Gordon's Reviews > Finn

Finn by Jon Clinch
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's review
Mar 19, 2008

liked it
Read in January, 2008

A solid book. The main character is not likable, nor is he understandable, even to himself. Unlike so many modern novels, this one takes a minor character from the masterwork, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and weaves a world that would create Pap Finn and traces what he would have done outside of the novel that Twain shares with us. This is not a novel for children. It is a novel about adults and for adults. The elder Finn is dark and damaged, damaged by his harsh father and his awful world. He moves through that world like some jungle beast, attracting and destroying others by his racist cruelty. He is a wonderful reminder to all those nostalgic for some bygone day of joy in America that racism of the most corrosive and evil kind has always been just below the surface of America like the great catfish that Finn occasionally catches. Filled with symbols and thought, this is one of the better American books of the last five years.
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