Retro Friday Audiobook Review: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Retro Friday reviews are hosted by Angie of Angieville. It’s exactly how it sounds, you review an older book on Friday.

I was one of those kids who was in AP English, but still slacked off. I spend a lot of time on twitter and a lot of the people I follow are all worried about AP exams and homework and studying.  Totally not my experience at all. I wrote all my papers the study hall before class and aced them. The only AP exams I studied for were the history exams, but I still got a high enough score on all of them to get the college credit. I do feel bad for this generation and all the pressure they have to do well and not slack. ANYWAYS, I did always read the book for English, with the notable exception of three books: Wuthering Heights, Hamlet, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t read those books, but oh man Sparknotes was my BFF back in the day.

Flash forward to now. I actually sort of regret not reading those books, as I want to be perceived as well read. So I put The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn on my Fill In The Gaps list, and well when Audible told me it was narrated by Elijah Wood, I had to blow a credit on that. For the most part, I enjoyed audioing Mark Twain’s novel.

The plot is simple enough to follow. Huck Finn and his homeboy Tom Sawyer come into some money. Huck goes to live with the Widow Douglas, instead of his ne’er do well drunk dad. Of course, his dad wants custody, so they fight it out Judge Judy style. Replete with kidnapping and all. Huck pretends to die, and goes off down the river on some grand adventures with Jim. There’s also a duke and a king and a family feud. Plus Tom Sawyer makes a cameo appearance. Honestly, that’s what I remember of the plot, because unfortunately some of the time while I was listening, I wasn’t paying attention, you know what with the ADHD and all.

I feel horrible for not remember all of what happened when I definitely spent 10 hours and 12 minutes with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The most memorable parts to me were the beginning, when Pap was going off on politics, and the parts I listened to while running. I will say I liked Huck Finn as a character. I liked how wild he was, and how adverse he was to learning and how he did change quite a bit.

As far as Elijah Wood’s performance, I thought he did a fine job bringing Huckleberry Finn to life. His accent was how I’d imagine someone from Mississippi talks. However, I would have liked more variation between the characters. I often got confused about who was talking. I mean, Huck and Jim sounded different. But other than that, I couldn’t tell you the difference between the Duke’s voice and Pap’s voice and the King’s voice. Voice differentiation is important to me when reading an audio, just because like I said, I’m not always paying the strictest attention.

I also think my enjoyment may have been enhanced had I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in print form beforehand, so I’d have some inkling of the story and still know what was happening if I zoned out. Anyways, I think the audio would be a good choice if you have already read Huck Finn, and want to be in the mindset of lazy days on the Mississippi River.

Disclosure: Book obtained via monthly Audible account credit.

Other Reviews:

Always With A Book
Becky’s Book Reviews
Melody And Words

Here’s where I got the audiobook.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Yep. This one was on our schedule for AP English as well. I liked it a lot better than TOM SAWYER, actually. But I bet the audio version would be hard if the character voices weren’t really distinct. It’s hard enough reading the heavy dialect!
    Angie recently posted..Retro Friday Review- How Green Was My Valley by Richard LlewellynMy Profile

  2. Ahh yes, another one of those classics I haven’t gotten around to reading yet. I’m glad you liked it – I think I’ll try the print copy first as you suggested. I’m the same way – I like listening to audio that I’ve already read so that I don’t have to focus so hard on listening.
    Sarah recently posted..Mini-Readathon- AnyoneMy Profile

  3. I’m totally with you on the variation in character voices. I hate it when they are too similar, because I will lose track of who’s talking. And I totally was the person who read and studied my butt off for AP exams – the only book I fudged on finishing was Anna Karenina. Still haven’t gotten to it.
    melissa @ 1lbr recently posted..Retro Friday Book Review- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettMy Profile

  4. Huck Finn is one of my favorite literary characters and this book is one of my favorites. A sidenite to the fact that Elijah Wood reads this version is that he actually played Huck Finn in Disney’s “The Adventures of Huck Finn” back in the ’90s. It was a pretty good movie version of the book. You shoul check it out!
    Kristy Sherrod recently posted..Monday Musings- Busy- Busy- BusyMy Profile

  5. I need to read this one…. it would be a gap for me as well 🙂

    See you at BEA!!!

  6. Ooh, I’d love to hear it narrated by Elijah Wood! Oddly enough, my version was narrated by a woman, but she actually did a great job. And, since Huck is a boy, it wasn’t that far a stretch.

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