Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, 1) by Mark Twain, October 28, 2014 (originally published in 1876). 272 pages. Published by Penguin Classics. Source: publisher.
The classic boyhood adventure tale, updated with a new introduction by noted Mark Twain scholar R. Kent Rasmussen

A consummate prankster with a quick wit, Tom Sawyer dreams of a bigger fate than simply being a “rich boy.” Yet through the novel’s humorous escapades—from the famous episode of the whitewashed fence to the trial of Injun Joe—Mark Twain explores the deeper themes of the adult world, one of dishonesty and superstition, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery.
First Sentence:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of those books that I've been meaning to read for ages now, so, when asked if I would feature Mark Twain's classic story about Tom Sawyer I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

So, R. Kent Rasmussen, may just have written the best introduction to a classic I have ever read. From the moment he began to introduce The Adventures of Tom Sawyer I was drawn to how he made comparisons between it and Harry Potter. Yep, you heard me right. In some ways I can see the lines he drew between the two different books and how Tom (not Riddle) and Harry were similar. Okay, Harry Potter aside, just the general way he talked about Mark Twain and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer had me antsy to dive into the actual book and to see what he meant.
   I can tell you this, the introduction is a must read because it gives you a glimpse into not only the book and how Tom matures (slightly) over the course of it, to the thoughts of the author and how he originally had planned for it to be for adults...not children. Though thankfully, it was market towards both children and adults in the end.

Onward to the actual book.........

The question remains, did my first reading of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer live up to the expectations that the introduction gave me. Yes, surprisingly enough it did. I found myself trying to read it in a duel perspective; that of the heart of a child and then again as a more mature reader. With that in mind, I can see why both adults and children alike are drawn to reading about Tom Sawyer and his adventures because there's just so much for a reader to enjoy. From his escapades and the havoc he brought down upon those of his hometown, to the acts of kindness that he performed, like taking the lashings that should have befallen Becky. I just really enjoyed reading about Tom Sawyer and the trouble he caused.

One of the things that made this such an enjoyable read, other than the writing and great storytelling, would have to be watching how quickly Tom's moods could swing from happy to doom and gloom. And y'all thought girls moods could change rapidly, well, we have nothing on Tom Sawyer in that respect. Admittedly, I laughed like mad whenever Tom was trying to win Becky over with his antics because it brought to mind certain popular type young adult male characters that go around basically strutting around trying to 'woo' their target of affection. Hmm...I wonder if maybe certain authors have tailored some characters after him...  I'm pretty sure Mark Twain is probably rolling in his grave over these comments of mine.

As for the writing, other than some of the wordage characteristic of that time period, Mark Twain's writing is still very accessible to today's reader as his storytelling just pulls one into the book. For me, I enjoyed his ability to capture the emotions that Tom experienced throughout the book and how well he wrote each of his escapades. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is just an overall fun, and yet, compelling read.

Final Verdict: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- Still a fascinating read even though it was written ages ago.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer earns

 This book was received in exchange for an honest review

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