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THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYERTake a lighthearted nostalgic trip to a simpler time seen through the eyes of a very special boy named Tom Sawyer It is a dreamlike summertime world of hooky and adventure pranks and punishment villains and first love filled with memorable characters Adults and young readers alike continue to enjoy this delightful classic of the promise and dreams of youth from one of America’s most beloved authors ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINNHe has no mother his father is a brutal drunkard and he sleeps in a barrel He’s Huck Finn—liar sometime thief and rebel against respectability But when Huck meets a runaway slave named Jim his life changes forever On their exciting flight down the Mississippi aboard a raft the boy nobody wanted matures into a young man of courage and conviction As Ernest Hemingway said of this glorious novel “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn” back cover


10 thoughts on “Adventures of Tom SawyerAdventures of Huckleberry Finn

  1. says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercom I am the original author of this essay as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reposted here illegallyThe CCLaP 100 In which over a two year period I read a hundred so called classics then write essays about whether I think they deserve the labelThis week The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 1876Book #6 of this essay series The story in a nutshellDesigned specifically to be a popular example of the then new American Pastoral novel Tom Sawyer is Twain's look at an impossibly idyllic small town childhood that never was that never could be in fact based very loosely on a handful of real events that happened in his own childhood in Hannibal Missouri on the banks of the Mississippi River about a four hour drive north of St Louis but with each story sharpened and honed until they become too impossibly magical to be anything but fictional As such then the book mostly concerns those subjects regarding childhood that adults most fondly look back on with nostalgia the sense of societal freedom the sense of playful rebellion the simplicity and elegance of pre pubescent romance couched in an insanely whimsically perfect rural environment one designed specifically to recall a kind of idealized frontier existence that most people even in 1876 had never actually experienced much less all of us 132 years laterIn fact our titular hero Tom pretty much stands for each and every element of a noble childhood that we all secretly wish we could've had a constant irritant to his legal guardian who is nonetheless clearly loved and constantly forgiven by her clever hero to the rest of the neighborhood boys while still being a simple minded romantic to the girls he's got a shinin' for Throughout the first half of the novel then we follow Tom and his cohorts as they get in and out of a series of short story worthy jams; there's the Story of How Tom Convinced The Other Boys to Whitewash His Fence For Him the Story of the Dog That Got Bit During Church And Made a Huge Racket the Story of the Boys Who Ran Away and Played Pirates for a Week on a Mid River Island But Then Found Out That Everyone In Town Thought They Were Dead So Decided To Attend Their Own Funeral Yeah impossibly romantic little stories about impossibly idyllic small town life pretty much the definition of a Pastoral novel Add a serious story to propel the second half then in which a couple of local drunks actually do commit a murder one night with Tom and his badboy friend Huck Finn being the only secret witnesses and you've got yourself a nice little morality tale as well not to mention a great way to end the story buried treasure and a fantastic way to set yourself up for further seuels The argument for it being a classicAs mentioned one of the strongest arguments for Tom Sawyer being a classic is because it's one of the first and still best examples of the American Pastoral novel an extremely important development in the cultural history of the Victorian Age that has unfortunately become a bit obscure in our times; for those who don't know it was basically an artistic rebellion against the Industrial Age of the early 1800s a group of writers and painters and thinkers who came together to decry the dehumanization of mechanized urban centers Ironically it was these same people who established what are now many of the best things about our modern cities things like parks and libraries and zoning laws and all the other radical ideas that many people first laughed at when first proposed; as a complement to these forward thinking theories though such artists also put together projects about rural small town life that were designed deliberately as political statements as little manifestos about how much better it is when you live in the countryside and breathe fresh air and grow your own food and make your own clothesThe Pastoral movement first really caught on over in England where urban industrial growth proceeded a lot uickly than in America and where the detrimental effects of the age could be rapidly seen; nonetheless by the mid 1800s and especially after the horrific Civil War of 1860 65 and Americans had started pining for this uniue brand of entertainment as well and pining for a good ol' days that had never really existed This is what Twain built the entire first half of his career on fans say and it really doesn't get much better than Tom Sawyer for pure delightful small town escapist entertainment; his later books might be better known they say respected within the academic world but it is these earlier Pastoral tales that first really caught on with the public at large and made him the huge success he was The argument againstOf course you can turn this argument straight around on its head; there's a very good reason after all that this book's seuel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn written ten years later is the much studied and analyzed of the two And that's because Twain only grew into his role as America's Greatest Political Satirist over time critics of this book argue; if you take a close look at his career they say you'll see that the majority of work he wrote in the first half of his career is either kitschy nostalgic housewife pabulum or smartass travelogues about how Americans pretty much hate everything and think they're better than everyone else We've lost sight of this over the last century the argument goes but Twain wasn't really considered a serious writer until late in life and already a big success; I suppose you can think of it in terms of Steven Spielberg pre and post Schindler's List with Tom Sawyer being the 1800s version of the popular but ultimately intellectually empty ET My verdictSo let me first admit that I am probably too close to this book to be able to be completely objective about it; after all I grew up just three hours away from the town of Hannibal where these events took place have visited the town many times over the years connected deeply with the book when a child precisely because of it taking place so close to where I lived and in fact have probably now seen and read a dozen movie television comic book and stage play adaptations of the novel by now as well Why yes even as late as the 1970s in rural Missouri you could still find plenty of stage play versions of Tom Sawyer each year mostly Summerstock and other community productions I will always love this story because it will always remind me of my childhood just as is the case I imagine with a whole lot of people out there; of nighttime barefoot runs through woods of bizarre superstitious rituals held in the bottoms of muddy creek bedsThat said it was certainly interesting to read it again as an adult for the first time I think maybe the first time I've ever actually read the original novel from the first page to the last without stopping because what its critics say really is true there really is just not much of substance at all to Tom Sawyer other than a collection of amusing little stories about small town life held together with just the flimsiest of overall plots In fact the I learn about Twain the I realize that his career really can be seen as two strikingly different halves; there is the first half where Twain was not much than a failed journalist but great storyteller who started writing down these stories just because he didn't have much else better to do; and then there's the second half when he's already famous and finally gets bitter and smart and political as we now erroneously think of his entire career in our hazy collective memories This doesn't prevent me from still loving Tom Sawyer and still confidently labeling it a classic for its American Pastoral elements; it does give me a better understanding of it though in terms of Twain's overall career and how we should see it as merely one step along a highly complex line the man walked when he was aliveIs it a classic? YesAnd in fact the term Pastoral has actually been around since the 1500s or the beginning of the Renaissance and originally referred to stories specifically about shepherds; these anti city writers of the Victorian Age sorta co opted the term from the original with the American wing then co opting it from the Brits


  2. says:

    Though its a combined collection but I bought it only for to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn I could have written much but there is not much to say about this work So it would be just a brief snapshot of my thoughts on the same;For me its nowhere belongs to the nearby aura of what The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has created so far since my childhood What I read and feel while going through 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' this character is nowhere close to that levelOnly at point when Tom entered the scene it became realistic and adventurous in true sense I must say that the mind of author what runs for Tom didn't ran that well for Huck; not even same Its uite boring at various points Start was flat and so is the part with Jim being with Huck on the island Only part that was interesting is either with Tom in the last scenes or when Huck was with 'Grangerfords' with the 'Mary Jane' part Even the part of king and duke was boring except when them being introduced to HuckLanguage with Jim Aunt Sally's Nigger has been written with so deep analysis of the words came out of Black people around his habitatsurroundings That's something he created finelyThe enjoyment that Tom created is far ahead of what Huck did in comparing both of these Twain's works Sense of humor that worked with Tom didn't went well with Huck Finn I thought separating Huck from Tom and that also while Tom in lead as theme character spoiled things Twain's brain seemed to have been mischievous with Tom and dramatic with Huck That's the difference that can't easily be pattedIn short just for the Tom part in last scenes and part with Mary Jane I'm giving it 3550 else I would have planned for only 3050 so far


  3. says:

    I had to decided to read Huckleberry Finn as a sort of preparation for Coover's new novel Huck Out West but I bought the wrong book combining the two by accident so I decided to read Tom Sawyer anyway I'm so happy I did And while that one was very good I was much drawn to Huckleberry FinnAnyway on the subject soon For now I'll just say that there's a world of difference reading these novels as an adult after reading them as a child and it's been eye openinglater


  4. says:

    This the best volume without annotations as it compactly contains both The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with the split in the middle that explains the former is the story of a boy and the latter is the story of a manThe former captures the spirit of boyhood extremely well with an unrivaled sense of humor and ignorance It's just anecdotal enough to be read in tiny doses or in a steady stream and builds to a satisfying climax though plot is always in third place between these characters and Twain's poignant observations about life Considering it was a boy's book it does an amazing job at painting realityThe latter is one of the best novels in American history Racism sexism segregation violence romanticism and family strife all get put in their places in the great American picaresue It's a much dangerous book and its conseuences are often severe but it's ending reminds us of its beginning all the way back in the first book which this volume conveniently contains Just as adulthood is built on and reflects life so Huckleberry Finn's adventures grow out of and reflect Tom Sawyer's It's greatest achievement is that despite all the heavy subject matter Twain writes in a simple style that allows readers of any age to enter it and because of its simple and complex wonders a child can enjoy it just as much as an adult I know as I've enjoyed it as both


  5. says:

    Moby Dick and this book have rather same after taste The notion of uncivilized civilization came to be uintessential moral value of both Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn same as IshmaelWith such a new style of writing at first I've got a lot of difficulties reading this especially with those south dialect But oh boy Twain told a very simple story about naughty kids in the hood It just brings back my childhood memories about my past and stupid conviction that I used to hold true But here and there Twain gives a subtle lesson of humanity though the characters seem uite naïve about what great philosophy they learned It's revolutionary even now As long as institutional racism exist in human society this book will remain relevant I'm the one of those who don't supported censoring this book for the N words I mean Twain narrates the reality in clear honesty about what society he lived then Huck and Tom only a product of its society and we must deal with that so that we know that the outcome of racism is a bigoted people In this case Huck who feels himself not civilized enough see the worst of so called civilized white people Even Huck see human in Jim the slave than in other white person The part Twain satirized tradition through Tom Sawyer's unpractical knowledge is one of the best insight about the nonsensical tradition in our society Yet we as a society in the name of conforming became one part of those ignorant herds Through Huck's narrative we dwell into logic and sensibility behind every rules and always ask the outcome of it An integral part in which society can progressMaybe that's all of my impression about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn I think the sensation of this will always echo in my mind forever because it hits many parts of my heart softly but clicked on neatly


  6. says:

    How can you rate this classic any less than five stars? This was my return to Mark Twain after a childhood acuaintance and I found it as engrossing and enjoyable as before One has never uite forgotten Tom’s escapades especially turning the tables on his Aunt who set him to whitewash the fence as a punishment and making it a profitable venture where he relaxes in the shade and watches his friends vie for a chance to join in the whitewashing game ‘Lessons on a change in attitude which can turn disaster into wild success’ The harum scarum boy is a born leader and steers his followers into the most amazing escapades camping on a river island to play pirates attending their own funeral service getting lost deep within a labyrinth yet emerging safe and sound barring a few cuts and scrapes His mischievous exterior hides a tender heart and an eye for pretty young ladies But when put to the test his principles always override his fears The strong hold that superstition had on the simple village folk including Tom and Huck Finn his vagrant pal who is the protagonist of the next adventure is woven carefully into the tale and lays the background for a time when despite a rudimentary education and strong religious beliefs superstition held its swaySome pearls of wisdom which I missed as a child but relish as an adult I uote here “Injun Joe was believed to have killed five citizens of the village but what of that? If he had been Satan himself there would have been plenty of weaklings ready to scribble their names to a pardon petition and drip a tear on it from their permanently impaired and leaky waterworks” Hats off to Mark TwainI still have The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to finish but couldn’t resist putting up half the review of this two in one volumePart 2 The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnI’ve finally finished the last few pages and here’s my review as promised Huck’s adventures take off from the time when the two scamps run into riches and Huck’s no good father reappears to take his share Despite Huck’s attempts at giving away the money to escape the unwanted attentions of his parent he is captured and held prisoner How he escapes I leave for you to read Well uite soon Huck is free once and unexpectedly runs across his old friend the black slave Jim who is on the run from his owner and seeks to reach the Free states where slavery has been abolished He dreams of gaining his freedom and getting back his beloved wife and two children who have been sold to different masters There is no overt moralizing or preaching in Twain’s writing except in an ironic fashion but the reality of slavery families broken up and resold on the whims and fancies of the owners and yet the complete faith in the superior knowledge and capacity of the white man and the criminality of the black one to resist or try to escape which merits punishment by hanging hits the reader with the force of a blow Can this be the United States of America the land of freedom? I’m reminded of Uncle Tom’s Cabin which I must go back to now in the light of my sensitivities as an adult readerWhere Huck’s adventures differ from those of Tom is the author’s treatment of the story While Tom ‘s story is all about Tom and his madcap adventures set against life in rural Mississippi Huck’s long ride downriver on a raft accompanied by Jim is all about life in small towns along the river the shysters who travel around deceiving the simple village folk and doing them out of their hard earned money the deeply entrenched family feuds where one family takes potshots at members of the other gleefully toting up the score despite losing of their own notwithstanding the fact that the cause of the original feud is long forgotten the simple good hearted country folk who welcome all strangers to their homes and hearts and swallow all the tall tales spun by little scamps like Huck the gullible and easily aroused rabble ready to lynch a victim at the drop of a hat and many Huck now emerges from the shadow of Tom Sawyer as a character in his own right as uick witted as Tom in inventing stories to account for his presence when challenged though he himself continues to idolize Tom and as kind hearted and brave as his friend and mentor as he sets about ferrying Jim to freedom There are again several hilarious dialogues like the one below edited a bit to cut down the length“Why Huck doan’ the French people talk the same way we does?” “No Jim; you couldn’t understand a word they said — not a single word”“Well now I be ding busted How do dat come?”“I don’t know but it’s so I got some of their jabber out of a book S’pose a man was to come to you and say Pollywoo franzy — what would you think?”“I wouldn’t think nuffn; I’d take en bust him over de head — dat is if he warn’t white I wouldn’t ‘low no nigger to call me dat”“Shucks it ain’t calling you anything It’s only saying do you know how to talk French?’“Well den why couldn’t he say it?”‘Why he is a saying it That’s a Frenchman’s way of saying it”“Well it’s a blame ridicklous way en I doan’ want to hear no mo’ ‘bout it Dey ain’ no sense in it”By and by Tom works his way back into the tale and the madcap adventures restart Tom just cannot do things in an ordinary fashion but is only satisfied when he overcomes the most daunting problems usually self created faces danger and just manages to save his skin though not uite intact Any would spoil the tale so do re read this childhood favourite in the light of adult appreciation


  7. says:

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is one of my all time favorite books I have read it a few times over the years and it never fails to put a smile on my face It is very well written and has laugh out loud moments throughout The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is also an amazing read though I liked the first one a teeny tiny bit better Huck Finn is also great and this continues with the adventures of Tom Sawyer as wellThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer 5 starsThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 45 stars


  8. says:

    My wife and I only read Tom Sawyer which was charming Will return for Huck Finn in a few months


  9. says:

    First off this is the first time I've listened to the unabridged version For those of us naive enough to believe that the two American Folk heroes in this book are merely rambunctious teenagers looking for adventure the real story will come as a complete shock Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn are budding psychopaths It's not like its completely their faults either They both have a skewed sense of morality that was influenced by their upbringing and culture Huck was abused badly and then abandoned by his father His dad only comes back when he finds out Huck is now wealthy Huck also believes he is destined for to go to hell because he wants to do the right thing but his culture believes its wrong freeing a slave Tom and his brother Sid are orphans Although judging by Tom's behavior I think he would probably be the evil mastermind even if this were not the case Poor kids and their totaly messed up livesThe boys are clever but not very logical And they are poorly educated And they lie for no particular reason at all CrazyOn a side note Huck should have died like ten times during his trip down the Mississippi River And eating snakes is gross


  10. says:

    I like Huck's story better than Tom's Probably because it is darker Tom's story is alright he's a very smart and creative kid and he sometimes made me laugh especially the part when he was asked about the first two disciples during Sunday School and he answered David and Goliath hahaAnyway Huck's story is better because it gives insight on the real life and people along the Mississippi river when there's still slavery Huck surely met with various interesting characters during his runaway He might not be as resourceful as Tom but I love him because his character is complex He uestioned himself many times on the values of society and his pondering whether he should 'break' the rules or not are uite intriguing Apparently Huck Finn is one of the most challenged books in the US Not surprising especially with so much N word in it Is it racist? My gut feeling says no But anyway I still think the book deserves its place among the great American novels