Elijah Wood’s performance is my nominee for the Narrators’ Hall of Fame. Wood’s unself-conscious reading doesn’t sound like a reading at all. He creates an entire world filled with people who cross class and color lines. His accents range from British to faux-British to all manner of regional affectations, twangs, and drawls. Wood’s delivery makes Mark Twain’s delicious wit and twisty language sound completely natural, especially as Huck invents plausible words to suit the moment. The journey down the Mississippi with Huck and Jim is pure pleasure, as the boy who won’t be "sivilized" and the runaway slave encounter scoundrels, slip out of scrapes, and invent outrageous tales. The listening couldn’t be better if Huck read the story himself.
Audible is pleased to announce the premiere of an exciting new series, Audible Signature Classics, featuring literature’s greatest stories, performed by accomplished stars handpicked for their ability to interpret each work in a new and refreshing way. The first book in the series is Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, performed by Elijah Wood.
Ernest Hemingway said, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn". One hundred years after its author’s death, this classic remains remarkably modern and poignantly relevant. In this brand new edition, Elijah Wood reads Huck in a youthful voice that may be the closest interpretation to Twain’s original intent. His performance captures the excitement and confusion of adolescence and adventure. Best of all, the immediacy of Wood’s energetic reading sweeps listeners up and makes them feel as though they’re along for the ride, as Huck and Jim push their raft toward freedom.
Stay tuned for more one-of-a-kind performances from actors Kenneth Branagh, David Hyde Pierce, Leelee Sobieski, and more, only from Audible Signature Classics.
Listen to more Audible Signature Classics.
Public Domain (P)2010 Audible, Inc.
For starters, it's amazing that this book was performed by one person. It sounds like a cast of a dozen. The voice impressions and southern dialects presented are spot on and unabashed (if somewhat embarrassing to modern ears).
For plot twists and turns, this story can't be beat. Huck and Tom are as much adventurers of the imagination as they are adventurers on the river. Their creativity at concocting whoppers on the fly to cover their actions is astounding.
The hardest part of the book is the moral ambiguity surrounding the plight of Jim, the runaway slave, and how he is viewed by society and to a lesser extent even by the boys. Fair warning, the book uses the N-word the way it was used back in the day: often and without apology, ranging anywhere from matter of fact description to existential abuse.
The way the book ends makes it clear that Twain was describing with painful honesty how things were at the time, but believed in a reformation for individuals and society. His own views on the subject hover in the background. As Huck is struggling to square the expectations of society with his own friendship with Jim, Twain makes the reader squirm, impatient for Huck to figure it out.
Nowadays we worry that the listener will be attracted to the view of slaveholding society, because Twain didn't come out railing against it. Twain's approach was to simply hold up the mirror and let conscience do the work. I expect he'd have said that those with insufficient conscience to respond appropriately didn't need his book to fuel their views. It's a direct challenge to the listener: figure it out for yourself, not because Twain tells you to.
I am not really great with reviews since I like everything and suspend reality quickly but I do it anyways. Umpire and classic books yay
Elijah Woods is Huckleberry Finn in this reading and he brings you farther into the world with each word. This is a true reading of the work which includes many, many uses of the "N" word which at times became uncomfortable in today's world but is faithful to Twain. If you listen with kids be prepared to talk about appropriate and inappropriate language and how language changes over the years.
Learning more about the era that the story took place- so much has changed!
Huck Finn for sure- so naïve yet lovable.
When Huck and Jim were on the island.
No- not really.
Good read but be prepared for harsh dialog.
This book gas always been a favorite. I loved the narration and the interpretation it gave the work. Elijah Wood gets Huckleberry Finn in a way, I don't think most could.
I love the moment when Huck paddles to shore to betray Jim and can't go through with it. Always so much trouble doing right all the time, and so much trouble doing wrong. "From now on, I'll just do whatever comes handy". It's the moral of the book in one scene!
I have only seen him act, including in the film version of The Adventures of Huck Finn. He was great then and he's great now! People remember him as Frodo, but I think Huck was his calling.
I finished it in two days due to extensive travel in the car.
Never feel like the bit with Tom Sawyer at the end works terribly well. I can't say this changed my mind, but at least with the narration, it muscles through it well.
Elijah Wood is a wonder as he takes on every role in this American classic. I was so entertained by his reading, I have recommended it to my friends who teach Huckleberry Finn. Wood is brilliant and deserves every star he gets!
I read the book years ago, but after listening to Elijah Wood (Frodo from the "Lord of the Rings" movies) read it, I finally understand why it is considered a great work. Wood brings the tale to life. Not one of his many voices misses the mark.
A huge cast of characters is seen through the eyes of the unschooled but thoughtful Huck, who is making his way down the Mississippi River with the escaped slave Jim in the steamboat era. The poignancy, humor, greed, kindness, adventure and horror flowing through the work all come alive as Wood reads. I can't praise it too highly!
Twain's language is beautiful and he was a keen observer of human nature. Set in the pre-war south it's an interesting commentary on the development of US culture.
One of the best I have listened to so far. Very engaging.
There was so much more to the book than what I have gotten from from various movies and Television.
The story, of course, is familiar to most, so I won't comment on that. Elijah Wood is an absolutely flawless narrator! There is a lot of dialect in this book, and it's important to character development, to creating nuance, time and place. In short, the dialects aren't trivial. Elijah Wood does a masterful job of rendering each character in their unique voice, of capturing the subtle difference that Mr. Twain himself identifies as important. This is a telling that merits repeated and regular listenings.
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