense Book Review – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: Part 4

(Part Three of this Present Tense Book Review.)

The last quarter of the book flags somewhat, and although it has some very funny isolated scenes, it’s nowhere near as good as the rest of the book. For me, this has a lot to do with the appearance of Tom Sawyer, who is supposed to provide comic relief, but is just an annoying brat. Huck is mischievious, but endearingly so, and when he teases Jim, earlier in the book, and upsets him, he feels remorse and realises the affection he feels towards him; Tom is unrepentant when his elaborate scheme to free Jim causes a massive amount of stress and trouble for the kind people he is staying with.

The latter part of the book sags, too, because we are no longer drifting downriver on a raft, but are stuck on dry land, in the same location for chapter after chapter, and it just feels like the narrative has stalled. It’s still well-written, and entertaining, despite Tom Sawyer, but the preceding chapters were so much better, the ending feels like a bit of an anti-climax. So, read the book, by all means, but you won’t be missing much if you skip the last 8 chapters.


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