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.
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
Huck Finn, finding himself stuck between the prospect of staying locked up with his drunken, abusive father or being taken under the wing of the Widow Douglas and her sister Miss Watson who want to "sivilize" [sic] him, decides to fake his own murder so he can roam free instead. He takes off on a raft and soon runs into Jim, Miss Watson's recently escaped slave, and together they go on a long adventure down the Mississippi river. I liked the beginning of the story where Finn describes his wretched father's ill treatment of him and his subsequent clever escape, but then wasn't much taken with the rest of the first half of the book about their times on the raft. But I'm glad I didn't follow my first impulse to give up, because the action that follows picks up considerably, when the two are joined by the "Duke" and "King".
"It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble. If they wanted us to call them kings and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family."
This section of the book was filled with one hilarious mad caper after another; the last section, where Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer devise plans to free Jim, who has meanwhile been taken prisoner by *well-meaning* folk who intend to return him to his 'rightful owners', is just delightful. I laughed out loud at Tom Sawyer's insistence on coming up with the most complicated schemes so that Jim's escape would be like what he's read about in adventure novels.
The repeated use of the "N" word and references to slavery at first disturbed me, but the historical context of the story and Twain's obvious abolitionist stance made them tolerable in the circumstances. Elija Wood's narration brought the colorful dialects to life and was generally wonderful—definitely recommended
At first, I was thinking Elijah didn't create very distinct voices for each character, and it bothered me a little. He did speak differently for each character, but it wasn't a full-on change of voice as you might hear in other books.
Then as I listened, I realized Huck was speaking for all the characters -- telling what happened. We weren't supposed to be listening to the characters having conversations -- we were listening to Huck relating his conversations back to us, the readers.
And then it all fell into place.
Mark Twain is a great storyteller, and Elijah Wood really made it come alive. I always thought Huck Finn was a troublemaker, and was truly surprised to find out that Tom Sawyer was the instigator, not Huck.
The recording includes all the language as originally written by Mark Twain, and I truly think that is the right thing to do. It's how the people talked and thought back when the story was written, and you can't change that. All we can do is learn from the past and change how we act today.
I got so invested in how life would turn out for Huck and Jim. Elijah and Twain really made me care about them both.
I highly recommend this story to anyone looking for a "page turner".
Very good book. Well narrated! Thanks to Audible for having this in store! I would recommend this to my friends and family.
Elija Wood made Mark Twain's humor and dialect come alive in the multiple characters. He made it real and personal.
This was my first Mark Twain book and I completely enjoyed it. Mr. Wood's young-sounding voice was completely believable and I had no problem imagining I was listening to Huck tell about his adventures. My experience with this book far surpasses those I have had with any other audio book. Thank you Audible!
This is truly one of the masterpieces of American literature and the narrator, Elijah Wood, gives an excellent reading of the work. His voice changes to match characters and the story flows along so well. I hated when it ended.
One of the best listens I have had from Audible.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
A classic is always a classic, but a narrator can make or break an audible version. Elijah Wood is stupendous as Huck Finn. I enjoyed this book because he narrated it.
I loved his dialects and my favorite part was when he was with the Duke of Bilgewater and the Dolphin. It was great the way he saw right past them but decided to play along anyway, at least until he noticed them hurting innocent people.
He seemed to ooze the part of Huckleberry and his dialects were great. When the real heirs came along from England and exposed the Duke and King, his English accent was wonderful and very noticeable against the con man's attempts at one.
They have and I believe Elijah Wood is Huck in it but...The Great Adventure awaits!
Loved this book!
I'd rather listen to Elijah Wood read this than read the book myself. I can not imagine a more perfectly paired reader and text.
I love Ernest Hemingway's comment about this book. "The good writers are Henry James, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain. That's not the order they're good in. There is no order for good writers.... All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn.' If you read it you must stop where Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." -- from Ernest Hemingway, "The Green Hills of Africa" (1934)
This book has been one of my favorite books for a long time. The story is a lot of fun and provides a looking glass into the time it was written. It's a great adventure with a wonderful cast of characters. It deals with many themes and problems of the time. Mark Twain never disappoints as an author.
Elijah Wood really surprised me with this one. I always considered him a good actor but the way he pulls off the diverse characters have changed my mind. Elijah Wood is a GREAT actor. You would think that with the amount of characters and different accents involved, that anyone would struggle, if at least a little. Wood makes each character unique and pulls off the language of the time perfectly. You're never left trying to figure out which of the many characters is speaking. Elijah gives them each a different voice and gets their accents and personalities perfectly. I would buy any book read by Elijah Wood now.
I am not so arrogant to pass judgement on this work.
The voice is perfect. It resonates with doubt wonder and hope and an understanding that whatever is next is not the end. It is tempered with poverty and scars. It is the voice of the American frontier and a rare union of black and white.
I recommend it without reservation; it is worthy not merely of a Grammy but an Oscar. It should be a part of your library, and do not listen to it on a commute. Sit on the porch on a humid morning until dusk gives way to stars.
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