Huck Out West

Hemingway once said that all modern American literature owes a debt to the The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. This latest from Coover (The Burnist Day of Wrath; Ghost Town), one of the most prolific remixers of America’s tall tales, fables, and myths, is both a tribute and a fitting postscript to Mark Twain’s canonical work. In the vernacular and dialect of Twain, the narrative reintroduces readers to51vlodrdbel-_sx326_bo1204203200_ Huck a few years into his adventuring in the Territories, boss of it all and searching for freedom beyond civilization. Tom has returned east to become a fancy lawyer, after a few years spent with Huck in the Pony Express. Alone on the plains, Huck alternates between friend and foe with cattle rustlers, prospectors, and the Lakota. Through all of these experiences, he begins to question his ethos of freedom over friendship. However, at his lowest point, Huck is reunited with Tom only to discover that sometimes not even friendship can mitigate the loneliness of the human condition. VERDICT With the humor and wit of Twain, Coover punctures the American myth of Manifest Destiny and the fantastical tales we create to avoid understanding and empathy.