There’s a certain genre of book out there that is basically “here is your hero and here are the loosely linked adventures they go on”. These are the kinds of books that I tend to have a very low pain tolerance for, if the adventures feel removable or interchangeable, then I tend to wonder whether I have just wasted my time – especially if the book is written in an style that can be labour intensive to read. You can probably see where I am going here.
Much like Gulliver’s Travels before, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is not a book that I got on particularly well with. There were times, like the sections where Huck escapes from his father by faking his own depth, where I thought this could turn out to be more in my wheelhouse despite the liberal use of the n-word. But then we got a bunch of unrelated adventures, very thought to read inner turmoil moments over how the escaped slave Jim was someone else’s rightful property and the eventual dens ex machine resolution involving Tom Sawyer and some insufferable hijinks.
Reading this I did not expect something like War and Peace or that I would particularly fall for the characters (due to the expectation of some questionable moments regarding slavery) but I was hoping for something that wouldn’t be as tough to read as the Joseph passages in Wuthering Heights. Whilst I do laud Mark Twain for trying to capture some of the more natural speech patterns in his writings, these moments just became a quagmire to traverse only to end up realising you’ve spent this long trying to read a section where Huck is recapping his previous adventures to a new character.
I won’t be picking up a new book until I am back from Hong Kong, but I think I’ve earned a comic after this. Maybe after that I’ll finally give myself the gift of reading The Wind in the Willows so I can feel all cosy as Christmas approaches.