Monday, February 13, 2017

Recommended Fiction

I have recently read two wonderful works, Paul Beatty's The Sellout and Robert Coover's Huck Out West. I enjoyed both so much that I felt obliged to post brief five-star reviews on Amazon.

I sincerely hope Beatty's splendid effort does not slide into the "Black literature" category. It is truly wonderful "literature," above and beyond the ethnicity of the author and most of the characters. The author even mocks political correctness; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn becomes The Pejorative-Free Adventures and Intellectual and Spiritual Journeys of African-American Jim and His Young Protege, White Brother Huckleberry Finn, as They Go in Search of the Lost Black Family Unit, while the "N-word" morphs into "little black euphemism." Suffice it to say things only improve from there, and not before we are instructed by one more choice adage: "People eat the shit you shovel at them"!

Coover breathes new life into the saga of Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Becky Thatcher. We can almost hear him channeling Twain's voice through Huck's sympathetic portrayal of the plight of the Native American peoples. He also develops a new character twist, as Tom clearly succumbs to the notion of "manifest destiny," which Huck simply refuses to swallow. As I note in the Amazon review, there is an ugly irony in the timing of this book, since the Trump administration will clearly ignore the rights of the Lakota. Lovers of Twain will be delighted by Coover's opus, while those who have yet to discover that giant should feel motivated to read his greatest works.

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