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Tom Sawyer, Detective (Annotated) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Twain
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Summary (differentiated book):
- Original book from 1896
- Book contains detailed biography of author
- Includes photos of the author

Book details:
Tom Sawyer, Detective is an 1896 novel by Mark Twain. It is a sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894). Tom Sawyer attempts to solve a mysterious murder in this burlesque of the immensely popular detective novels of the time. Like the two preceding novels, the story is told using the first-person narrative voice of Huck Finn.

Product Description


Mark Twain's two most famous creations, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, are reunited in this high-spirited and captivating tale of mystery and murder in deepest Arkansas.

From the Back Cover

‘Why, I had eyes and I could see things, but they never meant nothing to me. But Tom Sawyer was different. When Tom Sawyer seen a thing it just got up on its hind legs and talked to him – told him everything it knowed.’

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 697 KB
  • Print Length: 82 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00N7K1ERI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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More About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too short, too different 1 Jun. 2009
This is a short book. Like Tom Sawyer Abroad, I felt it messed a little with the established canon of the Adventures of Toim Sawyer and Huck Finn. It was clearly a case of Mark Twain poking fun at a genre of detective story using his favourite characters.

This story was not as unbelievable as Tom Sawyer abroad, but still not a book I would read again and again like I did with Huckleberry Finn.
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4.0 out of 5 stars son gives it 4 stars 28 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good for the budding reader
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 3 Jun. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Feb. 2015
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor Twain but Quite Good 21 Jan. 2010
By Bill R. Moore - Published on
Mark Twain's 1876 novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and its 1884 follow-up The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are two of American literature's most famous works and the latter one of its most acclaimed. It may thus seem strange that this 1896 sequel - like Tom Sawyer Abroad, its 1894 predecessor - is now almost obscure. The truth is that this is not entirely undeserved. Huck Finn is a masterpiece of world literature, and anyone expecting this to be anywhere near its level will be sorely disappointed. It lacks the more famous work's seriousness and ambitiousness, making it inevitably minor. However, it is quite interesting on its own minor terms; this means it is not great literature or even pretending to be. However, like nearly everything else Twain wrote, it is eminently readable, very entertaining, and sometimes funny. Fans of Twain's lighter work will love it, and there is something for all to appreciate it. The book is notable for taking the series and its characters in surprising new directions, bringing in some rather dark events and making Tom an unlikely detective hero. Though not a great literary work in other respects, it performs surprisingly well in the latter area. Those eager for more adventures from Tom, Huck, and Jim will certainly warm to it. Like the book that bears his name, this is narrated by Huck with all his delightfully provincial grammar and spelling; "prostitution" for "prosecution" in the court scene is my laugh aloud favorite. His naïveté and ignorance also come into play in skillfully unprecedented ways.

Like most of Twain, this book can be read and enjoyed on several levels. Most simply and obviously, it is a rollicking, picaresque adventure of the sort later classed as Young Adult or Juvenile. It is notably entertaining and quite humorous even in this limited sense. While far from politically correct by current standards, it can easily be enjoyed by the very young as well as those of all ages who will take it on its own terms. In this sense it is very much like Tom Sawyer Abroad and, indeed, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, not least in returning to the latter's rural South.

It also differs significantly from Tom Sawyer Abroad in obvious ways. First and most clearly, as the title shows, it is a detective story of the kind then wildly popular; this was after all when Sherlock Holmes was a sensation. Those who, like me, love such stories can appreciate it simply on this level. It is set up like a typical one with a murder mystery and has exciting elements such as a false confession, a dramatic courtroom scene, a climactic discovery, etc. - and, of course, eventual justice. Seeing all this play out is exciting, and Twain milks it for all it is worth. Unlike most of his works, this is filled with literary devices conventionally used for entertainment value, especially in modern popular fiction: foreshadowing, suspense, dramatic irony, etc. The revelation and ending are in particular highly wrought. Anyone who likes blazing stories of this sort, particularly detective ones, will enjoy and appreciate this and find the book well worth reading for it alone.

The discerning can see more, even if no one can see greatness. Though less savagely biting than later work, this is vintage Twain satire in many ways. Detective fiction itself is the target, but Twain's burlesque is gentle; we feel he lightly pokes fun at something he himself enjoys - not least because his satire could be far more bitter. He has some fun at the expense of the genre's conventions, using them in slightly exaggerated fashion to show how superficial they can sometimes be. What may seem exaggeration if read straight comes into play here: melodrama, implausibility, clichés, etc. This is where Huck's naïveté and ignorance are important. Many, perhaps even most, readers will be able to deduce some - or even all - of the ostensibly revelatory events, turning what would normally be suspense into dramatic irony. Those who miss the satire may think of these as defects, but those who see what Twain is doing will know they are intentional knocks at a) provincial Southern ignorance, and b) detective fiction conventions. Even simply moving from popular detective settings - i.e., Victorian England - to Twain's rural South makes the genre seem slightly ridiculous. However, that the book itself it can still be enjoyable with shows that the genre can as well. Indeed, Twain's satire is so subtle that many, perhaps especially detective fiction fans, will not even notice it - with whatever ambiguous result. As for those who dislike the genre, they may well like the book significantly more - indeed, may think it a riot. Twain at any rate did not cut off his satirical take on the genre here, returning several years later with the novella "A Double-Barreled Detective Story," which drops Tom and Huck but actually has Holmes(!) and is significantly more biting.

Tom Sawyer, Detective is thus quite a strange book - a light-hearted satire that most will not get and that many will likely enjoy for the very reasons Twain tries to mock. Its canonical status depends on how well one thinks he succeeds here. No one could put it with his great work. It is quite short - about one hundred pages - and can be read quickly and easily. That said, it will certainly delight fans of the associated stories and characters. The story itself is better than Tom Sawyer Abroad, arguably even better than The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; it has more plot than either, and characterization is strong. Conversely, there is significantly less humor, especially in the dialogue, except for those unusually alive to the satire. All told, it is a worthy edition to the series and to Twain generally even if only hard-core fans, especially those who treasure the associated works, should read it in the end. He hardly wrote anything not worth reading, but this should be one of the last stops. It is a pleasant read even if the fact that it has survived more than a century has more to do with Twain's name and his better works than inherent quality. This is surprisingly enjoyable proof that he was ever-readable even when far from this best.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars we enjoyed it 20 Feb. 2010
By Wayne S. Walker - Published on
Most people are familiar with Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but did you know that there were a couple of other sequels? One was Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), and the other is this short novel in which Tom Sawyer attempts to solve a mysterious murder, as narrated by Huck Finn. It is a satire of the immensely popular detective novels of the time.
Tom's Uncle Silas, a preacher in Arkansas, is doing poorly because a rich neighbor, Brace Dunlap, wants to marry Tom's cousin Benny, and she said no, so Brace is trying to stir up trouble for Silas, who hires Brace's no account brother Jubiter to work for him in an attempt to smooth things out, although Silas and Jubiter are constantly arguing. Aunt Polly sends Tom and Huck on a steamboat down the Mississippi to help cheer Silas and his family up. On the boat, they meet Jake Dunlap, Jubiter's long lost twin brother who had become a criminal and was assumed to have been killed many years before. He and two other men have robbed a diamond store in St. Louis, and he has sneaked off with the diamonds, but the other two men followed him on to the boat, so he is now trying to escape them. His plan is to go home to his brothers and pretend to be a deaf-mute.
On the day Tom and Huck arrive, Jubiter Dunlap disappears. He later turns up dead, Uncle Silas is accused of killing him, and there is a trial. Will Tom be able to save his uncle from hanging? We did this as a family read aloud, and everyone enjoyed it. In the "Dover Evergreen Classics" edition, the word "nig*er" is replaced by "Negro." I had to do a little further editing because of some common euphemisms and a few instances of taking the Lord's name in vain. There are also several references to tobacco and smoking. Otherwise, this is a fun book. In 1938, the story was made into a movie directed by Louis King, with Billy Cook as Tom and Donald O'Connor as Huckleberry Finn.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 23 Feb. 2011
By Michele Schlegel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Unlike what might happen with a lesser-known sequel, this tale does not disappoint. Twain's descriptions through the eyes of Huck Finn are rich and believable. The adventure takes twists and is fun to read. I especially enjoyed the boys' perspective and the influence of the supernatural and the macabre on the mystery--as only boys with keen imaginations can bring to an adventure. Also, the story's basis on a true event made it the more entertaining. Just as satisfying as Tom Sawyer or the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, this is a short and pleasant read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too short, too different 6 Sept. 2011
By Sir Furboy - Published on
This is a short book. Like Tom Sawyer Abroad, I felt it messed a little with the established canon of the Adventures of Toim Sawyer and Huck Finn. It was clearly a case of Mark Twain poking fun at a genre of detective story using his favourite characters.

This story was not as unbelievable as Tom Sawyer abroad, but still not a book I would read again and again like I did with Huckleberry Finn.
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading unless you're reading it because it's Twain.. 24 July 2014
By Jaclyn - Published on
I'm only giving this 2 stars because it's Mark Twain, otherwise I wouldn't have been so generous. Had it been any other author, or had it not been written in that older style and had the Twain-style dialect that I really enjoy, I would've given this 1 star. Or maybe I'm being so hard on this book BECAUSE of who the author is, and because I expected better.

After finishing this book, I feel like Twain must have just been trying to milk some more money out of his trusty Tom and Huck without putting forth much effort so he just threw some words down and slapped together this "book". This was a super fast read, but just an awful book. I didn't think it made much sense, the mystery wasn't very good, I hated how Huck was the narrator because I don't even think he added much to the story, and there were just too many totally unrealistic things that happened. Honestly, it might have been even a little better if Twain had used two brand-new characters, instead of Tom and Huck. It was short though, so if you're a giant Twain fan, maybe you'll still find it worth a read. On the humbling side, it definitely reinforces that even some of the best literary figures in history can put out a stinker.
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