review The Ballad of Huck Miguel 103


characters The Ballad of Huck Miguel

The Ballad of Huck Miguel

Ho live down by the river And they learn the true value of love and loyalty The Ballad of Huck and Miguel is not only a thrilling urban adventure but also an inspired tribute to one of the most beloved novels ever written The Ballad of Huck and Miguel is a dope story as Tom Sawyer would say in this retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where Huck is once again at the mercy of his unscrupulous pap this time in California where the two end up after journeying west from St Petersburg Missouri in a derelict camper The intervening centuries haven’t taken the edge off Pap one bit If anything he’s as ornery and lowdown as ever and as before to be truly safe Huck needs to find a way to get away from himIt is in Los Angeles where Huck meets Tom a “skinny black kid” from Compton who is just as enchanted by romantic adventure as his literary namesake DeRoche has also reincarnated most of Twain’s other primary characters The Grangerfords Judge Thatcher Aunt Polly The Duke and of course Miss Watson and Ms Douglas who are a lovely lesbian couple with a sprawling ranch which appears to be a perfect destination for Huck It’s on the ranch that Huck meets MIguel an undocumented Mexican who takes Huck under his wing and teaches him how to care for horses It’s Huck’s relationship and subseuent adventure with Miguel the “Mexigrant” iteration of Jim that comprise the heart of the story They do indeed drift upon a river the Los Angeles river which is at first little than a concrete ditch wishing for water Eventually Huck and MIguel discover beauty and surprise with each passing day garbage and graffiti interspersed with humanity animal life and the persistence of plant life that cannot be paved over Like Jim Miguel worries about being captured He wishes than anything to be reunited with his wife and children who are in Arizona And just like Jim Miguel serves as a father figure to Huck Like 1860’s Huck contemporary Huck is a sharp social observer and mostly a good judge of character He’s also brave and selfless especially when those ualities are needed most In a way I didn’t want their days on the raft to end As a former English teacher I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with many classes over the years and my beloved paperback copy of the novel long ago let loose of its binding Now I keep the pages together with a rubber band I would never part with it no matter how pitiable it looks So to say that I love Twain’s book is not uite right Over the years it became part of me—part of my literary consciousness So when I first heard about this book a retelling of a classic American story complemented beautifully by Daniel Gonzalez’s illustrations I knew I had to read it I was not disappointed It would have been easy for DeRoche to simply dress Huck in contemporary clothes and retell the old story much like a remake of an old movie Instead DeRoche’s Huckleberry is a fresh invention complete with his own vernacular and perspective Each tether to the original novel comes as a surprise often in a delightful way Humor and humanity are in abundance and while the structure is episodic DeRoche maintains suspense which builds to an exciting and unexpected conclusionWere I still teaching American Literature I would add this book to my curriculum It’s a bully story as “new” Huck would say

summary ☆ eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Tim DeRoche

In this retelling of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tim DeRoche dares to imagine that Huck Finn is alive today Chased by his vengeful and psychotic father Pap Huck escapes down the concrete gash that is t This book was written well and had beautiful illustrations I loved The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was younger and a re imagined version sounded right up my alley The characterization was great and the story interesting Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review Historic Hahns Peak retelling of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tim DeRoche dares to imagine that Huck Finn is alive today Chased by his vengeful and psychotic father Pap Huck escapes down the concrete gash that is t This book was written well and had beautiful illustrations I loved The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was younger and a Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys (Annie Graceland Mystery re imagined version sounded Zombie CSU right up my alley The characterization was great and the story interesting Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest Conquerors review

Tim DeRoche ✓ 3 review

He Los Angeles River with his friend Miguel an illegal immigrant who has been falsely accused of murder Riding the dangerous waters of a rainstorm the two fugitives meet a strange cast of Angelenos both animal and human w This is funny cute and has a wonderful message but it lacks the powerful narrative of the book it's attempting to pay tribute to It also lacks the incredible spirit of adventure that made the original Huck Finn so memorableThe general gist of the retelling is a good one but the plot borders on absurdist too often most notably with the father who alternates from monstrous to comically inept in a way that makes little sense and seems structured as such mostly so that it conveniently fits the narrative I also didn't love the editing here perhaps in the published version those looooong paragraphs will be broken up a bit?Miguel's character is a bit thin but Huck is a likable fascinating protagonist I thoroughly enjoyed DeRoche's clever humor and the illustrations are fantastic In all flawed but worth a readI received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


10 thoughts on “The Ballad of Huck Miguel

  1. says:

    354★“Ben wanted to stay there with me too but I told him he warn’t old enough seeing how he had just turned seven I was almost nine years old if you believed what my Pap said which is the proper age for living wild out in the woods”The author says he hopes this retelling of Mark Twain’s much loved classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will encourage kids to read the original This certainly modernises the familiar story of Huck paddling down the Mississippi River on a raft with runaway slave Jim in the mid 1800s A small uibble from me is that Twain’s Huck was a believable 13 or 14 rather than only “almost nine” but I guess there isn’t as much traffic on the Los Angeles RiverI must mention the wonderful linocut illustrations by Daniel González Here’s a link to his art They immediately reminded me of my father’s collection of Thomas Hart Benton’s prints that depicted scenes from old American stories and songs The one of Jim and Huck hung where I saw it every day – very dark and kind of scary Today’s Huck is hiding out in the woods to escape his father’s drunken rages because “He had a wild look in his eye like a dog that got the rabies”His mother has possibly been killed by his father and his little pal Ben only seven brings him scraps of food He’s uite content until Pap finds him knocks him senseless and carts him off in the camper truck to California where Huck escapes and meets a black boy named Tom Sawyer and his Aunt Polly a lawyer There are plenty of hair raising episodes where Huck and Tom find a body Twain’s Injun Joe perhaps get involved in a drug deal and a gunfight Illustration of Huck and Tom adventuringThen follows a peaceful time where Huck is fostered by “thespian” ladies and befriends their stable hand an illegal “Mexigrant” Illustration of Pop teaching Huck about “Mexigrants”The author fits in as many of today’s social issues as he can At one point Huck thinks working in a “skyscratcher” sounds appealing until he realises what an internship is“ wanted me to come work for him for free kind of like a slave but he called it an intern”Illustration of “skyscratchers”Huck meets Buck whose family he says is even higher class than the thespian ladies No prizes for guessing who the family is“Buck’s mama had been on a TV show all about rich and famous people for near on a year and Buck’s father had one time been one of them football players They called it Gallivanting with the Grangerfords and everybody was monstrous proud of how many million people watched every week”But there’s a shooting and Miguel is forced to flee accused on the news of kidnapping a white boy There’s no Mississippi River but there is the Los Angeles River which eventually runs down the concrete canyons and culverts through the city If you’ve seen the movie “Grease” you’ll remember the car races that took place there That’s the river bed when it’s dryHuck reckons they can paddle till they get back to Tom Sawyer and Aunt Polly the lawyer More adventures along the riverIllustration of the bird watching them sleep near the river An old timer camped along the river explains about the anti immigration politician who’s campaigning loudly to capture dangerous illegal Miguel You’ll recognise today’s politics of fear“ ‘He gets ’em all riled up with talk of trouble and danger The average man doesn’t like trouble and danger He doesn’t want to take the time to get the facts straight and figure out what justice is He just wants someone to tell him that the trouble and danger are gone that there’s nothing to worry about any’”There are homeless people “trolls” under bridges and a religious cult but one of the funniest groups to me were the social “actervists” protesting for euality The leader Worker Brian made sure he’d scored a fancy imported car for his birthday from his wealthy parents before he “disowned” them for being capitalists “Worker Brian said that there was a magical place where they’d most got rid of racialism altogether It was a place called Sanforcisco and it was bully even than Los Angeles on account that all the people was the most lovingest people on the face of the earth It sounded like a real bully place if you was black or a Mexigrant but Brian said that none of ’em lived there no It was better that way too he said ’cause there warn’t no chance that you’d run into one of ’em on the street and then say something racialist on accident”A novel take on apartheid eh? And so it goes Kids who might not relate Twain’s story to today’s world will be left in no doubt as to what DeRoche’s Huck and Miguel find along the river The language is easy to read and the author has limited Huck’s distinctive speech patterns and pronunciation so that we know what he sounds like without having to figure out what he means Another uibble is that I disliked the overuse of Teddy Roosevelt’s favourite word “bully” for “terrific” since it is used in such a different way today and I doubt backwoods kids use it the old way now But I’m happy to be corrected if anyone knows it is still used in MissouriAll in all an interesting modern tribute to Twain’s Huck and a reasonably entertaining gateway book kids should enjoy as well as adults Now I hope they go and read the real thingThanks to NetGalley Redtail Press the author and the artist for the preview copy from which I’ve uoted


  2. says:

    The Ballad of Huck and Miguel is a beautiful and timely reselling of the classic Huckleberry Finn This time Huck is on the run with an illegal immigrant Much of the original is kept in place and somehow makes sense in modern times I found this to be a definite indictment of our current culture There are stunning illustrations included as well I recommend it highly for older young adults and adults This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher


  3. says:

    This book was written well and had beautiful illustrations I loved The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when I was younger and a re imagined version sounded right up my alley The characterization was great and the story interesting Thank you to NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review


  4. says:

    This is funny cute and has a wonderful message but it lacks the powerful narrative of the book it's attempting to pay tribute to It also lacks the incredible spirit of adventure that made the original Huck Finn so memorableThe general gist of the retelling is a good one but the plot borders on absurdist too often most notably with the father who alternates from monstrous to comically inept in a way that makes little sense and seems structured as such mostly so that it conveniently fits the narrative I also didn't love the editing here perhaps in the published version those looooong paragraphs will be broken up a bit?Miguel's character is a bit thin but Huck is a likable fascinating protagonist I thoroughly enjoyed DeRoche's clever humor and the illustrations are fantastic In all flawed but worth a readI received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review


  5. says:

    This is a beautiful hardcover book Gorgeous illustrations by Daniel Gonzalez And a thrilling adventure story on the LA River It’s very funny toothe author has taken Huck Finn’s voice and brought it back to life in a really brilliant wayThis isn’t a book for kids though There’s violence and satire and the language isn’t always easyI’m surprised no one has thought of doing this before


  6. says:

    Huck – yes that Huck – or a reasonable facsimile thereof is back in all his boyish glory in this modern day tale about a gutsy survivor If you’ve read Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn you know Huck has experienced physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father a violent drunk who Huck wants to believe has some good in him somewhereIn this tale Huck endures a journey across the country from Missouri to California with Pap Huck’s father in search of fortune and the easy life; Huck in hopes of escape from relentless beatings when Pap is drunk which seems to be most of the timeIn his attempts to evade Pap once they reach California Huck encounters several people who in time prove to be better friends than he could have imagined One of them is Miguel a Mexican immigrant whose goals in life are to remain in the United Stated and reunite with his wife and daughter When Pap’s evil plan to get Huck back results in two innocent women being attacked Miguel fears he will be blamed and sent back to Mexico leaving his wife and child behindThus begins an adventure down a different kind of big river the concrete sided river that runs through Los Angeles At no time is Huck safe from Pap’s determination to visit bodily harm on him maybe even death Miguel and Huck encounter many interesting characters along the wayThe pace is fast the characters engaging and the illustrations by Daniel Gonzales captivating The book has received high acclaim for capturing the tone of a well told tale from another era It is a deceptively simple premise that explores what immigrants face in uncertain times and offers backwoods wisdom about complex social issuesHuck and Miguel have uite an adventure and remind us what friendship is all about I give it a hearty thumb’s up Title The Ballad of Huck and Miguel Author Tim DeRoche Illustrator Daniel Gonzales Publisher Redtail Press Price Hardcover 2365


  7. says:

    The Ballad of Huck and Miguel is a dope story as Tom Sawyer would say in this retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where Huck is once again at the mercy of his unscrupulous pap this time in California where the two end up after journeying west from St Petersburg Missouri in a derelict camper The intervening centuries haven’t taken the edge off Pap one bit If anything he’s as ornery and lowdown as ever and as before to be truly safe Huck needs to find a way to get away from himIt is in Los Angeles where Huck meets Tom a “skinny black kid” from Compton who is just as enchanted by romantic adventure as his literary namesake DeRoche has also reincarnated most of Twain’s other primary characters The Grangerfords Judge Thatcher Aunt Polly The Duke and of course Miss Watson and Ms Douglas who are a lovely lesbian couple with a sprawling ranch which appears to be a perfect destination for Huck It’s on the ranch that Huck meets MIguel an undocumented Mexican who takes Huck under his wing and teaches him how to care for horses It’s Huck’s relationship and subseuent adventure with Miguel the “Mexigrant” iteration of Jim that comprise the heart of the story They do indeed drift upon a river the Los Angeles river which is at first little than a concrete ditch wishing for water Eventually Huck and MIguel discover beauty and surprise with each passing day garbage and graffiti interspersed with humanity animal life and the persistence of plant life that cannot be paved over Like Jim Miguel worries about being captured He wishes than anything to be reunited with his wife and children who are in Arizona And just like Jim Miguel serves as a father figure to Huck Like 1860’s Huck contemporary Huck is a sharp social observer and mostly a good judge of character He’s also brave and selfless especially when those ualities are needed most In a way I didn’t want their days on the raft to end As a former English teacher I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with many classes over the years and my beloved paperback copy of the novel long ago let loose of its binding Now I keep the pages together with a rubber band I would never part with it no matter how pitiable it looks So to say that I love Twain’s book is not uite right Over the years it became part of me—part of my literary consciousness So when I first heard about this book a retelling of a classic American story complemented beautifully by Daniel Gonzalez’s illustrations I knew I had to read it I was not disappointed It would have been easy for DeRoche to simply dress Huck in contemporary clothes and retell the old story much like a remake of an old movie Instead DeRoche’s Huckleberry is a fresh invention complete with his own vernacular and perspective Each tether to the original novel comes as a surprise often in a delightful way Humor and humanity are in abundance and while the structure is episodic DeRoche maintains suspense which builds to an exciting and unexpected conclusionWere I still teaching American Literature I would add this book to my curriculum It’s a bully story as “new” Huck would say


  8. says:

    Tim DeRoche recreates Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” as taking place in modern Los Angeles and does a credible job Perhaps there’s no need for such an endeavor but why not? DeRoche decides to take a different time frame for Finn to focus on and it’s amusing to see how he lets Finn cogitate on what’s happening nowFinn tries to escape from his abusive father Pap but Pap is difficult to shake off He’s mean with a miserable life of drinking drugs and abusing people He’s determined to raise Huck as he sees fit Huck travels with him to Los Angeles in a farcical search of wealth but finds the uest to be untenable and tries to set off on his own Pap isn’t going to allow it so the entanglement continues Huck never uite freeing himself from his father’s hateful presenceTom Sawyer you remember him has re established himself in LA and Huck tries to connect with him He along with new friend an illegal immigrant named Miguel get involved with a lesbian couple who want to “civilize” Huck and in the process further alienate Pap who considers homosexuality a sin and declares that “Mexigrants” such as Miguel are ruining the country Along the way Huck encounters strange animals beastly humans drug deals beatings kindness religious fervor politics and reality televisionThe chase sets off down the cement encased Los Angeles River with Huck and Miguel on a homemade raft and Pap pursuing on the overseeing streets The adventures are many but the different environment allows Huck to see and comment on many modern scenes and topics to give his homespun views Using back home vernacular the author presents some amusing new words that uphold Twain’s vision of the Huckleberry Finn characterI found the book to be amusing cleverly crafted and refreshing The woodcuts by Daniel Gonzalez are wonderful and deserve to be honored in a book of their own Don’t miss this one


  9. says:

    Tim DeRocheΦBK Pomona College 1992AuthorFrom the publisher In this retelling of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tim DeRoche dares to imagine that Huck Finn is alive today Chased by his vengeful and psychotic father Pap Huck escapes down the concrete gash that is the Los Angeles River with his friend Miguel an illegal immigrant who has been falsely accused of murder Riding the dangerous waters of a rainstorm the two fugitives meet a strange cast of Angelenos both animal and human who live down by the river And they learn the true value of love and loyalty The Ballad of Huck and Miguel is not only a thrilling urban adventure but also an inspired tribute to one of the most beloved novels ever written


  10. says:

    Thoroughly entertaining adventures of Huck Finn with a twist He exists in the 21st century and meets up with villains and friends alike but the encounters involve 21st century societal dangers Things get scary nearly every chapter and it seems that Huck will never find a safe space Will he escape the clutches of this or that nemesis ? Are 21st century dangers worse than 19th century the time period his character seems to have floated in from ? The reader is constantly torn between the two since Huck's speech patterns are nearly perfectly modeled on the original by Mark Twain It's been ages since I've read the original so I'm sure there are parallels far in depth than I was able to recognize but here's a good place to check as you read along if you would like Also notable are the delicate lino cuts of scenes by Daniel González


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