Robert Coover, Huck Out West (2017)
Hey look, a new novel by the eighty-four-year-old Robert Coover! And it’s...a sequel to Huckleberry Finn, of all things? I did NOT see that coming! But once I did, there was no way in heck I was not going to read that shit. When you think about it, it’s kind of surprising that more writers haven’t essayed something like this with Twain’s safely-out-of-copyright work. I mean, a few have, but they’re sure not well-known enough that I’m able to name them. Will Coover be the one to turn the tide?!? While no one could have predicted this, it actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Coover has always been interested in the sort of Americana that Twain himself played a big part in creating. The Origin of the Brunists is about weird, cultish, religious mania; The Public Burning is about our flavor of political insanity (and BOY do I wish that brilliant novel weren’t seeming more apropos than ever). He’s also written novels about baseball, noir, and the Western. This is a natural, really.