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Finn by Jon Clinch
Finn refers to Pap, the father of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Finn is a fervent racist and a violent man who spends his time in both free Illinois and slave-owning Missouri. The novel begins with a black woman's flayed body floating down the Mississippi River, and moves back in time to tell how Finn's story intersects with the dead woman and its effect on Huck and then forward in time to Finn's own untimely end. Jon Clinch's story intersects with Mark Twain's at times, but it's a creative imagining of the forces that might have shaped one of America's most famous literary characters. Finn has received mostly positive reviews with Entertainment Weekly saying, "In the saga of this tormented human being, Clinch brings us a radical (and endlessly debatable) new take on Twain's classic, and a stand-alone marvel of a novel."