But he decides that he cannot stand it; he stages his own murder and, with runaway slave Jim, goes booming down the Mississippi on a raft-free of clothes, school, money and other adult inventions-and the greatest adventure story in American literature begins. For as Huck and Jim drift further south into slave country, their life is complicated by encounters with con artists, fueding families and girls in distress, until it seems that the civilization that Huck left behind will overtake the boy at last and force him to choose his manhood. Will he become a 'civilized' man, or a good one?
Hilariously picaresque, epic in scope, alive with the poetry and vigor of the American people, Mark Twain's story about a young boy and his journey down the Mississippi was the first great novel to speak in a truly American voice. Influencing subsequent generations of writers -- from Sherwood Anderson to Twain's fellow Missourian, T.S. Eliot, from Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner to J.D. Salinger -- Huckleberry Finn, like the river which flows through its pages, is one of the great sources which nourished and still nourishes the literature of America.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. It's the best book we've had." --Ernest Hemingway