Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week 3: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; Reading in High School

Disclaimer: I read Adventures of Huckleberry Finn this week. It was the second time I was assigned this book to read, the first time being my junior year high school. This week was the first time I read the book. The writing in the following dialogue is a little more vulgar than the typical prose on this blog (not too vulgar though--I said I’d keep everything here reasonably clean). This style is necessary to make the piece authentic. Enjoy!

Craig: Yo Nick! What’s up bro.
Nick: Hey man what’s goin’ on.
Craig: Nothing. Did you do the reading for English class yet?
Nick: Some of it...what pages did we have to read?
Craig: 147 to 302. What, you didn’t do it?
Nick: I read some of it.
Craig: Like how much?
Nick: ...Maybe 20 pages.
Craig: Huh really? Yeah I read probably half of it, but I skimmed a bunch too.
Nick: We’re gonna be in rough shape if there’s a quiz or something.
Craig: Yup. What do you think of the book?
Nick: Huck Finn? I mean, it’s a decent book. It’s better than some of the other stuff we read. Like I’d rather read that than Shakespeare or fucking Great Expectations.
Craig: Yeah that one was brutal. You could tell Dickens got paid by the word. Yeah, I mean, I don’t think the book is bad. The language is a little tough, but once you get used to it it’s a pretty good story. I kinda think Huck Finn is like an American hero. 
Nick: Yeah he’s kind of a badass.
Craig: I mean, he fakes his own murder, and then he helps a slave escape and floats down the Mississippi River. And what he is, like 12 years old? My mom wouldn’t even let me watch Goodfellas when I was 12.
Nick: What? You’ve never seen Goodfellas?
Craig: No dude I saw it when I was 14. I saw it at your house when your parents weren’t there, remember?
Nick: Oh yeah we did that.
Craig: Anyways, Huck Finn is the man. Plus, Twain’s a pretty funny guy, at least for the times. Like how teachers say Shakespeare was super dirty for the 1600s and made all these sex jokes? Twain was the same way for the 1800s. It’s hard to understand with all of the weird dialect in the book, but some of his stuff is hilarious. Like the Duke of Bilgewater? Funeral orgies? Classic.
Nick: Funeral orgies?
Craig: Yeah if you did any of the reading you would know about that. Also, the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons...
Nick: Yeah I know those guys.
Craig: Word. Yeah that part has some really dark humor in it too. Like they can’t remember what the feud was about, or who killed who first. It’s like a Tarantino movie.
Nick: I thought your mom wouldn’t let you see Pulp Fiction?
Craig: No I saw it at Jeff’s like a month ago. It’s amazing. I love Tarantino dude.
Nick: What other Tarantino movies have you seen?
Craig: Uh, just that one. My parents are ridiculous about that stuff.
Nick: How are you a Tarantino fan if you’ve only seen one of his movies? You didn’t see Inglorious Basterds?
Craig: No dude not yet, but Pulp Fiction is like his defining movie. Samuel L. is pretty much the man there. And I think Huck Finn has some of that badassery in it too.
Nick: But you didn’t do all of the reading?
Craig: I mean, I read some. But then I played some COD and watched TV. The U Part 2 was on ESPN last night.
Nick: Oh man I want to see that. Is it good?
Craig: Yeah it’s frickin’ sweet. Not as good as the first one though. But I watched that, and then Jessica started Snapchatting me.
Nick: Oooohhh Jessica.
Craig: Shut up dude, we’re just friends. Anyways, I just kept getting distracted and couldn’t finish it.
Nick: Me too man. Keith and I hit the gym for a bit, then we went to Five Guys for like two hours. Heather works there so we were just making fun of her the whole time.
Craig: Dude Heather...
Nick: Yeah bro. We were going to go to Chipotle, but no hot girl has ever worked at Chipotle.
Craig: TRUE STORY. But their food is the illest.
Nick: Yeah it’s chill. You know Keith ate three bowls in one sitting last week?
Craig: What?
Nick: It was crazy. But then he spent the entire next day in the bathroom. He literally missed three classes, including a Spanish quiz.
Craig: That Chipotle was his Spanish quiz dude. He probably couldn’t sit down for three days after that.
Nick: Yeah that’s stuff’s disgusting if it hits you wrong. What were we talking about before?...oh yeah, so after that I just went home and passed out. Whatever, I just hate reading for English class. 
Craig: Ya heard? I’m not sure what it is. Nobody really likes doing anything for school though, right? Everybody hates homework and shit. 
Nick: Teachers always make this stuff seem so boring. Who cares about what foreshadowing is, or what the major themes are in the book? Can’t we just read this stuff to enjoy it?
Craig: Mr. Abbott is okay. We watched The Godfather in class, which is legit. Plus you see boobs in that movie. That class is pretty fun aside from the work.
Nick: That dude is an aging hippie. You know he smokes up on a regular basis.
Craig: What? Really?
Nick: Yeah, Steve said his dealer sells to him too. That dude has been out of it for like thirty years.
Craig: Steve always makes up shit like that, but I could still believe Mr. Abbott blazes. What a burnout.
Nick: Yeah what a burnout.
Craig: And that class does kinda suck--it low-key pisses me off. Did you read the note at the beginning of the book?
Nick: Nah.
Craig: It’s hilarious, here hold on...yeah, here it is: “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”
Nick: Heh yeah, so I guess Twain doesn’t even want us to judge the book.
Craig: It would be great if we could just read these books on our own, without having to be tested on some stupid details about minor characters in the book or talk about what the author “meant” by some obscure passage nobody cares about.
Nick: Why don’t we read books that are, like, newer?
Craig: What?
Nick: Every book we read is like 200 years old.
Craig: We read Catcher in the Rye last year; that was written in the 1950s.
Nick: Whatever, you know what I mean. I can’t pay attention when I’m reading these older books because the language is so absurd. I don’t care if our teachers think Shakespeare is great--I just want to read something I actually like.
Craig: Like what would you read?
Nick: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Tucker Max is hysterical.
Craig: I thought your parents wouldn’t let you get that?
Nick: I borrowed it from Jeff--I’ll lend it to you. Funniest thing I’ve ever read. His parents will let him do anything--they really don’t care. You know he’s having another party at his house this weekend?
Craig: Again? Where are his folks?
Nick: Going to Maui or some shit. His Dad is loaded. Also, his sister is pretty hot.
Craig: I knooow dude, she’s a dime. Is she going to be there?
Nick: Doubt it. It’ll probably just be a bunch of dudes again.
Craig: That’s limp man. Do you think Jeff’s sister is hotter than Rebecca?
Nick: No way bro. Rebecca’s like the hottest girl in the grade below us.
Craig: You think? I’m a big fan of Brittany.
Nick: Nah, she’s got a weird face.
Craig: Not at all dude. You headed to class?
Nick: Yup.
Craig: Are you gonna do any more of the reading?
Nick: I’ll probably just get the Cliff’s Notes.
Craig. Chill. Later man.
Nick: Later.


  1. Nice work on dialogue. It's not easy to write dialogue and you did a great job of it here on one of your first (?) tries. I'm impressed.

  2. Have you read American Gangbang by Sam Benjamin? I look forward to your review.

    1. Hi Anonymous,

      I had previously not heard of American Gangbang, but I looked it up and it sounds fascinating. I'll read the book, and maybe someday, as my audience develops, I'll give it a review.


  3. Aaron Sorkin, Larry David.......John Lyon?