If you haven't already read Tom Sawyer (could there possibly be anyone who hasn't?) - nonetheless, if you have not, read it first and then, by all means, give a listen to TOM SAWYER ABROAD as narrated by the estimable Grover Gardner. This voice performer's mantel must be groaning under all the awards he has received - AudioFile named him one of the "best Voices of the Century" and a "Golden Voice"; he's won an Audie Award, and was chosen Narrator of the Year by Publishers Weekly. His performance loses none of the folksiness that is so much part and parcel of the Twain stories, and adds frissons of excitement to what is most surely an amazing adventure.
Now, once you've become familiar with Tom Sawyer, you know that Tom and Huck thrive on derring-do and are always ready for a challenge. There are quite a few of those in TOM SAWYER ABROAD. They go off to witness the unveiling of an airship only to be held captive by a kooky inventor, Then as luck and Twain would have it the inventor falls overboard leaving the boys trying to control a wayward airship.
Soon they're hurtling over the ocean carrying them where and to meet what?
This is one more of Twain's masterpieces masterfully read by Grover Gardner.
- Gail Cooke
on 6 June 1999
If you really want to sink your teeth into three of Mark Twain's greatest characters, read this book. I actually prefer it over Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Twain went much deeper in defining the characters; Tom thinks he knows everything and loves to argue, Huck takes everything literally and loves to argue back, and Jim is well. . . Jim! I will say this: If anyone has ever found the portrayal of Jim offensive, it's no different here, but I'm assuming that if you're considering reading this, you must have enjoyed the other two books. So, what are you waiting for, read it!
on 20 April 1998
This book picks up right after the hullaballo has died down from Tom and Huck's triumphal return. Tom kinda craves notoriety as he competes for the unofficial title of Hannibal's First Traveler. Then Tom, Huck and Jim are accidentally kidnapped by a mad inventor and go sailing off in a hot-air balloon. They eventually find themselves adrift over the Atlantic Ocean but when they sight land, it is not Europe! This book is told with youthful zest and slangy vocabulary by an admiring Huck in the first person, so that he can praise Tom's leadership skills and powers of argument!
The three unintentional argonauts finally realize that they are sailing over the Sahara Desert, where they have a variety of adventures, interspersed with juvenile deductions and debates. Their adventures are right out of Arabian Nights: no magic lamp or genies, but caravans, lions, mirages, warring Bedouin tribes, devastating sand storms! All interspersed with Tawin's wry humor as he slips in some snide remarks about more serious social issues (spoken through the mouths of babes). Not much of a plot, but plenty of lively dialogue as the boys try to argue using logic and indulge in youthful dreams of sudden fortune. A fun read with sly social criticism. But really, Mark Twain, Tigers--in Africa???