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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
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Gr 7 Up-Actor Thomas Becker has narrated many of Twain's stories previously for Commuters Library. His reading here is smooth, and his voice is clear and energetic. Southern accents are easy to understand, and the dialect complete with poor grammar flows naturally. Although he does not give a distinct voice to each character, there are many changes of speech to reflect the different age, sex, and race of the speakers. For the women's voices, he tends to use a falsetto. Becker is a master at knowing when to emphasize words and how to show emotion with his voice. He also understands when to cut back so that Twain's subtle humor can come through on its own. This required standard of American literature is brought to life for students. A wonderful selection for school libraries.-Claudia Moore. W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Though numerous editions of Twain's 1885 novel abound, this is the first to incorporate four previously unknown episodes discovered in 1990 when the first half of the original handwritten manuscript was unearthed. This edition also includes the original illustrations as well as photos of 29 original pages and notes by Twain scholar Victor Doyno. All this at a reasonable price makes Random's comprehensive edition of Huckleberry Finn essential for all libraries.

In this centenary year of the first American edition of Huckleberry Finn, Neider, who has worked long and well in the thickets of Twain scholarship (this is the ninth Twain volume he has edited), offers a most fitting tribute, for which he will be thanked in some quarters, damned in others. Neider's contribution is twofold: he has restored to its rightful place the great rafting chapter, which the author had lifted from the manuscript-in-progress and dropped into Life on the Mississippi, and he has abridged some of the childish larkiness in the portions in which Huck's friend Tom Sawyer intrudes into this novel. For decades, critics have lamented the absence of the ``missing'' chapter and deplored the jarring presence of Tom in episodes that slow the narrative, but not until now has anyone had the temerity to set matters right. In paring back the ``Tom'' chapters (which he fully documents in his lengthy, spirited introduction, with literal line counts of the excised material), Neider has achieved a brisker read. Though there may be some brickbats thrown at him for this ``sacrilege,'' few should object to the belated appearance of the transplanted rafting chapter in the novel in which it clearly belongs. October 25

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