6 Nov 2018



Few books have taken so deep and enduring a hold on the American imagination as The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer. Younger readers delight in the sheer pleasure of following the rollicking, mischievous adventures of Tom, a consummate prankster with a quick wit. Yet older readers recognize the somber undercurrents lurking dangerously beneath the secure and wondrous world of boyhood. Through the novel's nostalgic portraits of life on the Mississippi River and humorous escapades - from the famous episode of the whitewashed fence and the ordeal in the caves to the trial of Injun Joe - Mark Twain explores the deeper, darker themes of the adult world Tom is one day destined to join. 
-Back Cover Blurb

- First Sentence

- Memorable Moment; 
Please see My Thoughts below

Source ... A present from Mr T.

READ FOR A READING CHALLENGE? ... No. Read for discussion at the Arkansas Book Club of which I am an honorary member. Please be sure to check out Kelly's take on this book which will be posted on her blog, Kelly's Thoughts & Ramblings, tomorrow.

MY THOUGHTS ... Who'd have thought it, a classic that I actually rather enjoyed.

A book I didn't read in its entirety until I was in my ... 30's? And what I now believe was probably an abridged copy perhaps published to appeal more to 'modern sensibilities' as, reading this 2014 edition (with an introduction & notes by R. Kent Rasmusen) I certainly don't remember some of the, shall we say, darker aspects. 

A 'typical lad'; constantly in search of new adventures; of new tricks to play; of new ways to break the rules, all without getting into trouble.

A true prankster; a bit of a rogue; manipulative but lovable with it, his honesty and ultimate sense of fair play making him a truly well rounded character ... it could be argued that Tom epitomises boyhood in a book that celebrates childhood.

A timelessly humorous, exciting, scary read; Tom a character I'm sure many children will relate to (if nothing else how many have wet the soap pretending they've washed OR 'pulled a sickie' in the hope of getting out of going to school?) and yet (not that I'm against children reading it; far from it) arguably a book about children written for adults; despite the fact its largely considered a book for children, I'm not altogether convinced it is.

Based on the authors childhood experiences growing up in Missouri, full of the 'universal truths' about friendship (many of which resonate to this day). Some of the language (notably the use of the word nigger), bigotry and casual sexism ...

"Becky's lips trembled and the tears came to her eyes; she hid these signs with a forced gayety and went on chattering, but the life had gone out of the picnic, now, and out of everything else; she got away as soon as she could and hid herself and had what her sex call "a good cry"
- pg 123

... may however cause offence but personally, thankful that this particular edition is the version as written by the author, I'd urge we remember that this was part of the language/thinking at this time.


Kelly said...

So glad you found it enjoyable. I, too, read an original version since I find it very irritating when editors feel they have to "protect" readers by updating books in an attempt to be PC and non-offensive. As you noted, it was the language and thinking of the time.

nightwingsraven said...

I think that I would also
enjoy this classic, and Tom
Sawyer sounds like a truly
memorable character. I agree
with you and Kelly for the choice
of an original edition. And I will
keep in mind what you said about
the language, bigotry and casual
And I will be very interested to
read Kelly's review.

Brian Joseph said...

I have not read this but I have read Huckleberry Finn which I think is one of the greatest novels ever written. That is really a good reason for me to try this one.

Suko said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this classic, Tracy. I've read parts of it, but not the whole book. Your review is excellent.

Sherry Fundin said...

Love when the classics stand the test of time.
sherry @ fundinmental

The Bookworm said...

Glad you enjoyed this classic, I read it many years ago in school.

carol said...

I read this but I was young at the time. I'm sure I'd see it a bit different now. However, I really don't read books with children main characters very often any more.