Widely regarded as one of the Great American Novels, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn follows the title character and his unlikely companion, a runaway slave named Jim, as they attempt to escape the confines of “sivilized” life. Written in the first person vernacular and brimming with satire, insight, and good old fashioned adventure, Twain’s tale is ideal for listening.
Public Domain (P)2012 Cherry Hill Publishing
Huckleberry Finn is one of those books that really cries out for an expert reading. Twain went to considerable effort to recreate the different dialects he knew as a boy growing up on the banks of the Mississippi. But who knows them today? What reader can really imagine how Huck's Missouri slang sounded - and how different it was from, say, the speech of a Negro slave? Those are just two examples among many variations - both social and regional - that have to be mastered by the actor who dares to undertake this masterpiece. And a great actor he must be to reflect not only the various dialects, but to differentiate the dozens of characters who populate this classic.
Many have tried it, but - in my opinion - only Denny Delk's magnificent version rings absolutely true. The listener feels himself transported into the wonderful world of the American West around 1850 - with all its human passion, humor and adventure. Compared to the richness of this audible rendition the printed book seems one-dimensional. Hats off to Denny Delk for an incomparable performance!
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