The Adventures of Tom Sawyer


From the famous episodes of the whitewashed fence and the ordeal in the cave to the trial of Injun Joe, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is redolent of life in the Mississippi River towns in which Twain spent his own youth. A somber undercurrent flows through the high humor and unabashed nostalgia of the novel, however, for beneath the innocence of childhood lie the inequities of adult reality—base emotions and superstitions, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery.

Author: Mark Twain

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Rating: 3/5

Note: I don’t attempt to critique the classics, but I can tell you how I enjoyed them.

Surprisingly, this was my first time reading Mark Twain; I somehow never crossed paths with him while I was in school. Going into the book, the only story I knew was the famous tale about Tom tricking his neighborhood friends into painting the fence for him—profitably.

I listened to this one via audiobook, and the narrator did a great job. His expression really helped bring the story to life in a way that I don’t think I could have attained by reading it. He did speak a little slowly at times, but his animation of Tom’s speech mannerisms was quite helpful, and he made all the characters more lovable.

I sometimes found myself distracted during the chapters that didn’t relate directly to the plot around “Injun Joe” (how terrible that is to write in today’s day and age!). They were good character development for Tom and his friends, but they didn’t quite hold my attention as well as I’d have liked. It was also longer than I’d expected, and I found myself hurrying to finish the book so that I could move on to others. All in all, however, I’m glad I read it.

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