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Adventures of Tom and Huck #1

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer revolves around the youthful adventures of the novel's schoolboy protagonist, Thomas Sawyer, whose reputation precedes him for causing mischief and strife. Tom lives with his Aunt Polly, half-brother Sid, and cousin Mary in the quaint town of St. Petersburg, just off the shore of the Mississippi River. St. Petersburg is described as a typical small-town atmosphere where the Christian faith is predominant, the social network is close-knit, and familiarity resides.

Unlike his brother Sid, Tom receives "lickings" from his Aunt Polly; ever the mischief-maker, would rather play hooky than attend school and often sneaks out his bedroom window at night to adventure with his friend, Huckleberry Finn ­ the town's social outcast. Tom, despite his dread of schooling, is extremely clever and would normally get away with his pranks if Sid were not such a "tattle-tale."

As punishment for skipping school to go swimming, Aunt Polly assigns Tom the chore of whitewashing the fence surrounding the house. In a brilliant scheme, Tom is able to con the neighborhood boys into completing the chore for him, managing to convince them of the joys of whitewashing. At school, Tom is equally as flamboyant, and attracts attention by chasing other boys, yelling, and running around. With his usual antics, Tom attempts to catch the eye of Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town, and persuades her to get "engaged" by kissing him. But their romance collapses when she learns Tom has been "engaged" previously to Amy Lawrence. Shortly after Becky shuns him, he accompanies Huckleberry Finn to the graveyard at night, where they witness the murder of Dr. Robinson.

No answer.
No answer.
"What's gone with that boy,  I wonder? You TOM!"
No answer.
The old lady pulled her spectacles down and looked over them about the room; then she put them up and looked out under them. She seldom or never looked through them for so small a thing as a boy; they were her state pair, the pride of her heart, and were built for "style," not service—she could have seen through a pair of stove-lids just as well. She looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, not fiercely, but still loud enough for the furniture to hear:
"Well, I lay if I get hold of you I'll—"
She did not finish, for by this time she was bending down and punching under the bed with the broom, and so she needed breath to punctuate the punches with. She resurrected nothing but the cat.
"I never did see the beat of that boy!"

244 pages, Paperback

First published June 1, 1876

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About the author

Mark Twain

9,720 books17k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads database.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to his older brother Orion's newspaper. After toiling as a printer in various cities, he became a master riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River, before heading west to join Orion. He was a failure at gold mining, so he next turned to journalism. While a reporter, he wrote a humorous story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," which proved to be very popular and brought him nationwide attention. His travelogues were also well-received. Twain had found his calling.

He achieved great success as a writer and public speaker. His wit and satire earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

However, he lacked financial acumen. Though he made a great deal of money from his writings and lectures, he squandered it on various ventures, in particular the Paige Compositor, and was forced to declare bankruptcy. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. Twain worked hard to ensure that all of his creditors were paid in full, even though his bankruptcy had relieved him of the legal responsibility.

Born during a visit by Halley's Comet, he died on its return. He was lauded as the "greatest American humorist of his age", and William Faulkner called Twain "the father of American literature".

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Μαρκ Τουαίν (Greek)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 12,741 reviews
Profile Image for Federico DN.
356 reviews619 followers
April 22, 2023
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn conquer the world.

Mississippi River, 1840’s. Two young little rascals get together after school. Hijinks ensue on every turn. Pranks, adventures, fence painting, murder.

An innocent novel. An immortal classic.

Classics are often hard to read, but this one was overall fairly enjoyable and easy to read.

It’s public domain. You can find it HERE.

Still remaining, the movie (1938).

PERSONAL NOTE : I wish there was more Tom and Becky.
[1876] [244p] [Classic] [Recommendable] [Easy to read] [Iconic fence painting] [Plentiful misfchief]

Tom Sawyer y Huckleberry Finn conquistan el mundo.

Río Mississippi, 1840. Dos pequeños jóvenes bribones se juntan a la salida de la escuela. Sobrevienen travesuras en cada esquina. Bromas, aventuras, pintadas de cerca, asesinato.

Una inocente novela. Un clásico inmortal.

Los clásicos son a veces difíciles de leer, pero éste fue dentro de todo bastante disfrutable y fácil de leer.

Es dominio público, lo pueden encontrar ACA.

Queda pendiente, la película (1938).

NOTA PERSONAL : Me quedaron ganas de más Tom y Becky.
[1876] [244p] [Clásico] [Recomendable] [Fácil de leer] [Icónica pintada de cerca] [Abundantes travesuras]
Profile Image for Nataliya.
744 reviews11.8k followers
April 25, 2023
I was five and a half years old when my mother gave me The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a New Year's gift (she is a literature teacher, and I have been reading novels since the tender age of four or so, and so it seemed appropriate).

Being a diligent and serious¹ child (neither of those qualities have stuck with me, unfortunately), I opened it to page 1 and started reading. I even took it with me to kindergarten, where other kids were learning letters and I was mercifully allowed to read hefty tomes, having obviously achieved full literacy by that point.
Me (age 5) and Mom. The diligent seriousness is *all over* this picture.

This book initially left me quite confused, but I was undeterred - after all, the world was a confusing place, full of adults and rules and great books - even those without pictures. (And I was very proud to own books without pictures, after all). But his one was just too strange - its beginning did not quite fit with the rest of the quite fun story - it was odd and dry and incomprehensible for the first 40 pages or so, and it even was about some other guy (Samuel Clemens?) who was not Tom Sawyer.

A few years later I reread my early childhood favorite (I probably reached a ripe old age of eight or so, still diligent but a bit less serious already). It was then that I figured out what seemed strange about the beginning of this book when I was five.

You see, I diligently slogged my way through the most boring academic foreword, assuming that was the first chapter. What amazes me that I managed to stay awake through it. Good job, five-year-old me! Excellent preparation for that painfully boring biochemistry course a couple of decades later!
After that foreword, slogging through any classic was a comparative breeze. Yes, I'm looking at you, War and Peace! You know what you did, you endless tome.
Also, as it turns out, when you include two characters named Joe in one book (Injun Joe and Tom's classmate Joe Harper) that can cause a certain amount of confusion to a five-year-old who assumes they have to be the same person and struggles really hard to reconcile their seemingly conflicting characters. And, as a side note, I have always been disappointed at Tom Sawyer tricking his friends to do the infamous fence whitewashing. A *real* kid knows after all that painting stuff is fun. Five-year-old me was a bit disapproving of the silliness.

I have told bits and pieces of this book to my friends on the playground, while dangling from the monkey bars or building sandcastles (in a sandbox, that in retrospect I suspect was used by the neighborhood stray cats as a litterbox - but I guess you have to develop immunity to germs somehow). We may have planned an escape to an island in a true Tom Sawyer fashion, but the idea fizzled. After all, we did not have an island nearby, which was a problem. Also, we may have got distracted by the afternoon cartoons.

Someday, I just may have to leave this book within a reach of my future hypothetical daughter - as long as I make sure it does not come with a long-winded boring introduction.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 28, 2021
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (The Adventures of Tom and Huck #1), Mark Twain

Thomas "Tom" Sawyer is the title character of the Mark Twain novel "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" (1876). He appears in three other novels by Twain: "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884), "Tom Sawyer Abroad" (1894), and "Tom Sawyer, Detective" (1896).

Tom Sawyer, an orphan, lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri sometime in the 1840's. A fun-loving boy, Tom skips school to go swimming and is made to whitewash his aunt's fence for the entirety of the next day, Saturday, as punishment.

In one of the most famous scenes in American literature, Tom cleverly persuades the various neighborhood children to trade him small trinkets and treasures for the "privilege" of doing his tedious work, using reverse psychology to convince them it is an enjoyable activity.

Tom later trades the trinkets with other students for various denominations of tickets, obtained at the local Sunday school for memorizing verses of Scripture; he cashes these in to the minister in order to win a much-coveted Bible offered to studious children as a prize, despite being one of the worst students in the Sunday school and knowing almost nothing of Scripture, eliciting envy from the students and a mixture of pride and shock from the adults.

Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town and the daughter of a prominent judge. Tom wins the admiration of the judge in church by obtaining the Bible as a prize, but reveals his ignorance when he cannot answer basic questions about Scripture.

Tom pursues Becky, eventually persuading her to get "engaged" by kissing him. However, their romance soon collapses when she learns that Tom had been previously "engaged" to another schoolgirl, Amy Lawrence, and that Becky was not his first girlfriend.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «تام سایر»؛ «توم سایر»؛ «ماجراهای تام سایر»؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه فوریه سال 1981میلادی

عنوان: تام سایر؛ نویسنده: مارک تواین؛ مترجم: محمدرضا جعفری؛ تهران، امیرکبیر - کتابهای طلائی - شماره 52، چاپ سوم 1354؛ در 36ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 19م

عنوان: ماجراهای تام سایر (متن کوتاه شده)؛ نویسنده: مارک تواین؛ مترجم: جعفر مدرس صادقی؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، کتاب مریم، 1373؛ در 158ص؛ شابک9643050696؛ عنوان دیگر توم سایر؛چاپ سوم 1380؛ چاپ چهارم 1388؛ در 118ص؛

عنوان: تام سایر؛ نویسنده: مارک تواین؛ مترجم: سودابه زرکف؛ تهران، آیینه، 1395؛ در 176ص؛ شابک9786008098119؛

عنوان: ماجراهای تام سایر؛ نویسنده: مارک تواین؛ مترجم: داود سالک؛ تهران، معیار علم، 1386؛ در 272ص؛ شابک9789646651852؛

عنوان: ماجراهای تام سایر (متن کوتاه شده)؛ نویسنده: مارک تواین؛ مترجم: محسن سلیمانی؛ تهران، سوره، 1377؛ در 167ص؛ مصور

عنوان: ماجراهای تام سایر؛ نویسنده: مارک تواین؛ مترجم: مریم طیبی؛ ویراستار: سیدامیرمحمد آزادی نائینی، تهران، آتون کتاب، 1395؛ در 456ص؛ شابک 9786008388159؛

مترجمین دیگر خانمها و آقایان: مهدی علوی در 160ص؛ احمد کسایی پور در 410ص؛ کیومرث پارسای در 322ص؛ فاطمه امینی 311ص؛ سپهر شهلایی در 120ص؛ شایسته ابراهیمی در 71ص؛ لیلا سبحانی در 212ص؛ غزاله ابراهیمی در 238ص؛ مریم یعقوبی در 32ص؛ و ....؛

تام نماینده ی دنیای شگفت انگیز، و بی‌ دغدغه ی پسرهای نوجوان، پیش از جنگ داخلی آمریکاست؛ «تام» نیز همانند بسیاری از پسرهای آن زمان، بیشتر دوست دارد پابرهنه راه برود؛ بهترین دوستانش «جو هارپر» و «هاکلبری فین» هستند؛ در رمان «ماجراهای تام سایر»، او به یکی از همکلاسیهای خود، به نام «ربه‌ کا (بکی) تاچر»، دل می‌بندد؛ او با برادر ناتنیش «سید»، دخترخاله‌ اش «مری»، و «خاله پولی»، در شهر خیالی «سن‌ پترزبورگ»، در ایالت «میسوری» زندگی می‌کند؛ «تام» خاله ی دیگری هم به نام «سالی» دارد؛ که در شهر «پایکزویل»، پایین رود «می‌.سی‌.سی‌.پی» هستند؛ مادر «تام (خواهر خاله پولی)»، ��ز دنیا رفته‌ است؛ یک شب «تام» و دوست صمیمیش «هاک»، در پی یک ماجراجویی، به قبرستان می‌روند، و به‌ طور تصادفی، شاهد قتل «دکتر رابینسون» می‌شوند؛ آن‌ها سوگند می‌خورند، که راز آن شب را، هرگزی برملا نکنند؛ «ماف پاتر» از اهالی شهر، که دائم‌ الخمر است، با توطئه‌ چینی «جو سرخپوسته»، به اتهام قتل دستگیر می‌شود؛ اما بچه‌ ها می‌دانند «ماف پاتر» بیگناه است و ...؛

مارک توین (تواین)؛ در مقدمه ی این کتاب می‌نویسند: (بیشتر ماجراهایی که در این کتاب ثبت شده‌ اند، در واقعیت اتفاق افتاده‌ اند؛ یکی دوتا، تجربه ی شخصی خود من بوده، بقیه ماجراهایی که، برای پسرهای همکلاسی من رخ داده اند؛ شخصیت «هاکلبری فین» از یک آدم واقعی گرفته شده، «تام سایر» هم همین‌طور، ولی نه از یک نفر؛ «تام» ترکیبی از ویژگیها و خلق و خوی سه پسربچه است، که من می‌شناختم، در نتیجه از نظر ساخت، شخصیتی چند وجهی‌ هست.)؛ پایان نقل

نقل نمونه متن تام سایر: (بالاخره روز شنبه شد؛ تابستان بود و دنیا درخشان و شاداب و سرشار از زندگی. در دل‌ها ترانه بود و در چهره‌ ها شادی و در گام‌ها جهش؛ درختان اقاقیا شکوفه داده بودند، و عطر شکوفه‌ هایشان هوا را پر کرده بود؛ تپه‌ ی کاردیف در بالای دهکده از گیاهان سرسبز پوشیده شده بود و آن قدر دور بود که به نظر سرزمین خوش و رویایی و آرام و وسوسه انگیزی می‌آمد

در همین موقع، سر و کله‌ ی «تام» با سطلی پر از دوغاب گچ و قلم موی دسته بلندی در پیاده‌ روی جلوی نرده پیدا شد؛ بعد نرده‌ ی چوبی را ورانداز کرد، و شادی از صورتش محو شد، و غم تمام وجودش را گرفت؛ آخر، نرده‌ ی چوبی سی متر طول، و چند پا عرض داشت؛ زندگی به نظرش بیهوده آمد با بودن هم‌چون باری سنگین

آهی کشید، و قلم مویش را در سطل فرو برد، و آن را به نرده کشید؛ چند بار این‌کار را تکرار کرد؛ بعد نوار باریک و کوچکی را، که رنگ سفید مالیده بود، با آن‌ همه جای دیگر نرده، که مثل قاره‌ ای رنگ نخورده بود، مقایسه کرد، و دلسرد و ناامید شد، و روی کنده‌ ی درختی نشست)؛ پایان نقل

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 05/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
August 6, 2015
Update All we need now is a "lost" manuscript by Twain to be found by some lawyer with the story being about an adult Tom Sawyer and this book being the one the editor "forced" Twain to write. I know you are probably thinking that is taking Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman to far, but what if that was just the beginning of a new initiative from publishers. It could be the latest fashion now no-one is interested in vampires any more?

What happened to Tom after he grew up was asked in a review by a friend. Thinking back on the times, his character and the author, I've come up with three possible ideas.

1. He became a bank manager and magistrate in a very small town. He married Becky and both put on a lot of weight. They had no children but three yappy toy spaniels whom they doted on. Mas Thomas Sawyer allowed no leeway with naughty boys and the cane was much in use.

2. Tom with Huck and Jim found a treasure trove and were given a big reward. Aunt Polly invested it until Tom was 21. Tom, Huck and Jim bought a steamboat together, converted it into a casino and plyed the Mississipi offering Black Jack and Jack Daniels at every stop.

3. At 18, Tom ran away to New Orleans and took up with a beautiful Creole woman with pale coffee skin and became a preacher in a loudly charismatic church. He and his wife had a whole brood of multi-coloured kids whom they named for the virtues, Abstinence, Doughty, Chastity, Patience, Industrious and Worship. In later life he met Marie Laveau and went to the dark side, a confirmed believer in Voodoo.

Profile Image for Maureen .
1,380 reviews7,088 followers
December 12, 2020
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, (Mark Twain) in 1876, is a most engaging children’s book. It describes an American boy’s childhood in a rural Southern town in the 19th century. I read this many years ago, and always promised myself that I’d read it again, and you know something? It didn’t disappoint. There’s a reason that it’s a classic. Just lovely.
Profile Image for Lisa.
977 reviews3,327 followers
August 31, 2018
So, my daughter just started reading Tom Sawyer for the very first time, and I am jealous of her!

First of all, she can read it in original, while I read it in translation as a child. Second, I wish I could still have that immediate, surprised response to the silly situations. About every five minutes, she comes into my room, reading out loud some funny quotes, making the scenes come alive in my memory again. The fight between the two boys threatening with their fake big brothers, followed by the famous selling of the honour to take over Tom's Saturday chore -the fence white washing, and so on, and so on. All that humorous content is being quoted in a voice broken by giggles. Her favourite new expression is "the terms of the next disagreement agreed upon", as used in the context of the deadly serious war games that Tom Sawyer engages in.

She's completely mesmerised, and she hasn't even got to the scary parts yet, or to the budding love affair.

There is magic in a children's classic that can make mothers and daughters laugh together at the silliness of naughty boys, and at the fact that very little has changed in the dynamics of childhood friendships, despite the time that has passed since the novel was written.

It has just the right mix of exotic, historical appeal and universal human behaviour to make a perfect introduction into world literature.
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
568 reviews715 followers
February 14, 2020
My coworker and my boyfriend made fun of me when I was reading this because apparently it's written for children and they both read it when younger. I have nothing to say in my defense, I didn't know I don't know most things if that isn't obvious by now. On a related note I probably would have enjoyed this more when younger. It wasn't bad, it was okay but I wasn't really itching to keep reading it and didn't have that usual urge that I get when reading a really enjoyable book to give up even going to the bathroom in favor of continuing to read. I did really enjoy at the end though when Huck runs away and then Tom finds him and Huck talks about how he's just not cut out for being rich and polite society like same Huck. Tom tricking people into painting the fence for him was also A+. Anyway now I can pretend to be somewhat cultured since I finally read some Mark Twain which is what clearly matters the most here.
Profile Image for Julie G .
883 reviews2,742 followers
August 25, 2020
Well, the Show Me State showed me.

Showed me how you do it. How you write stories so colorfully and so well-crafted, you could almost cry from reading them.

Paulette Jiles took me all over the state of Missouri this week, in her 2002 publication of Enemy Women, a historical fiction novel that takes place in 1864, and then Mark Twain took my daughters and me to St. Petersburg, Missouri, to the real world of 1876.

And what's in that world of 1876 Missouri?

Well. . . riverboats, wagons, poor white boys, overprotective aunts, pretty girls, adventures in caves. . . and talk of orgies, knives, guns, pipe smoking, and a frequent use of the “N” word.

As the narrator of this novel to my daughters, these qualities necessitated an immediate discussion at the start of the book. We needed to talk about this, before we went any further in this read.

Here's the deal: I don't use the “N” word, and I don't hang out with people who do.

I made my boundary clear right as we started. I am clever enough to read ahead and say what needs to be said without making myself uncomfortable by using language that twists my intestines.

However, I made something else clear to my girls: just because an author depicts their characters authentically does not make them a racist, nor does it make the book racist.

My children have a writer for a mother. They know more than they want to know about the writing process, and they've also watched their mother eavesdrop on more than her fair share of conversations. They know by now how obsessed I am with authentic dialogue. I can't stand any writer sugar-coating or contriving what they hear.

But, as a mother, would I have enjoyed either of my girls reading the “N” word, over and over again, in this book?


As the narrator and the mom, I chose to leave out all references to the “N” word, skip over the boys' curiosity about “orgies” and leave out about half of the talk about smoking.

And focus on the good.

The best parts for me: watching my daughters laugh at what a drama queen Tom Sawyer is, and being reminded of how many “death scenes” Tom conjures up in his mind, so he may convince himself that he's a good person, when he visualizes how many people will mourn him! I loved watching my girls cover up their faces in disgust when Tom, Huck and Joe stripped down to their birthday suits on the island, doing handstands and sword fights and whatnot. I couldn't help but be reminded of Out Stealing Horses. My middle child mumbled, from behind the hands covering her face, “boys are so repulsive.”

Yes, this is a boy's world for sure. These barefooted boys with the ringworm on their scalps and rings of dirt around their necks are a bunch of river rats.

But I must give Mr. Twain the credit he deserves here, for bringing these authentic characters to life, though I do understand the difficulty we face reading some of these classics. They are snapshots of how people behaved (how some people still behave), and sometimes those are painful reminders.
Profile Image for Ahmad  Ebaid.
281 reviews1,996 followers
August 19, 2018

عن مغامرات الطفل الشقي توم سوير وأصدقاءه
The adventures of naughty little boy, Tom Sawyer and his friends.
You won't believe it wrote 150 years ago,
as Mark Twain's procedure is simple and fluid.
He do not show off with language techniques or dictionary's vocabulary.
just adventures and events, no silly metaphors
an enjoyable novel that i have read at one session
On starting reading "Huckleberry Finn", I knew that it was the second part of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", so I went back to the first part, since I have a spare time

لن تصدق أن هذه الرواية كتبت قبل 150 عام تقريباً
فأسلوب مارك توين سهل سلس
ولا يستخدم تلك الأساليب اللغوية التي تقوم على الاستعراض بمدى إلمام الكاتب بمفردات القاموس
مغامرات وأحداث، لا استعراض للتشبيهات اللفظية،
رواية مسلية جدا، أنا قرأتها في قعده واحدة تقريباً.

عندما بدأت في قراءة مغامرات هاكلبري فين علمت أنها إنما كانت تعد الجزء الثاني لمغامرات توم سوير، فاستحسنت أن أبدأ بقراءة الجزء الأول مادام لدي المتسع من الوقت.


وهذه هي آخر كلمات الجزء الأول قبل أن يخطر له كتابة جزء تاني عن صديق بطل الجزء الأول، فلم يعط الجزء الأول نهاية لعله يلقانا ثانية:

Profile Image for Tim.
476 reviews613 followers
April 6, 2021
"He was not the Model Boy of the village. He knew the model boy very well though--and loathed him."

"No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent –
But change is"

Well, what is there to say about this one? It's one of those novels that is so prominent in pop culture that even if you have not read it you likely know scenes from it (Tom convincing others to paint a fence has been recreated and parodied how many times?). It’s a book that modern readers know going into it pretty much exactly what they're getting. As such I was very unsurprised that I liked it.

More surprising is that I actually hadn't read it already. I knew many people who were assigned this in classes and indeed I was assigned a Twain novel back in Highschool… but it was Huckleberry Finn, not this one (which was actually one of three novels I remember actually really liking of my assigned reading).

Now I must say, there is something about this one I did not expect. Many reviewers who read this later in life say that they wished they would have read it when they were a kid as they think they would have liked it more. I will be the voice against this. While the book was obviously intended for a younger audience and indeed can be read by them with possible great delight, I'm glad I read it in my thirties rather than pre-teen years. Why? Because Mark Twain is a cynical curmudgeon and I would not have appreciated that anywhere near as much in my younger days. The best parts of this book are not Tom and Huck's antics, they are the scenes where Twain just describes things in his conversational smartass way.

Some of my favorite examples:

"The congregation being fully assembled, now, the bell rang once more, to warn laggards and stragglers, and then a solemn hush fell upon the church which was only broken by the tittering and whispering of the choir in the gallery. The choir always tittered and whispered all through service. There was once a church choir that was not ill-bred, but I have forgotten where it was, now. It was a great many years ago, and I can scarcely remember anything about it, but I think it was in some foreign country."

Or take for example another great moment after Tom recovers from the measles:

"During two long weeks Tom lay a prisoner, dead to the world and its happenings. He was very ill, he was interested in nothing. When he got upon his feet at last and moved feebly downtown, a melancholy change had come over everything and every creature. There had been a “revival,” and everybody had “got religion,” not only the adults, but even the boys and girls. Tom went about, hoping against hope for the sight of one blessed sinful face, but disappointment crossed him everywhere. He found Joe Harper studying a Testament, and turned sadly away from the depressing spectacle. He sought Ben Rogers, and found him visiting the poor with a basket of tracts. He hunted up Jim Hollis, who called his attention to the precious blessing of his late measles as a warning. Every boy he encountered added another ton to his depression; and when, in desperation, he flew for refuge at last to the bosom of Huckleberry Finn and was received with a Scriptural quotation, his heart broke and he crept home and to bed realizing that he alone of all the town was lost, forever and forever."

There's such a cynical and sarcastic nature that Twain, not any of his quirky side characters of leads, is the most entertaining character of the book. Would I have appreciated this commentary as a kid? Maybe some of it, but nowhere near as much as I appreciate it now.

Overall this was a fun little classic to spend some time with. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it, and am looking forward to reading more Twain with my own cynical eyes. 4/5 stars
Profile Image for Justin Tate.
Author 7 books909 followers
June 26, 2018
Despite knowing this story front-and-back, it was nice to finally read the unabridged words of one of America's finest storytellers. The scene with Tom lost in the cave is notably incredible, but Twain's folksy prose is a delight throughout. I'm not as familiar with the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Can't wait to start that one soon!
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,145 reviews2,174 followers
July 27, 2022

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of the first literary classics I read. Mark Twain will make us laugh and think with this novel's satire, comedy, and folk narrative.

The story of Thomas Sawyer, Aunt Polly, Sid, cousin Mary, and his friend Huckleberry Finn will be one of the first adventure books that most of us must have read. We all might have had a friend like Tom Sawyer in our childhood, who was very irritating but will make us smile when we think of our childhood memories with them.

I remember carrying a copy of this book wherever I went when I was young. Despite this, it took a long time for me to finish reading this book. It is because I preferred to read this book only when I was feeling stressed. This is one of the few books that was a real stress buster for me and prevented me from burning out at a younger age.

This is one of the best classics that we can give the younger generation to read.

33 reviews3 followers
March 29, 2010
My all-time favorite work of fiction. I usually read this every summer.

As a fourth grader I read this book and took it very seriously. It was my dream to build a raft and go adventuring. Actually I did build the raft, but there was not enough water in the creek.

My other great ambition was to come marching into my own funeral. I still think that would be fun.

When I read about Tom taking a licking for Becky Thatcher in school and sharing his cake with her in the cave, I thought that was incredibly chivalrous and how things ought to be. Because I read this book when I was young & before I understood much of the humor, I think it shaped the way I think in many ways.

As an adult, I have re-read this book several times and love its timeless humor. The descriptions of a little kid at church are totally relevant today. I have learned that this book is primarily a light-hearted book written about children, but for adults.
Profile Image for Blaine.
748 reviews607 followers
September 12, 2020
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.

Even if you’ve never actually read this book, it’s influence is so vast that you are almost certainly familiar with the character of Tom Sawyer on some level. His ploy to entice his friends to help him whitewash his Aunt Polly’s fence is one of the most famous scenes in all of literature. Remember when Ferris Bueller explained how to fake being sick so he could stay home from school? Ripped off from this book. Remember in A Christmas Story when Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with soap and he imagines going blind and his parents never forgiving themselves for punishing him? Inspired by a scene in this novel.

While there is a loose plot, the book is more a series of vignettes. There’s taunting and scuffles between boys. Little brothers who tattle. Playing and trying above all to avoid work. Puppy love. Crazy superstitions and rituals and blood oaths. Pretending to be robbers and pirates and searching for buried treasure. There are even caves and funerals and a murder trial. Was life ever truly like what’s presented in these pages? It reads now like a boyish fantasy about living as a rebellious 12-year old boy. Indeed, these boys’ ideal form is shown in the description given of Tom’s best friend, Huckleberry Finn:
Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; he did not have to go to school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody; he could go fishing or swimming when and where he chose, and stay as long as it suited him; nobody forbade him to fight; he could sit up as late as he pleased; he was always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring and the last to resume leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor put on clean clothes; he could swear wonderfully. In a word, everything that goes to make life precious that boy had. So thought every harassed, hampered, respectable boy in St. Petersburg.

Tom Sawyer’s presentation in this novel is the triumph and glorification of street smarts and guile over book smarts and hard work. He usually deserves a much greater punishment than he receives. He skates through life on charm and optimism and a bit of luck. He’s like a penny that always lands on heads. And yet, you can’t help but root for him. He has a genuinely good heart, protects his friends, and even risks his life to do the right thing. Tom Sawyer is a uniquely American literary character; I can’t imagine another culture presenting such a flawed character so charmingly and heroically.

If you’re looking to be transported to simpler times, or long for the simplicity of youth, you can’t go wrong with this book. It’s a classic for a reason. Recommended.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,113 reviews44.4k followers
October 18, 2016
How many people get to crash their funeral?

Is it sort of weird that I want to do this? I mean it would be such a fun surprise for people or bad depending on what they thought of you. Imagine going to the funeral of your sworn enemy and then he bursts through the door, you’d be so disappointed or as equally amazed if you just buried your best friend and he turns up to say hi.

It something to ponder at least, other than that this book is pretty shit. I mean the narrative structure is a mess, the dialogue is appalling (please note I said dialogue, and not dialect,) and the characters are pretty flat. This book really isn’t all that. The plot is very up and down; it doesn’t flow like a well-structured novel should. It’s like Twain ran out of steam at certain points and had to push in some awkwardly clunky event to get the plot moving again. It didn’t feel like a natural course of events. And this brings be back to the dialogue. Tom’s aunty, I forget her name, had some real terrible sections that were so packed full of pointlessness. It was dull, so very dull. I really didn’t get a lot out of it.

Tom Sawyer, so called bad-boy of American literary culture, your story was disappointing.
Profile Image for emma.
1,824 reviews48.3k followers
April 1, 2022
when i was in high school i used to carry beat-up used paperback classics around with me and read them every time i had a spare even 45 seconds.

it's a wonder i had any friends at all.

this book is good, though.

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews8,824 followers
October 18, 2020
What can you say about Tom Sawyer? Classic Mark Twain! I think a lot of people already know many parts of this story – whether it is from reading the book, watching old Disney movies, pop culture references, etc. Raise your hand if you think of Tom Sawyer every time you see a white fence?

I enjoy Mark Twain’s downhome storytelling. When you read this is it not hard to imagine that you are sitting next to the fireplace or around a campfire (a fire of some sort!) while your Grandpa tells you tales that might be true or might be tall. It’s like a warm bowl of stew or chicken soup in book from. It just warms the soul!

I enjoyed the audiobook of this as narrated by Nick Offerman. I am pretty sure that Nick Offerman was born to narrate Mark Twain books. I noticed that there are several other Twain books narrated by him and I will definitely be checking those out!

And, now for the mandatory “Times – they were a different��� disclaimer. The content of this story is based in the late 1800s. Things were different back then and that comes through in the writing. Doesn’t make it right, but it is just how they were. In this case, I feel like they are generally minor compared to other books from Twain and the era, but it is worth noting going in if you are bothered by culturally insensitive language and stereotypes.

Now, with that out of the way . . .

If you need a nice, easy to read book to curl up with on a cool fall day and you want to check another classic off your list, you cannot go wrong with The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
Profile Image for Matthew Ted.
713 reviews591 followers
December 15, 2020
82nd book of 2020.

This is a great story that took me, particularly their time on the island as ‘pirates’, back to my days in the Sea Scouts. Every year, save a few where we went elsewhere, we camped in Marlowe, right on the bank of the river Thames. We slept in tents, went sailing on calm river mornings, looked at the mansions that flanked the water and dreamt up imaginary lives for ourselves, living in them with beautiful wives, long shadows from the trees lay across the still water, we had campfires, we lined each other’s tents with alcohol gel and set it alight for a ring of fire, we tied each other to trees, we played takedown bulldog, we used rope to heave one another’s kayak up a tree, we pushed each other in the lake, we got bored washing up and slapped each other with soapy hands, we ate jam on bread all day, we swam in the freezing cold water, we whipped each other with towels, we wrestled, we shouted, we punched and kicked, we helped one another when someone capsized their boat, we told ghost stories, we played manhunt at night, we lay on our backs and looked at the blue skies, we took each other’s washing off the line and threw it in the river or up on branches, we got homesick, too, we comforted each other, we cried sometimes, we missed our parents, but we also had ultimate freedom for a week, we could swear, we could stay up late, we could spit in the water, we could lick our plates, we could eat breakfast with our feet in the water, we could sunbathe with no homework, we could, above all, relish in the fact that we were all young and free, and happy.

I’m surprised to see so many poor reviews of this. A lecturer of mine once said, “People don’t like Tom Sawyer because it isn’t Huckleberry Finn,” and that may be so. I’ve seen people say it’s written for children, but the issue is this: it is complicated or boring for children, and not interesting enough for adults. I don’t know about the former, but I disagree with the latter.

And in fact, there is one paragraph that perfectly matches an observation I myself have had, and I myself have even written about. I realised that no matter what boisterous boy behaviour occurred on camp, there were times that nature prevailed over us. I won’t describe every memory, but several stand out, to illustrate my point, and then Twain’s observation too. At times, normally on the water, we were quiet. The river had the power, where all adults failed, to subdue us. Even the most wild Scouts were still, melancholic even, under the river’s trance. The same happened at night sometimes, in woods, where the trees that stood around us lulled us to thoughtfulness. I have profound (I believe them to be very profound moments in my life) of looking at boys in these moments. One friend, who particularly enjoyed hitting us, and I once took a sailing boat out one morning, a little one. I lay on the front of the boat on my back and he sailed. The whole time I wondered when he was going to hit me, or else tip me off the boat, but he didn’t. And when I glanced over my shoulder, I caught him staring intently, sadly, at the water rippling and parting under the boat, lost in some deep and personal thought. For me, it was like I had seen a whole new side to his character, a whole deeper understanding of him. After that, we became very close friends, we still talk, infrequently, today. So, it swelled my heart, and moved me, to read these few lines from Twain:

The stillness, the solemnity, that brooded in the woods, and the sense of loneliness, began to tell upon the spirits of the boys. They fell to thinking. A sort of undefined longing crept upon them. This took dim shape presently – it was budding home-sickness.

And apart from this beautiful moment in the book, the rest is enjoyable and humorous – Tom, Huckleberry and Joe have a great adventure together, being pirates, gate-crashing their own funeral and playing Robin Hood. These entertaining moments do not distract from the melancholic ones though, the stillness of the boys and their inevitable climb towards adulthood, like us, never to return again to those years of childhood wonder and freedom, like how I will never again experience being twelve years old on camp again, which saddens me.
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,562 followers
November 2, 2020
Been a while since Huck Finn, & I finally got around to reading this, a certain preparation text for the Mississippi River classic. This one is considered far inferior, & it is. Although, I must admit, the opening is stronger and the adventures are more varied. There is substantially more comedy in this, more of a dabbling with the picaresque—far more enjoyable then. But Huckleberry Finn has a more pervasive pathos than this one: overall, a stronger sense of the loneliness experienced one lazy Sunday afternoon in the deep gone-now South...
Profile Image for James.
Author 19 books3,575 followers
September 13, 2017
Book Review
4+ out of 5 stars for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, a classic novel written in 1876 by Mark Twain. Another book where there are likely tons of reviews, each covering the plot, summary, characters, writing and themes. I'll try not to do that, but instead a few quick hits on what made me like this one so much. An author's job is difficult. You undoubtedly have hundreds of ideas and images swimming around inside your head. You may want to try to correct a wrong in society. You could be highlighting all the things that people should be aware of. It might be an opportunity to share a dream or wild imagination with readers. Mark Twain is all of those things tied together with a big, beautiful bow. He understands how to write. He knows how people read. He doesn't care about either enough to worry what he does in his novels. And I don't mean that in a critical or accusatory way. I mean that it all just pours out of him regardless of his audience, as he just naturally builds a wonderful story full of memories. With a setting like the Mississippi River, characters like Tom and Huck, messages like "how do you grow up to be a good man" threaded throughout the story, it couldn't possibly fail. I'm not even covering the themes around slavery and freedom, men and women, skin color, age, relationships... it's purely a theory on how to live your life so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and how to react. So much more I could say... but the best I could leave you with is... this is the kinda book everyone needs to read as we will all take something very different from it. Sometimes we will be angry that Twain didn't do enough, considering how brilliant he was, to help support the causes going on at the time he wrote this. Others praise him for shining a light on what was happening. It's controversial, diverse and thought-provoking. That's why to read it -- to engage in a discourse where you can feel free to share your opinion and understand every else's feelings, too.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
Profile Image for Kenny.
494 reviews861 followers
October 10, 2022
Who knows, he may grow up to be President someday, unless they hang him first!
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ~~ Mark Twain

Selected by Kenny for August 2021 Big Book Read (In August I am reading the entire Tom & Huck Series as well as Life on the Mississippi & Huck Out West

Buddy read with Aesaan

Random thought: I love returning to Mark Twain’s Mississippi Universe. I grow to love it more with each repeated reading.

Another thought: Tom Sawyer is so different than Huck Finn. This requires a very different review.

A third thought: This must be my fourth reading of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It's fun revisiting childhood books.

Tom Sawyer ~~ like every boy of his time ~~ just wants to be free, adventurous, moral, and intelligent. Born in the heart of the South, in Missouri, Tom, an orphan, lives with his Aunt Polly and cousins. He loves to play hooky so he can go fishing.

His aunt ~~ bless her heart ~~ tries her best to tame him, dragging him to church and punishing his rebelliousness. But she never breaks the boy's spirit.

Mondays are the worst for Tom because a week of dull education looms before him. If Tom is late, like he is so often, he will undoubtedly be the recipient of the switch, laid gustily upon his back by the bore of a schoolmaster.

That is how we have been taught to think of Tom, but there is so much more to him.

Mark Twain is a master at weaving words with wit. Here, Twain tells the story of the young Tom Sawyer. Throughout The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, you will sense the moral, psychological and intellectual growth of Tom, Huck and Joe. A beautifully written story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer presents the past in such a way that readers will personally identify with Tom. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer speaks of life on the Mississippi River where Twain himself spent his youth.


The genius of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is to have the reader on Tom's side all the way through. Despite the third-person narration, the reader is drawn into the small real world and larger imagined worlds of a boy in a town on the Mississippi River in the mid-1800s. It's as though we are recalling our own wayward childhoods when the world seemed huge and full of potential adventures, full of possible lives we could live, regardless of whether we grew up in a world remotely like that of Tom's life.

We laugh when Tom lures his friends into running away to an island to become pirates, steal food and plan bloody raids ~~ we could imagine ourselves at least wishing we could do something like that when we were kids. We squirm a bit when the boys realize their loved ones thinks they have drowned ~~ remember thinking they'll regret it when I'm gone. We cheer at their staged reappearance at their own funerals ~~ I'll show them! And then we melt when Tom's Aunt Polly, who raises him, convinces herself the boy means well and loves her.

There is also plenty of death in the novel ~~ when you count the bodies that pop up among the boy's adventures. One serious overarching plot tangled up with the episodes in this very episodic novel involve a violent gang whose leader has it in for Tom. The boys' games have a way of spoiling Injun Joe's criminal endeavors ~~ their cemetery plays leads them to witness a murder. Or when their comical efforts to find buried treasure brings them to uncovering the gang's actual stash.

This merger of playacting and real-life drama throughout Tom Sawyer lets Twain make fun of the fantastic adventure stories of his time while still deriving the entertainment value of those stories. Tom and Huck actually win great riches at the end of the novel, just as in any potboiler of Twain's day.


In the early pages, Joe Harper is set up as the Tom's best friend, though he has little personality beyond a proclivity for going along with whatever Tom suggests. Huck though adds something interesting as he develops in the course of the book from a loose member of Tom's group to his bosom buddy. The barefooted boy is basically growing up alone, impoverished, an outsider to the town's decent folk. But he's got a heart as big as Tom's, if less calculating. And his honest responses can give vent to Twain's disdain ~~ without cleverness or meanness ~~ for the norms of upright ~~ or is it uptight ~~ society.

In the last chapter Huckleberry has become the most intriguing character of the novel, the moral center of this world. It's Huck who, with his discomfort at being pressed into civilized living, undercuts the too neatly wrapped up happy ending. It's no wonder Twain wants his voice for their next three adventures.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an unforgettable read. Tom and Huck squirm right into a person’s imagination and heart. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer shows the joy of childhood as well as the acceptance of change. But most of all it reveals that we all have a little Tom Sawyer in us.

Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews867 followers
April 24, 2022
“Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred”

Apparently Mark Twain liked to “collect” young girls - Vox

It was interesting to revisit what amounts to a collection of childhood adventures in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Amusing and episodic, they almost effortlessly transport the reader to another time and place, and, probably without any intention from Mark Twain, prepare the reader for his more important achievement, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck was clearly the most interesting character in Tom's story, and I thought a lot about Huck's later exploits as I read this. Through Tom's eyes, the world is almost idealized; it will be through Huck's perspective that we are able to challenge assumptions about race and the structure of the world.

“Huckleberry came and went, at his own free will. He slept on doorsteps in fine weather and in empty hogsheads in wet; he did not have to go to school or to church, or call any being master or obey anybody
Profile Image for Francesc.
391 reviews192 followers
March 20, 2022
Clásico de la literatura norteamericana de aventuras.
Tenía curiosidad por saber cosas sobre el amigo Tom Sawyer.
Interesante, aunque, a ratos, se me hizo bastante pesado.

Classic of American adventure literature.
I was curious to know about my friend Tom Sawyer.
Interesting, though, at times, I found it quite heavy.
Profile Image for sAmAnE.
493 reviews83 followers
February 1, 2022
گاهی خوبه با این کتاب‌ها یادی از دوران کودکیمان کنیم🥰
Profile Image for Fernando.
680 reviews1,091 followers
April 30, 2020
"Tom se dijo que, a fin de cuentas, el mundo no era tan desagradable. Había descubierto, sin saberlo, una gran ley de la actividad humana, a saber: que para que un hombre o un muchacho codicie una cosa solo hace falta que la cosa sea difícil de alcanzar."

Luego del estado de aturdimiento general en que me dejó el Ulises de James Joyce, necesitaba leer una novela que me despejara un poco la mente. Algo disfrutable, una historia agradable y que mejor que disfrutar de las aventuras de Tom Sawyer…
Samuel Clemens, más conocido como Mark Twain, es un escritor que aprecio mucho. Sus cuentos y novelas son de una estética elevada, disfrutable y amena. Poseo un volumen de sus cuentos selectos, que estimo releer el año que viene y quería volver a leer este libro, algo que había hecho obviamente cuando era niño.
Es que al leer Tom Sawyer sabía que esas aventuras me remitirían a los gloriosos días de mi infancia. ¿Quién no soñó con buscar tesoros escondidos cuando era niño? ¿Quién no se embarcó en aventuras sin medir el peligro, sin saber que lo que uno creía simple podía tener consecuencias que enojaba a nuestros padres? Bueno, Mark Twain nos lleva de la mano de Tom Sawyer, Joe Harper, Ben Rogers y otro famoso niño que este escritor aportaría al mundo de la literatura: Huckleberry Finn.
Este libro es la antítesis de “El Señor de las Moscas”. Mientras que en ese libro, la amistad entre niños se tuerce en algo ominoso, cruel y despiadado, aquí es todo inocencia, alegría, amistad y aventura.
Mark Twain, en una carta a un amigo y confidente literario afirma que “Las Aventuras de Tom Sawyer” ”No es un libro juvenil. En absoluto. Sólo será leído por adultos. Sólo está escrito para adultos.” Pero se equivocó. El libro fue un éxito instantáneo entre los niños, jóvenes y adultos de su época e increíblemente hoy lo sigue disfrutando de la misma manera lectores de todas las edades.
En la edición de Penguin Clásicos que leí, un reconocido experto en Mark Twain, R. Kent Rasmussen, entabla una similitud entre Tom Sawyer y Harry Potter estableciendo varios puntos en común entre ambos personajes y posicionando a Harry Potter como un “descendiente literario” de Tom Sawyer, basándose en que tal vez J.K. Rowling se haya inspirado en el personaje de esta novela para atribuirles ciertas características al famoso niño mago. Entre otras, Rasmussen apunta que no es claro establecer la edad de Tom Sawyer. ¿Tal vez diez, once, doce años? Probablemente la edad de Potter al inicio de la saga. Otros aspectos que los emparentan es que son huérfanos, que son criados
por la tía puesto que sus madres han muerto. El hermanastro de Tom, Sid se encuentra en algún punto en la posición Dudley, el primo malvado de Harry aunque este último no lo es tanto. Huck Finn es un poco como Ron Weasley, un chico incomprendido. Una especie de paria. Tom comparte muchas de sus aventuras con Becky Tatcher así como Harry con Hermione Granger y si hasta el indio Joe es como un prehistórico Voldemort: el personaje más malvado de la historia que atormenta al personaje principal.
Existen muchas más similitudes entre ambos libros y personajes pero en esencia, Tom Sawyer encarna a todo aquel niño que llevamos dentro. Nos recuerda nuestra infancia con nostalgia y un poco de tristeza, pero también con la alegría de saber que la vivimos al máximo. Que fuimos niños despreocupados, felices y que, de alguna manera, siempre lo seremos. Está en nosotros mantener en nuestra vida de adultos esa frescura de la niñez en nuestros corazones y para ello existen libros como éste, “El Principito”, “Alicia en el País de las Maravillas”, “Huckleberry Finn” y tantos otros.
Y así debería ser siempre.
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,539 followers
October 8, 2019
There are few children's stories as memorable for boys as Tom Sawyer. Whether it is pre-adolescent fascination with girls, getting away with not working, or a late night adventure - Tom Sawyer has it all in spades. My kid absolutely loves this book and we go back to it every few years over and over again. It is a true reading pleasure which you should absolutely not deprive yourself of.
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,855 followers
June 7, 2016
"Looky-here, Tom, being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be. It's just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time."

This book is great. I hadn't read it in years, and found it just as good as the previous times I've read it. An American classic by the late, great Mark Twain.

Tom Sawyer isn't really a bad kid although he's always painted and remembered as a little troublemaker, the truth is he has a strong conscience and a strong moral compass. Sure he'll "hook" doughnuts, sugar, and jam from his put-upon Aunt Polly and play hooky from school, but I couldn't believe how good and brave he was in general. He steps up and takes a whipping in his girl's place like a mensch, he stands up and tells the truth in a situation in which he literally could be murdered for doing so, etc. etc. Sure he basks in the fame and glory, and, um, feminine gratitude he receives after these acts, but that's okay. To be honest most people wouldn't be brave enough to perform these acts in the first place.

The flirtations and dramas between Becky and Tom are BEYOND cute. OMG. Making each other jealous, giving each other little gifts and having tiny kissing is all part of the cute, drama-filled, very kid-like romance here and I was laughing out loud for most of it.

Another super-fun thing about the book is all the free-range kids in it. The children are just turned loose and expected home for dinner. Much different than it is now, where children aren't even allowed to ride their bikes around the block. Also, with no TV, no movies, no phone, and no radio, it's interesting to see how children amused themselves in the 1800s. For instance, Joe and Tom have The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood memorized (MEMORIZED) and frequently run around the forest acting it out, each boy taking turns playing various parts. They also pretend to be pirates and hermits and explorers and discoverers a lot. There's also a fascination with animals (both alive and dead), sores and cuts, insects, knives and half-broken baubles on which great importance is placed.

There's also the drama, Tom and Huck and that and the culprit's escape cause much tension and fear in the boys, elevating the book from backwoods games to more sinister stuff. It's not realistic, especially the ending where but it makes for great fiction.

Twain is funny and witty as usual.

It's also funny and true about how the little boys are such drama-kings, always imagining themselves drowning and how sorrowful everyone will be when they're gone. They're frequently fantasizing about romantic, dramatic deaths that teach everyone a lesson in valuing them.

Twain also perfectly captures the superstitious and steadfast beliefs that children have. One of the best parts of the book is when Tom and Huck watch Injun Joe lie to a whole group of people and Tom is just waiting... waiting... waiting... for lightning to strike him down. Lightning he is SURE is coming. And when it never comes, Huck and Tom are in awe and ABSOLUTELY convinced that Injun Joe has sold his soul to the devil, and

They inwardly resolved to watch him nights, when opportunity should offer, in the hope of getting a glimpse of his dread master.

The relationship between Tom and his Aunt Polly is also touching. She loves him but scolds him on the hope he'll reform and walk a straighter path; he loves her very much but can't help struggling hard against the chaffing of her rules and decorum.

However, that all being said. Would I read this to any child in my family? A black child in my family? A child in my family with a black parent and a non-black parent? No, I would not. If a child wants to pick this up (whether s/he loves it or discards it is her/his own business) then that's fine, but this would not be one I'd pick to read aloud at bedtime.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,221 reviews168 followers
August 24, 2022
A tribute to the charm and adventure of boyhood!

Little wonder that Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly and Injun Joe have been elevated to the status of icons of American literature and culture.

Who among us, as playful children, did not scramble over a fallen down tree pretending to be swashbuckling captains of an English privateer scanning the Spanish Main for easy pirate loot? Who among us does not recall the first embarrassing onset of puppy love for a young girl in our class and the steadfast internal decision to not let our young male friends know about any such foolish feelings? Who among us does not recall playing hookey for a day, laying in a sunlit field staring at the moving clouds with a blade of grass between our teeth? Who among us does not recall running away from the yoke of parental supervision and realizing, probably within the hour, how lonely and frightened we really were? Who among us does not recall swearing blood oaths of eternal friendship with our closest mates and swearing to keep secrets even under pain of the direst torture? Who among us cannot recall the trepidation and almost overwhelming fear of overhearing an adult conversation to which we were not supposed to be privy? Who among us does not recall ever escalating games of "dare ya!" and "double dare ya!"?

While we all can recall, in some distant sadly fogged fashion what we experienced when we were children, only a master wordsmith such as Mark Twain could place us right back inside the mind of a young boy and so brilliantly re-create the charm and delight that was boyhood in frontier North America! No ... never mind that! "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" was set in frontier North America but there are some things that are timeless and universal. The experience of boyhood is one of them.

If, like me, you are one of those deprived, unfortunate few who somehow went through school without experiencing the joys of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", I cannot suggest strongly enough that you rectify that oversight at the earliest possible moment. Highly recommended. If you only read it as a child yourself, you owe it to yourself as an adult to re-read it and experience the joy again from an entirely different perspective.

Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Melki.
5,791 reviews2,339 followers
March 30, 2018
Twain takes a hard-hitting look at the dark, seamy underbelly of an American childhood.

Who'd a thunk that this small Missouri town could be such a horrifying place to spend one's formative years?

So much ignorance and superstition . . .

"You got to go all by yourself, to the middle of the woods, where you know there's a spunk-water stump, and just as it's midnight you back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say:
'Barley-corn, Barley-corn, injun-meal shorts,
Spunk-water, spunk-water, swaller these warts,'

and then walk away quick, eleven steps, with your eyes shut, and then turn around three times and walk home without speaking to anybody."

Children fighting right in the streets . . .

In an instant both boys were rolling and tumbling in the dirt, gripped together like cats; and for the space of a minute they tugged and tore at each other's hair and clothes, punched and scratched each other's noses, and covered themselves with dust and glory.

Corporal punishment . . .

The schoolmaster, always severe, grew severer and more exacting than ever, for he wanted the school to make a good showing on "Examination" day. His rod and his ferule were seldom idle now -- at least among the smaller pupils. Only the biggest boys, and young ladies of eighteen and twenty, escaped lashing.

Rampant nudity . . .

After breakfast they went whooping and prancing out on the bar, and chased each other round and round, shedding clothes as they went, until they were naked . . .

Failure to report a felony . . .


And even sexual harassment . . .

Tom clasped her about her neck and pleaded:
"Now, Becky, it's all done -- all over but the kiss. Don't you be afraid of that -- it ain't anything at all. Please, Becky." And he tugged at her apron and the hands.

(#BeckyThatcher #MeToo)

Yikes! What a scary world they lived in back then. Kids today have it so much easier, don't they?

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