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>Wishlist Wednesday: Finn by Jon Clinch

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>I’ve had my eye on this 2007 novel which explores life from Huckleberry Finn’s drunkard father’s point of view. The alleged dark tone of Clinch’s novel fits in with my own idea of “Pap”. For years — since elementary school — I had a frightened fascination with this character.

I knew about Huck Finn from reading The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer at school. I first became aware of Pap in 1970 when I saw a 10th anniversary re-issue of The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (1960). This movie is the best of all the filmed versions of Mark Twain’s novel. It boasts an excellent cast, including a performance by Tony Randall as the scoundrel “The King of France” played with his customary wit and crispness.

Pap was menacingly played by a raspy-voiced character actor named Neville Brand (1920-1992). Although he was only onscreen for a few moments, he completely scared the crap out of me. As far as villains go, he and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty dominated my childhood nightmares.

As anyone who had read The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn knows, Pap met his end in a manner as dark, twisting and mysterious as the river upon which his body was discovered. It’s difficult to imagine that his life was any less dark, dirty and full of evil circumstance. I’m interested in seeing if Clinch was able to interpret Pap as having even the slightest glimmer of anything resembling good or light. I’m wondering if my childhood terror of this character will be reawakened by reading a novel about him.


6 responses »

  1. >I tagged you for a meme. You had to know it was going to happen when I told you about it!

  2. >I read Finn last year; I did not enjoy it, but I didn’t enjoy Heart of Darkness either. On the other hand, HOD is one of my favorite books, and I’m always seeing and making reference to it. Clinch obviously had a fondness for HOD as well and made use of it freely and skillfully. When I wrote my comments (as I was reading and again in my review) the associations with Heart of Darkness remained one of the most intriguing elements for me.Finn is not a pleasant read, but it is one of those books that has an impact. If the Twain version gave you nightmares…

  3. >Jenclair is absolutely right, Bybee. If Twain gave you nightmares, “Finn” is going to traumatize you. It is very dark and terrifying…and one of my favorite books of 2007. I think it is remarkable but only you can judge whether or not it will bother you or cause you to lose sleep.I still think about it – but only in the daytime. 🙂

  4. >Lol, I have the same childhood terror. I think I’m going to avoid this one 🙂

  5. >I agree with Sam…it is an amazing book…dark and creepy and Finn is just a terrible human being. You will love it!!

  6. >I tagged you… maybe for the same meme. You can kill 2 birds with one stone or something.


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