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.
"e;Finn"e; sets a tragic figure loose in a landscape at once familiar and mythic. It begins and ends with a lifeless body flayed and stripped of all identifying marks drifting 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 complexity not an icon, not a myth, but a real child facing vast possibilities in a world alternately dangerous and bright.
"e;Finn "e;is 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 for "e;Finn"e;
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.
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.
A fascinating, original read.
Haunting Clinch reimagines Finn in a strikingly original way, replacing Huck s voice with his own magisterial vision one that s nothing short of revelatory Spellbinding.
Meticulously crafted Marvelous imagination The Finn of Clinch s novel is certainly a racist villain but also psychologically disturbed and disconcertingly compelling.
"e;SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"e; From the barest of hints in Mark Twain's "e;Huckleberry Finn,"e; 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 "e;Finn"e; is 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 "e;Finn"e; stands 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 Mississippi as we ve never before experienced it.
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His models may include Cormac McCarthy, and Charles Frazier, whose "e;Cold Mountain "e;also has a voice that sounds like 19th-century American (both formal and colloquial) but has a contemporary terseness and spikiness. This voice couldn t be better suited to a historical novel with a modernist sensibility: Clinch s riverbank Missouri feels postapocalyptic, and his Pap Finn is a crazed yet wily survivor in a polluted landscape Clinch s Pap is a convincingly nightmarish extrapol
Random House Publishing Group