Starting Huckleberry Finn

September 23, 2021 I’ve taken years to read "The Adventure of Huckleberry Finn", because of its darn reputation. The back cover of my 1985 Penguin edition quotes Hemingway’s famous line, “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn”.  Further down we read that “Of all the contenders for the title … Continue reading Starting Huckleberry Finn

Pilgrim’s Progress

I picked up “Pilgrim’s Progress” only because I was reading “Little Women,” which I found made constant reference to Bunyan’s earlier novel.  So I put down Alcott and started “Pilgrim,” and it was a mixed experience – riveting in many places, but often hard-going.  As often happens when I pick up a new author, the … Continue reading Pilgrim’s Progress

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

McMurtry and Cervantes

Larry McMurtry published “Streets of Laredo”, his sequel to “Lonesome Dove”, in summer 1993.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then ran a piece by Michael Skube, who compared “Lonesome Dove” to “Don Quixote”:   Living briefly off the luster of its predecessor, a sequel establishes its own grounds as art or it diminishes the work from which … Continue reading McMurtry and Cervantes