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Jerome Weeks reviews Jon Clinch's novel, "Finn". It's based on Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and on a provocative theory from a Texas historian about the Twain novel. Weeks calls "Finn" an audacious debut.
"Finn" aired locally on KERA 90.1 FM during the "C" segment of "Morning Edition" on April 12, 2007.
In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- we all surely remember -- Jim and Huck, early in their travels on the river, come upon a wrecked house floating down the Mississippi. They board it and find a dead man, shot in the back. The corpse looks so ghastly that Jim covers it with rags. Only much later does he tell Huck that the man was Huck?s father.
Mark Twain never explains the murder. Pap Finn is such an abusive drunk that Twain need only scatter some playing cards and empty bottles around for his readers to draw the obvious conclusion. Pap Finn was shot in a drunken fight over poker or looting the house. But author Jon Clinch has imagined something even grimmer and more disturbing, and it makes his novel, simply called Finn, a remarkable debut.
In conceiving his story, Clinch made some smart, bold choices. First, it?s not a prequel or sequel to Huckleberry Finn. Rather, it run...
Read the full transcript
Timing and Cues
Jerome Weeks reviews "Finn" - a novel based on one of Mark Twain's best known works and on a provocative theory from a Texas historian.
Anchor tag: Jerome Weeks is a former book columnist for the Dallas Morning News and writes about books for artsjournal.com.