Alex's Reviews > Finn

Finn by Jon Clinch
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Jul 27, 07


This is an enjoyable read. It inspired me to go back and read Twain's Huck again - which was also fun. One of the pros of this book is the prose, which, although it goes too far once or twice, is excellent. One of the cons of this book might be that it subverts a theme in its source. In the original, Twain offers up an escape clause in the intro to avoid the fervor his liberal stance would otherwise stir up. Never-the-less one of the reasons it endures as a classic is because it has a very strong moral compass (though it is popular among critics today to ignore for some reason). Though there a great many suspect characters in Huck, it is Huck's dad who is by far the most despicable. It is Huck's dad alone who holds forth on the issue of race directly (and loudly), and in doing so sets himself up as an Archie Bunker like foil by which society's thoughts and practices may be lampooned (yes it is sad that I am so tired I have to use a TV reference to write a book review - have a kid why don't ya- we'll see how well you sleep).

While Finn's character doesn't necessarily contradict the Huck father of old, it adds layers of complexity to the man, especially in regard to his stance on the subject of race, and in doing so undercuts Twain's (rather obviously intentional) use of the original character in this regard.

Still a fun - well worth a look.
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