BOOK REVIEW: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer – by Mark Twain

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Title: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer
Author: Mark Twain

Genre: Classics, Fiction, Middle Grade
First published: 1876
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Finished reading: October 20th 2016
Pages: 225
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“Can’t learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what’s coming?”

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Like most people, I already knew most of the details around the life of Tom Sawyer and I think I might have seen a TV series at some point, but I’m ashamed to admit I had never actually read the original story as it was written by Mark Twain all that time ago. And since I needed to read more classics in the first place, I thought it was a great excuse to finally pick up my copy of The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer. Unfortunately I can’t say I fell in love with this classic. I’m not saying it is a bad read, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Part of the problem might be that I read it too late; I would probably have enjoyed this story a lot better fifteen to twenty years ago. That said, I did think there were too many religious references to my taste, although that can probably be explained by the fact that it was written back in 1876. But classic or not, I did have a hard time to get a proper feel for the story and it only started to get more exciting after their ‘graveyard adventure’.  Slow start and stronger ending; I guess it would still make a great middle grade, especially for boys.

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Tom Sawyer is not like most of the boys in the Mississippi River town where his lives. He doesn’t really feel like behaving and doing as it is told by the adults around him, and is always looking for a way to escape his tasks. Tom is without doubt very clever, and is able to convince the other boys of just about everything. From the fun in whitewashing a fence to the games they play and the things that happen at school, Tom Sawyer is always a busy boy that normally means he will ends up in trouble. Trouble that might be turning into a really dangerous situation after what happened at the graveyard… But even trouble and danger cannot make Tom to stay away from his adventures and the creativity of his own mind.

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I guess I either read this story at the wrong time or it just wasn’t for me, because I can’t say I was convinced by especially the first part of The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer. It’s not a bad read and I can see why especially younger readers would love this story, but I had a hard time getting into the story. The last part is a lot more exciting though, and the story is quite readable even though it’s written back in the 19th century.

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11 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer – by Mark Twain

    • I have other classics on my list I want to read as well, but I thought this one was going to be a fun and quick read to squeeze in between my ARCs. It wasn’t bad, but definitely not great either. Next time I’ll pick a different classic for sure! Now decide which one to read first… 😉

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  5. I’m due for a third reread. I read this as a boy, but it was a school assignment, and I didn’t love it. I read it again many years later as an adult and loved it. But, that is not entirely beside you point. I believe I loved it because it was reminiscent of my childhood. Have you read Huckleberry Finn? That is generally considered Twain’s greatest work, but personally, I prefer Tom Sawyer. My review of Huckleberry Finn: http://100greatestnovelsofalltimequest.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-adventures-of-huckleberry-finn-by.html

    • That’s totally possible, I always enjoy rereading books I read as a kid since they bring back memories. I haven’t read Huckleberry Finn yet, although I do have a copy on my TBR pile. I’m not sure whether I will read it soon though, because like you most people I’ve asked prefer Tom Sawyer as well. Thanks for leaving the link!

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