We listened to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in the car as we drove to Hannibal, Missouri in June 2009. When we got to the first gift shop (in the Mark Twain boyhood home), my boys started asking for an edition of Huck Finn. Since we had a lot more driving to do, we ended up getting this BBC Audio edition and listening to it in the car. After the first hour or so, our oldest son mentioned that it wasn't as funny as Tom Sawyer, which gave us an opportunity to discuss how this was written more as a social commentary. Even with that, they were taken right in to the story and kept asking for it whenever we got in the car. I'm sure much of the social commentary went over their heads, even though we discussed it as the opportunity arose, but they thoroughly enjoyed the adventure, and understood many of the important points about the nature of Jim's and Huck's character, the value of friendship and loyalty, and so on.
And as I listened, I began to wonder if I'd ever really read the book. I remembered many parts very distinctly (like the characters of the Duke and the King) but others not at all (like the whole final sequence at Tom's Aunt Sally's house where they work to free Jim). Maybe I read an abridged copy?
The reader does a pretty good job at keeping the voices distinct, at least for the main characters. I suspect that listening to a performance/reading of it - rather than reading the words with our own eyes - made much of the dialect easier to understand. We also appreciated that the BBC audio edition gives audio clues that you've reached the end of each CD. The brief musical interludes are also a nice touch.