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Title: The adventures of Tom Sawyer [Hardcover]

Mark Twain
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

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Title: The adventures of Tom Sawyer + The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Clothbound Classics)
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Grossett and Dunlap (1948)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0448058022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0448058023
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

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.


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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
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two halves 22 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It seems somehow irreverant to dislike a classic that’s so, well, classic, as Tom Sawyer. In fact I only disliked the first half. When Tom and his friends really embark on their adventures, it becomes a great story.

It could be partly cultural. English kids don’t do many American classics at school, well, we certainly didn’t, and although I can relate to 1830s life through other tales,films and programmes, it doesn’t mean I enjoy them. I didn’t feel that Tom’s school adventures were told as well as say, in The Ninja LIbrarian. It was difficult to understand the voices of the characters, the idioms and accents. Maybe because of that, I found it hard to distinguish between the young people. Long passages of dialogue between Tom and Huckleberry Finn, for example, became just dialogue to me with no clear understanding of who was talking.

This changed when Tom went on his adventures. The power of the writing drew you into the scene, the hardships, the danger, imagined or not. Some of Tom’s antics are cringeworthy but eventually he and his friends become embroiled in serious danger, however lightly they started out.

So, do I think The Adventures of Tom Sawyer worthy of its accolades, worthy of being classed as one of the greatest classics? Yes and no. Written in 1876, it is a powerful and evocative telling of an era some thirty or forty years earlier. As a picture of a medium sized town and its characters, as an adventure story, it works and works well. By the time I’d finished it, I was enjoying it. It took me a while, though.

I’m glad I’ve read it, but I don’t think I’d read another.
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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
Format:Paperback
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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