Finn, by CLINCH, JON
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- ISBN: 9780812977141 | 0812977149
- Cover: Trade Paper
- Copyright: 3/11/2008
In this masterful debut by a major new voice in fiction, Jon Clinch takes us on a journey into the history and heart of one of American literature's most brutal and mysterious figures: Huckleberry Finn's father. The result is a deeply original tour de force that springs from Twain's classic novel but takes on a fully realized life of its own. Finnsets a tragic figure loose in a landscape at once familiar and mythic. It begins and ends with a lifeless bodyflayed and stripped of all identifying marksdrifting down the Mississippi. The circumstances of the murder, and the secret of the victim's identity, shape Finn's story as they will shape his life and his death. Along the way Clinch introduces a cast of unforgettable characters: Finn's terrifying father, known only as the Judge; his sickly, sycophantic brother, Will; blind Bliss, a secretive moonshiner; the strong and quick-witted Mary, a stolen slave who becomes Finn's mistress; and of course young Huck himself. In daring to re-create Huck for a new generation, Clinch gives us a living boy in all his human complexitynot an icon, not a myth, but a real child facing vast possibilities in a world alternately dangerous and bright. Finnis a novel about race; about paternity in its many guises; about the shame of a nation recapitulated by the shame of one absolutely unforgettable family. Above all, Finn reaches back into the darkest waters of America's past to fashion something compelling, fearless, and new. Praise forFinn "A brave and ambitious debut novel... It stands on its own while giving new life and meaning to Twain's novel, which has been stirring passions and debates since 1885... triumph of imagination and graceful writing.... Bookstores and libraries shelve novels alphabetically by authors' names. That leaves Clinch a long way from Twain. But on my bookshelves, they'll lean against each other. I'd like to think that the cantankerous Twain would welcome the company." USA TODAY "Ravishing...In the saga of this tormented human being, Clinch brings us a radical (and endlessly debatable) new take on Twain's classic, and a stand-alone marvel of a novel. Grade: A." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY "A fascinating, original read." people "Haunting...Clinch reimagines Finn in a strikingly original way, replacing Huck's voice with his own magisterial visionone that's nothing short of revelatory...Spellbinding." WASHINGTON POST "Meticulously crafted...Marvelous imagination...The Finn of Clinch's novel is certainly a racist villain but also psychologically disturbed and disconcertingly compelling." SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE "From the barest of hints in Mark Twain'sHuckleberry Finn, Clinch has created a fully believable world inhabited by fully realized characters. Clinch treads dangerous ground in making one of America's greatest novels his jumping-off point, but he brings it off magnificently...The language of this book is one of its great beauties...Finnis far from one-dimensional, and that is another beauty of the book. Clinch has a knack for putting us squarely inside the heads of his characters....Clinch draws as compelling and realistic a picture as any we're likely to find...Finnstands on its own. The richness of its language, the depth of its characters, the emotional and societal tangles through which they struggle to navigate add up to a portrait of life on the Missis