Synopsis: An idyllic snapshot of a boy’s childhood along the banks of the Mississippi River, Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the author’s work that comes closest to his boyhood experiences of growing up in Hannibal in the 1840s.
Mischievous and full of energy, Tom enjoys childish pranks and pastimes with his friends, Huck Finn, the town outcast and Joe Harper, his best friend. However, at the town graveyard, Huck and Tom witness a murder, carried out by local vagabond Injun Joe. They vow never to tell a soul about what they have seen and so begins their journey into adulthood as Tom wrestles with his own morality, guilt and anxiety.
Title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Author: Mark Twain
Pub Date: 1st January 2011
It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve eventually managed a Classic Club read – and what a read it was. I was hesitant about starting this book but actually, once I got into it, found myself enjoying it more and more.
In the preface, Twain writes:
‘Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.’
And he couldn’t be more right. I felt as if I was reading snippets of my brother’s childhood (I, myself, was a perfectly behaved child and would never have gotten into so much trouble!). The adventures, the mischief, the imagination; all beautifully wrapped up in a brilliant narrative that makes you race through the pages to find out what happens next.
I’m so glad I picked up The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, this is yet another timeless classic that I would never have read had I not been doing the Classic Club challenge. I’ve already lined up The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as my next Classic Club read.
According to an article published in Smithsonian magazine in 2012, Twain named his protagonist after a San Francisco fireman, a local hero who was famous for rescuing 90 passengers after a shipwreck. The two met in June 1863 and remained friendly throughout Twain’s three-year stay in San Francisco.