Sunday, 27 April 2014

Mark, Huck and Jim

The first book I picked was.... 


I've never read any of his books before so it was a proper first for me...

Well, it's no wonder the book is a classic... but it's not a classic in the sense of erudition or being boring; like so heavy and complicated that you either drop it or fall asleep. It's a classic because it is wonderfully well written - it's simple, honest and a just a great story to read.

It's about a boy, Huck, and a slave, Jim, both runaways and their journey through the Mississippi river in the American South....it's written in the first person, with Huck telling his own story. He is so innocent - he is about 13 years old, but not like a boy of 12-13 in today's world. He is too naive for today's kids! The characters are like real people and they sound real too. Yes, sound. You will know what I mean, when you read it.

The story is about friendship, abuse, religion, social values, human nature...our natural inclination to what's fair, right-and-wrong, and sometimes our capacity to be evil, to do evil and be small... all the important stuff...but explored in a meaningful yet unpretentious way. It's so light and so well written that I really felt like I was there...with Huck and his pain, suffering, happiness, disappointment... There is a part where Huck is going along a difficult path and he reflects:

"But that's always the way; it don't make no difference 
whether you do right or wrong;
 a person's conscience ain't got no sense; 
and it just goes for him anyway.
 It takes up more room than all the rest of the person's insides."

That's so true, isn't it?

Twain revisits a character from one of his books, Tom Sawyer, which is as fascinating as our Huck here...He plays an important part in the plot and the dialogues between the two of them are so funny and silly that it got me wondering why we take life so seriously...

Usually, when a book is good I rush through it to finish and know it all... but with this one something even more special has happened... the book is so good...every page is so full of life...that I read it slowly...so the end would come slowly too... as if I wanted to say goodbye to Huck gradually...but the end eventually came .... and I understood what makes a great writer... They are empowered with some magical ability to make the reader happy...and their stories timeless.

This story is relevant today as it was in 1884 when it was first published...and I, two centuries later, would read it, laugh and engage with Mark Twain's imagination... and live life in a less "civilised" way as Huck, and dream as Tom and love as Jim...

I really hope that during this journey of reading all these books...I will feel how I feel now...elated and jolly happy.

Xxx xxX

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