Words from the achiever
“I think the first book that I ever read was Tom Brown’s School Days, which my mother bought for me at Woolworth’s in Limerick for sixpence. One of those cheap pulp books. And I treasured that. And then occasionally other books came into our area but we couldn’t just go out and buy books and there was not a library for children. There was a Carnegie library for adults. But we didn’t have books. So when Huckleberry Finn came in, I wanted to be Huck Finn. I wanted to go down to the river Shannon and stand at the banks of the river, and dreamed it might be the Mississippi, and I’d get a raft and off I’d go 60 miles out to sea. I wanted to be free like Huck Finn.”
About the book
The story of two runaways, Huck Finn and the slave Jim, and their adventures down the Mississippi on a raft. Though the story focuses on the humorous exploits of an imaginative adolescent, the story is ultimately concerned with larger themes, man’s inhumanity to man and the hypocrisy of conventional values.
It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon coulda laid them; well that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn’t say nothing against it, because I’ve seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down. Jim allowed they’d got spoiled and was hove out of the nest.