The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Published: 1876
Narrated by: Patrick Fraley

Apart from an abridged version of his Mediterranean travel memoir, I hadn’t read anything by Mark Twain before this. He wasn’t part of the curriculum in my high school, which is a bit of a shame as it would be a great novel to encourage kids to read.

Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.

This is essentially a collection of mischievous experiences Tom Sawyer has growing up. Meeting his first crush, searching for treasure, pretending to be a pirate, and tricking adults. It’s a checklist of childhood daydreams come to fruition. Mark Twain does a great job of telling the story through the eyes of a twelve year old. The scenes play out the way a boy of that age would hope they would, rather than how an adult would assume they would.

As an adult, I’d probably lock Sawyer away in his room for most of his childhood, the way he acts out and has no regard for the worry he causes those around him. I think to enjoy this you need to treat it as fantastical tale of boyhood tomfoolery that isn’t necessarily grounded in reality. The adult part of my brain says hiding in your own funeral and jumping out to surprise everyone is a horrific thing to do, but there’s still that part of my brain, partly buried under bills and broken dreams, that thinks that would be so awesome.

Huckleberry Finn, who is in this book quite a bit, seems like a much more likable character, so I’m looking forward to moving on to his adventures soon. I listened to this on audiobook, and I’ll likely listen to Huckleberry Finn as well. It’s a treat to hear the proper accents and flow of speech, and Patrick Fraley did a great job.

6 thoughts on “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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  2. Lady Disdain

    Ah, I love this book! I guess Tom does come across as a bit of a douche at times. All the same I couldn’t help but delight in all the mischievous acts he got up to – the funeral thing was hilarious from his point of view. But you’re right – I’d hate to be on the receiving end of that prank.
    Haven’t read Huck but I remember liking him, too. Maybe it’s time I got around to his story.

  3. Ruth @ Experiment with The Well-Educated Mind

    I am reading through Tom Sawyer right now, and I love it. I already read Huckleberry Finn, which I found to be of more serious issues, although Twain warns the reader not to find anything of importance in it. But, yes, I agree that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer makes one want to step into the shoes of a boy and live through adventures.

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