Mark Twain COMPLETE THE The Adventures CLASSICS

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TH ECOM P L E T EC LAS S I C SMark TwainThe Adventuresof Huckleberry FinnUNABRIDGEDCLASSICFICTIONRead by9CompactDiscsNAX36012DGarrick Hagon

pter 1: I Discover Moses and the BulrushersThen she told me all about the bad place.Chapter 2: Our Gang’s Dark OathWell, when Tom and I got to the edge.Chapter 3: We Ambuscade the A-rabsI didn’t believe we could.Chapter 4: The Hair-ball OracleMiss Watson’s nigger Jim Chapter 5: Pap starts in on a new lifeHe set there a-mumbling Chapter 6: Pap Struggles with the Death AngelPap warn’t in a good humor And that ain’t the wust Chapter 7: I fool Pap and get awayAbout 12 o’clock Well, at last I pulled out Chapter 8: I spare Miss Watson’s JimI didn’t hope so When I got to camp When breakfast was ready I went into de woods :437:014:224:027:274:414:016:245:456:48

r 9: The House of Death Floats ByDay-times we paddled Chapter 10: What Comes of Handlin’ SnakeskinWell, the days went along Chapter 11: They’re After Us!I had got so uneasy I couldn't set still So I said it wouldn’t be no use Chapter 12: ‘Better Let Blame Well Alone’The fifth night The fifth night below St. Louis I dropped on my hands and knees Chapter 13: Honest Loot from the ‘Walter Scott’I skimmed around for the watchman Chapter 14: Was Solomon Wise?But hang it, Jim Chapter 15: Fooling Poor Old JimI looked away downstream Chapter 16: The Rattlesnake-skin Does Its WorkIt most froze me Well then, says I We didn’t say a word for a good while Chapter 17: The Grangerfords Take Me 67:105:144:246:597:344:567:564:004:244:46

454647484950515253545556575860616263646566Buck looked about as old as me It was a mighty nice family These was all nice pictures Chapter 18: Why Harney Rode Away for His HatThere was another clan of aristocracy I reckon that old man was a coward I followed a half a mile I took up the river road Chapter 19: The Duke and the Dauphin Come AboardSometimes we have that whole river all to ourselves Well, I’ve been a running a little temperance revival All through dinner Jim stood around Chapter 20: What Royalty Did to ParkvilleAnd then rip comes another flash He got out two or three The first shed we come to When we got back Chapter 21: An Arkansas DifficultyOne morning when we was pretty well down All the streets and lanes Then he turns and goes in :044:313:415:104:276:185:545:156:02

r 22: Why the Lynching Bee FailedI ain’t opposed to spending money on circuses Chapter 23: The Orneriness of KingThem rapscallions took in four hundred and sixty-fiveI went to sleep Chapter 24: The King Turns ParsonWell, he don’t miss any property by it Was Peter Wilks well off?Chapter 25: All Full of Tears and FlapdoodleWell by and by the king he gets up Most everybody would have been satisfied Mary Jane she went for him Chapter 26: I Steal the King’s PlunderWhen she said that When I got by myself Chapter 27: Dead Peter Has His GoldWhen the place was packed full So the next day after the funeral Chapter 28: Overreaching Don’t PayWell I says Gone to see a friend is alright I couldn’t think of anything reasonable right off :296:027:274:195:466:175:245:094:524:57

09110Everything was all right nowChapter 29: I Light Out in the StormWe all got into a big room So they got some paper Well I never see anything like that old blister At last they got out of the coffin Chapter 30: The Gold Saves the ThievesChapter 31: You Can’t Pray a LiePretty soon I went out on the road So I kneeled down Well the very first man I see Chapter 32: I Have a New NameNow I struck an idea Chapter 33: The Pitiful Ending of RoyaltySo Tom he thanked them.We had dinner Chapter 34: We Cheer Up JimWhen we got to the cabin Chapter 35: Dark, Deep-laid PlansWhy Tom Sawyer how you talk So we allowed we would steal Chapter 36: Trying to Help 377:287:225:014:125:337:595:255:205:515:45

7128129130That night we went down Chapter 37: Jim Gets His Witch-pieI reckon the world is coming to an end So I smouched one Chapter 38: ‘Here a Captive Heart Busted’Our hole was pretty big You got any rats around here?Chapter 39: Tom Writes Nonamous LettersBut as I was saying Chapter 40: A Mixed-up and Splendid RescueI was upstairs in a second Then we struck out Chapter 41: ‘Must ‘a’ Been Sperits’When we got home Well it does beat Chapter 42: Why They Didn’t Hang JimBut there I was He’d got a start Goodness alive, Aunt Polly!Chapter the Last. Nothing More to Write 285:276:035:424:404:154:404:06Total time: 11:24:047

Mark TwainThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn‘recycled’, reappearing in Tom SawyerAbroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective.) Tom is aprankster who enjoys playing tricks onpeople because he likes to laugh at theirdiscomfort. Huckleberry himself is no angeland finds himself caught up in various hairraising scrapes but only because he is misledor forced into them by others or in reactionto the hypocrisies of the world he lives in. Hemay be far from perfect but hisimperfections are those of the rascal ratherthan the villain.Twain based his unsentimental portrayalof Huck on a real boy from his hometown.Tom Blankenship was the son of the towndrunkard. Twain writes in his autobiographythat Tom was ‘ignorant, unwashed,insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heartas ever any boy had he was the only reallyindependent person – boy or man – in thecommunity.’The figure of the innocent (or at leastnaïve) child has often been used by writersto sharpen the perspective from which toview society. Dickens frequently useschildren partly for this purpose. Such a figure‘You don’t know about me, without youhave read a book by the name of TheAdventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t nomatter.’It was while writing The Adventures ofTom Sawyer that Mark Twain became moreinterested in another character. HuckleberryFinn walks into that novel carrying a deadcat and very soon, even before Tom Sawyercame before the public, his creator foundhimself embarking on a different bookaltogether. However, after a brisk start,Twain lost impetus. When his ownpublishing house finally brought thecompleted novel out, Twain told his brotherOrion that he ‘had been fooling over [it] for7 years’. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finnhas since come to be regarded as one of themost important American novels of thenineteenth century.It is hardly surprising that Huck engagedhis creator’s imagination, for though fromthe same sort of background as Tom, he is insome ways a richer and for many readers asomewhat more endearing character.(Nevertheless, it was Tom who was8

is comparable to the holy fool whose innateand incorruptible goodness wins out againstall odds. Huck is neither quite innocent norexactly naïve, neither holy nor a fool, but hefinally remains uncorrupted by attempts toturn him into ‘a good boy’ if that meansaccepting vicious compromises with asociety that degrades everyone whiledesperately striving to keep up appearances.From the outset he finds himself in theworst state for a child: that of an orphan –he does have a father, Pap, but he is no morea father to his son than a wolf is a shepherdto a lamb. Huck can only distrust the moralprecepts of a society which has failed itsprimary duty of taking care of its young andguarding them from cruelty and abuse. Lifeteaches him that he must decide for himselfand if that means coming into conflict withthe generality of folk, so be it.Thus it is that he sides, against his betterjudgement but because of his ultimatelyunspoilt good nature, with Jim, the runawayslave. He is as uncertain, however, aboutwhether it is right to help him as Pip is abouthelping Magwitch in Dickens’s GreatExpectations, but whereas Pip is terrified intooffering that help, Huck has formed a kindof friendship with the slave and trusts hisinstincts rather than what his socially-directed conscience would instruct him todo. Any anti-Negro prejudices instilled in himfall away when he encounters the reality ofan individual.At the end of the book, tired of the waypeople treat one another, he takes offwestwards into the unknown, away fromthe ‘sivilised world’.This all sounds very earnest butearnestness was the last thing on Twain’smind when he was writing these adventures.Indeed, he declares at the beginning thatanyone looking for motive, plot or moral willbe prosecuted, banished or shot. And so thereader looks forward to entertainment, withwhich he is duly rewarded. At the same timean undercurrent of social criticism principallyconcerned with slavery, racism, and thedouble standards of the so-called civilisedworld should not escape his perception.But the history of this book shows thatmany readers are incapable of seeing whatTwain places before them. Or rather, beforethey can see it, they are side-tracked.Nineteenth-century readers regarded it asthe duty of an author to offer his communitysomething morally ‘improving’. Misguided ifwell-meaning readers of our own timeregard it as their duty to censor the book orban it from classrooms and libraries because9

of its use of the word ‘nigger’.Huckleberry Finn’s adventures are‘improving’ in that they expand the limits ofthe open-minded reader’s imagination.Alerting us to the hypocrisies of society ofthe Southern states, Twain focuses on thelowest orders of Mississippi society – i.e. tothose normally as ignored in literature as inlife. This was the shock for hiscontemporaries. As for today’s zealots ofpolitical correctness, if it is not evident thatTwain is attacking the twin evils of slaveryand racism, then one wonders from whatlimited perspectives such high-mindedauthorities examine the text.T. S. Eliot suggested that HuckleberryFinn could stand alongside such literarycreations as Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote andHamlet – but Huck is not the only source ofpleasure in the novel. There is a gallery offascinating and fully realised characters, toeach of whom Twain painstakingly gives adistinctive spoken voice. These carefullyobserved accents and idiosyncrasies werealso a source of criticism at the time thebook was published. Many readers wereoutraged, so offensively vivid was thelanguage. The Library Committee ofConcord, Massachusetts, dismissed the bookas ‘rough, coarse and inelegant moresuited to the slums than to intelligent,respectable people’. It was, in short, the‘veriest trash’.For The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,Twain drew on memories of his boyhood inthe small riverside town of Hannibal, a‘picture’ of which he said remained in hismind ‘as clear and vivid as a photograph’. Hewrote nostalgically in Old Times on theMississippi of his days as a pilot on that hugeriver where he knew a freedom fromconstraint that eluded him in later life. Huck,too, delights in that same freedom on theraft with Jim but, of course, it is continuallyunder threat – both from evildoers and wellwishers alike.Some have said that through thecharacter of Huck, Mark Twain is directinghis barbed criticisms at a society in which hepersonally felt stifled and cramped. Theagencies of his confinement included hiswife and the genteel New England literarycircle which held him back from the broaderhorizons of the frontier. He also expressedregret at having turned himself into thecomic mouthpiece of a form of civilisationwhich by and large he held in contempt.Before he married Olivia Langdon, hewrote to her: ‘but you will break up all myirregularities when we are married and10

civilize me, and make of me a modelhusband and an adornment to society –won’t you?’ In this we can hear Huck: ‘TheWidow Douglas she took me for her son,and allowed she would sivilize me.’ Andagain at the end: ‘But I reckon I got to lightout for the Territory ahead of the rest,because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt meand sivilize me and I can’t stand it. I beenthere before.’ But if Twain spoke at timeswith bitterness, these adventures are in theend unsoured by it.For Twain the worst aspect of the societyhe lived in was its suppression of ‘naturaland healthy instincts’. Its morality was basedon negation and denial. In the episode of theGrangerfords and Shepherdsons, twofamilies caught up in a vicious blood feud,the affirmation expressed in the Sundaymorning sermon on ‘brotherly love, andsuch-like tiresomeness faith, and goodworks’ (Huck’s words) is followed that veryafternoon by a blood bath. This isn’t a merematter of hypocrisy. So-called ‘civilised’people are prey to the very savagery theycondemn in Native Americans and ‘niggers’.As often as not they project it on to others,failing to observe the commandments whichtheir superior civilisation is supposedlyfounded on.Critics have generally agreed that the waythe book ends shows a falling off ofinspiration or at least an extraordinarychange in tone that is at odds with the moralheart of the novel. Others have declared thatit seems right that the end should echo thebeginning as it does. Whether the majorityof readers detect any disappointment isdebatable.Whatever one’s view of this issue, thegeneral verdict on the book as a whole issummed up by H. L. Mencken, who in 1931proclaimed that it was ‘one of the greatestmasterpieces of the world’ and that MarkTwain was ‘the true father of our nationalheritage’. Ernest Hemingway went evenfurther: ‘It’s the best book we’ve had. AllAmerican writing comes from that. Therewas nothing before. There has been nothingas good since.’Notes by Maurice West11

Garrick Hagon has appeared in many films including Batman, Star Wars,Cry Freedom, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Fatherland. His television creditsinclude A Perfect Spy, The Nightmare Years, Henry V, The Chief and LoveHurts. On London's West End he played Chris Keller in All My Sons, and heis a frequent story reader for the BBC. He also reads The Sea-Wolf, The Callof the Wild and Classic American Poetry for Naxos AudioBooks.Cover picture: Paddle steamer at Silver Springs, Florida by unnamed artistcourtesy Mary Evans Picture Library12

The Adventuresof Huckleberry FinnTH ECOM P L E T EC LAS S I C SUNABRIDGEDRead by Garrick HagonGarrick Hagon has appeared in many films includingBatman, Star Wars, Cry Freedom, Anthony and Cleopatra,and Fatherland. His television credits include A PerfectSpy, The Nightmare Years, Henry V, The Chief and LoveHurts. On London’s West End he played Chris Keller inAll My Sons, and he is a frequent story reader for theBBC. He also reads The Sea-Wolf, The Call of the Wildand Classic American Poetry for Naxos AudioBooks.CD ISBN:978-962-634-360-5View our catalogue online atwww.naxosaudiobooks.comALL RIGHTS RESERVED. UNAUTHORISED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE,BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THESE COMPACT DISCS PROHIBITED.p 2006 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd. 2006 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.Made in Germany.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the comic masterpiece of SamuelLanghorne Clemens who trained as a river-boat pilot (from whichexperience he took his pen-name, Mark Twain). His most famous bookdescribes a boy’s journey down the Mississippi aboard a raft with therunaway black slave Jim. Their escapades in the Deep South before theAmerican Civil War are a joy in themselves but they also direct a searchinglight on a society where slavery and prejudice are taken for granted andcivilisation is hypocritical and corrupt.Produced by The Story CircleRecorded at RNIB Talking Book StudiosEdited by Wolfgang DienstMark TwainTotal time6:15:26

the same sort of background as Tom, he is in some ways a richer and for many readers a somewhat more endearing character. (Nevertheless, it was Tom who was ‘recycled’, reappearing in Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective.) Tom is a prankster who enjoys playing tricks on people because he likes to laugh at their discomfort.

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