Brainssss! On The Mississippi (Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim – A Book Review)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim
Author: Mark Twain & W. Bill Czolgosz
Published: 2009

Huckleberry Finn

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

There warn’t no home like a raft, after all. The monsters cain’t get you there. Not so easy.

In this book, by the father of American Literature, the pox is causing people to drop left and right and they come back as zombies, also called baggers. Huckleberry Finn and his dearest friend,  Jim, a bagger now, go on the run after Huck fakes his death and it’s blamed on Jim. The two travel the Mississippi and there’s more than scammers, robbers and the people pretending to be baggers.  Peoples’ baggers are turning on them, going crazy and eating them. Huck can’t help but wonder if Jim will turn on him.

Huck Finn

I was very surprised with this book. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of America’s biggest classic novels right along side Tom Sawyer and To Kill a Mockingbird. I debated whether or not to get this book and in the end decided to give it a read (obviously). I was glad that I did. The adventure this time around was much wilder and dangerous than before.

One of the primary curiosities I had about this novel was if it would run along the same vocabulary and language as the classic novel did. It does and even adds some new vocabulary to keep with the time period and tone of the characters. A bagger or bunderlug refers to a zombie. Huck will often refer to zombies as bagger. I was very happy to see that with that extra addition. Keeping with the language Twain created really got me to respect this book on a major level. Keeping this was incredibly beautiful and a great homage to Twain. The book didn’t have to keep the language so I loved that it did.

The addition of the walking dead added some detail I didn’t expect. People were able to hang on to their loved ones, though sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. I found that element to be extremely touching since zombies are usually portrayed as hungry and utterly brainless. It was also pretty funny the way Huck would describe the way they acted. There were some real The Walking Dead moments that I thought of while reading though.

Huck Finn

Approaching a classic with such a spin can be tricky I imagine. It does add something unique and fun however. More so, the novel twists the idea of blind trust and faith. You see this the further you read about Huck and Jim’s wild adventure on the river. Jim protects Huck from a bagger gone bad. There’s even a man who pretends that he’s a bagger.

If you’ve enjoyed Mark Twain’s work of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn then you’ll enjoy the twist. The zombies did make the novel more interesting and yes, I was pulled in because of the zombies. Using the undead angle has the perk to pull in different audiences to get them to read the classic. I was certainly surprised. This was great.

Quotables:

“A full bagger is a damn problem. You got to go after the marbles in his head and knock ’em all out ‘fore you can put him down.” (Huckleberry Finn, p. 12)

“I don’ feel too much, Huck. Stuff is all dead inside o’ me. Sumtimes I’m not even sure I’m here. I gots to touch myself to know, an’ even dat don’t always work.” (Jim, p. 86)

“Jim sat still. Baggers was good at sittin’ still. They was already dead, so it was only a matter of bein’ themself’s. No tics or twitches or nothin’.” (Huckleberry Finn, p. 114)

“I neva hear o’ no bagger sellin’ himself. You is dead now. The only one who kin sell you is some’un other than youself.” Huck to Birdock

“Jus’ cause somethin’ ain’t been done before, it don’t mean it can’t be done at all. An’ why can’t a bunderlug sell his own self? I knows of wimmen who sells themselves all time.” (Huck and Birdock, p. 205)

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