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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer [Paperback]

John Seelye , Mark Twain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 1987
The adventures of a mischievous 19th century boy in a Mississippi River town and his friends Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer + The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn (Collins Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (Oct 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140390839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140390834
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.9 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,278,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description


"Twain had a greater effect than any other writer on the evolution of American prose." "From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The classic boy-hero of American literature --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
'TOM!' No answer. 'Tom!' No answer. 'What's gone with that boy, I wonder? Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing into a Man 13 May 2004
Tom Sawyer is the first great coming of age American novel. In addition, Tom Sawyer is one of the most endearing characters in American fiction. This wonderful book deals with all the challenges that any young person faces, and resolves them in exciting and unusual ways.
Like many young people, Tom would rather be having fun than going to school and church. This desire to enjoy life is always getting him into trouble, from which he finds unusual and imaginative solutions. One of the great scenes in this book has Tom persuading his friends to help him whitewash a fence by making them think that nothing could be finer than doing his punishment for playing hooky from school. When I first read this story, it opened up my mind to the potential power of persuasion.
Tom also is given up for dead and has the unusual experience of watching his own funeral and hearing what people really thought of him. That's something we all should be able to do. By imagining what people will say at our funeral, we can help establish the purpose of our own lives. Mark Twain has given us a powerful tool for self-examination in this wonderful sequence.
Tom and Huck Finn also witness a murder, and have to decide how to handle the fact that they were not supposed to be there and their fear of retribution from the murderer, Injun Joe.
Girls are a part of Tom's life, and Becky Thatcher and he have a remarkable adventure in a cave with Injun Joe. Any young person will remember the excitement of being near someone they cared about alone in this vignette.
Tom stands for the freedom that the American frontier offered to everyone. His aunt Polly represents the civilizing influence of adults and towns. Twain sets up a rewarding novel that makes us rethink the advantages of both freedom and civilization. In this day of the Internet frontier, this story can still provide valuable lessons about listening to our inner selves and acting on what they have to say. Enjoy looking for fun in new ways!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that would be enjoyed by everyone 21 July 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an enjoyable book with language used by olden day children, which gives excellent effect. It has thrilling and exciting chapters and adventures which are sometimes funny, strange or even scary. Mark Twain used a lot of adjectives to describe scenes, settings and characters. Something like "In a DREARY mood". He made the book Adventurous, Funny and Legendary. The characters in the book are well described and sounded really interesting. Mark Twain also used strong verbs and adverbs to make the story come to life. I think a lot of people would enjoy reading it.
I would recommend that children aged 10-13 to read this book. However people younger or older can as easily enjoy it as much as anyone else.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic 5 Jan 2008
By BizLiz
For some reason I decided to re-read this over Christmas (I hadn't read it since I was at school) and I'm so glad I did because it was much more fun and far more interesting and perceptive than I remembered.

It draws a picture of a time and place I know little about but seemed utterly convincing and I was really struck by the amount of superstition the characters in the book displayed - adults as well as children. Parts of it reminded me of my own childhood (in Essex - a long way from the Mississippi!), parts of it were very touching and parts of it were laugh out loud funny.

It's a gentle read, and the writing is both stylish and wry. I'm going to re-read Huck Finn as soon as I get time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of youth 17 Aug 2009
Mark Twain was a great writer, plain and simple. It's been a while since I read his other great book, where Hucklebery Finn is the main protagonist, and I seem to remember liking that one better, but this one is also very good, and lacks nothing, in and of itself. I would disagree with anyone who would argue that this book is mostly for children, because I don't think that a child would appreciate it as much as an adult would. Mark Twain seemed to know people very well, and his insight shines through in almost every character and action in the book. He portrays children as childen are, even today, and that is not as easy as it sounds, when most of us have lost the ability to remember what we were like at that magical age. He also had a great imagination, and even though it can sometimes be difficult to picture certain scenes, because of the setting and unfamiliar names of things, his descriptions are still vivid and well-written. He reminds me a bit of Dickens at times, in his style, but I consider him more intelligent and more perspicacious than Dickens, while meaning no disrespect towards the latter, whom I have always enjoyed. Twain was both intelligent and light-hearted, and that's why his books are both enjoyable and refreshing. This book is a classic, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oneworld Classics edition 3 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, then you could do a lot worse than the Oneworld Classics edition (Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (Oneworld Classics)), of which this is a review. The book has been attractively designed and the paper is of good quality. Instead of overloading the text with distracting annotations, there are only a small number of notes (nineteen in all, each marked in the text by an asterisk) which serve to explain unfamiliar phrases, such as 'tree box', 'spunk water' and 'the balm of Gilead'. The volume begins with a couple of pages of photos of Twain and the homes where he lived, and a couple of pages reproducing the chapter openings from the first (illustrated) edition of Tom Sawyer. Instead of an introduction, Oneworld Classics have wisely opted for a section of Extra Material at the end of the book: a life of Twain (sufficiently detailed to be informative without being overlong), a brief guide to Mark Twain's works and a very short Bibliography.

Concerning the work itself, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an absolute classic; Twain displays throughout a wonderfully dry sense of humour and a vividness in his characterisation, all of which make for highly amusing and memorable scenes. Tom Sawyer may lack the sheer heart-stopping grandeur that is Huckleberry Finn (Oneworld Classics), but as a portrait of a lost boyhood, at once satirical and affectionate, it is surely without peer.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great service
Published 2 days ago by ai
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
ok to read
Published 3 days ago by william john lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 4 days ago by Amt Nicholson
4.0 out of 5 stars I think this would be a good book for a young person(under 14) but I...
I think this would be a good book for a young person(under 14) but I don't agree that it is a very good read for adults, as some people have said. Read more
Published 7 days ago by D Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars words required
Words to justify the star rating given, reading is subjective.
Published 8 days ago by Bob W
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless
Only ever remember seeing a tv series in the sixties of Tom Sawyer the book transports you to a very different world to our own. Read more
Published 12 days ago by R.Cooper
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I can't load it onto my kindle
Published 16 days ago by roy rudkin
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
this was a great classic book to read. it was great to hear about Tom,s adventures. it was nice to read a book that a child reads because I am an adult.
Published 23 days ago by Kate Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for ALL ages.
This is an excellent book; an old children's classic which will appeal to everyone of all ages. I've read it several times over the years and it never fails to delight.
Published 23 days ago by Jackie M
4.0 out of 5 stars Became better
I found it tedious to start with but it warmed up, the characters and adventures became endearing and it raced towards an exciting end.
Published 24 days ago by C Smith
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