There’s no better way to celebrate Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, his classic contribution to the American literary canon, than to take in the great American novel through prolific actor Elijah Wood’s narration. Wood tackles the unique language and dialect that is a paramount feature of the novel with great energy and enthusiasm. The intricate syntax and word play begs to be read aloud, and Wood is exceptionally at ease with the material. Listening to his rendition of Huck Finn, you feel like you’re on the raft with Huck and Jim, heading down the Mississippi river and anxiously anticipating the many wily individuals they were to encounter on their journey.
A companion piece to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn picks up right where Twain’s previous novel left off. On the banks of the Mississippi river in a small town in Missouri, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn have just intercepted a small treasure from a gang of robbers. While Tom is a middle class country bumpkin, Huck grew up in poverty with a drunken, abusive father. The Widow Douglas adopts Huck with the intention of reforming his “uncivilized” upbringing; but when Huck’s father learns of his shiny new stash of gold, he wants the boy (and his fortune) back under his roof. In the throes of a nasty custody battle, Huck runs away with a neighbor’s slave, Jim. They flee down the Mississippi river in a raft, both with freedom on their minds.
Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a portrait of a time and place Middle America in the post-Civil War and Reconstruction era. With all the regional slang, distinct voices, and the diversity of characters that Huck and Jim stumble upon on their journey down the Mississippi, the novel is best experienced through the characterizations of skilled voice actor. Wood more than steps up to the challenge, bringing the evolving friendship of Huck and Jim and their adventures on the river to life with sharp historical and literary consciousness. Suzanne Day
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.
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"Elijah Wood’s performance of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 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." (AudioFile)
Mr. Wood's narration starts slowly but builds in both intensity and humor. An hour or so in to the book, he hits his stride and never misses a beat from then on. I downloaded when it first became available although I thought that Elijah Wood was an odd choice for narrator. Instead I found he was a brilliant choice. The narration ranks with the best of Jeff Woodman; this is as good as it gets. The definitive version on audio which will probably never be surpassed.
I already owned a different narration of "Huck Finn" when this one came out. After listening to the sample of Elijah Wood reading I had to buy this one. Was it worth it? It certainly was! What a difference an actor makes. His dialects and voices were wonderful and I was on that river with Huck and Jim.
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is nonpareil, but Elijah Wood's dramatization verges on genius. His style brings nuance to the fore that was simply unavailable to me when I read the book (silently) to myself. It added color to an already colorful peice of work. Congratulations, Mr. Wood.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
This tale is funny, unassuming, timeless. Worth a listen whether to rediscover Huck & Jim travelling down the river or to read/listen for a class. Elijah Wood emotes a capricious air to Huck and flows seamlessly between Pap, Jim, and all the other characters. Happy with purchase.
This is turning out to be one of my favorite audio books. Elijah's done an amazing job bringing this tale to life.
I enjoyed listening to this book. It's shocking to hear the slang, the use of the n-word, and the prejudice demonstrated here by so many of the characters. But it is clear that Mark Twain was trying to capture time in a bottle, showing the language, customs, popular beliefs, However, the authordemonstrates his disapproval of the prejudice by the way the story unfolds. When Huck acts most prejudiced, he is trying to blend in with the crowd in order to help Jim. Jim ends up being the most noble character of all, with his self-less actions and deep sense of right and wrong. Elijah Wood was spot on with the reading. Worth the listen.
I hadn't read Huck Finn since I was a boy and had forgotten just how wonderful a book is. Wood does a very nice job reading - he handles the different accents quite well. I enjoyed it, so I reccommend it.
This absolute classic is brilliantly narrated by Wood who uses his talent to the extreme. I was duly impressed at Wood's lingual skills in navigating the dialect and accents. For those who have written reviews detesting the use of the "N" word, that's simply how they spoke in Twain's time. This novel brings you back to the lazy days of the mid 1800s in America and all that goes with it. If you paid attention in high school or college US History class, you'll understand the language of the time. "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was on my high school reading list and I was hooked when I read it. I had read it twice more after school and was thrilled when it came out on audible.com. I was not disappointed by the treatment the audio transformation gave it. Highly recommend.
I probably read Huckleberry Fin in High School, but that was 40 years ago. I was curious how well Elijah Wood would narrate the book and though it was one of the BEST books I have purchased so far. Elijah was very, very good at capturing the dialects and I did appreciate the original text, N word and all. I highly recommend this book. It is a classic that anyone would enjoy listening to.
Elijah Wood is very talented. Huck Finn is always gonna be a good listen, but the nuances Elijah Wood uses in his narration and the energy in his voice make this one of the most enjoyable audio books I have ever listened to. Make sure you listen carefully to Elijah's treatment of the dialect for "the King!" Check it out - you won't be disappointed!
"A great adventure story"
In its own right, this book is a simple, first-person adventure story and greatly enjoyable. Written in 1884, it incorporates the attitudes and culture of the time and as it is set in the deep south during a time of racial inequality, there are attitudes, expressions and words used that may shock or offend some people. This book is now a historical reference to a time gone by. The current debate regarding one US publishers decision to remove racial terminology from it has brought this book into the news for all the wrong reasons. People should be allowed to witness history unsullied by current obsessions with political correctness - witnessing both right and wrong is what educates us.
The narration by Elijah Wood is excellent. His youthful voice and excellent characterisation make this a great listening experience.
"a great reading!"
of course it's still 'huckleberry finn', a wonderful novel,alive with characters and colour and action.but this fine reading made it all the more enjoyable as the varying accents and speech rhythms are all part of the book's charm.
"Classic evocation of a particular era"
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a great evocation of a particular era in American history. The attitudes displayed, especially towards race and slavery, are shocking to modern ears and I had to keep reminding myself that the book was not only set, but also written in a very different time and place. I loved the variety of characters, all very real yet memorably larger than life, and I’m sure Elijah Wood’s expert narration was a major part of my enjoyment. His portrayal of all the dialects and accents was fabulous. I think even Dickens would have been proud of the King and the Duke! Having not read any Mark Twain as a child, I expect some of the excitement of the adventures was lost on me – I did get a little bored by the intricacies of the plot at Aunt Sally’s – but the major part of the book detailing Huck’s escape from his abusive father and his and Jim’s journey down the river had me completely hooked and even a little envious at times.
It's been a long time since I read Huckleberry Finn, and I had forgotten how much depth there was in the novel, and how much Mark Twain used it to attack the issues and attitudes related to slavery in the Southern States. The movingly, if unsentimentally depicted friendship between Huck and Jim, whom he helps to escape from slavery, and Huck's ruminations on how very sinful he must be to 'steal' Jim from Miss Watson are, even now, powerful indictments against racism.
Elijah Wood is an ideal narrator for this tale, which is, more than anything, good fun.
"A real Treat"
I am a huge fan of Elijah Wood and I love the Huckleberry Finn story but I found Elijah's way of reading with the American dialect very tiresome.
English is not my native language, so that is probably the reason.
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