The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
“Preface: Most of the adventures recorded in this book really occurred; one or two were experience of my own, the rest those of boys who were schoolmates of mine. Huck Finn is drawn from life; Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual: he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew, and therefore belongs to the composite order of architecture.
The odd superstitions touched upon were all prevalent among children and slaves in the West at the period of this story; that is to say, thirty or forty years ago.
Although my book is intended mainly for entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for party of my plan has been to try pleasantly to 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.
The Author. Hartford: 1876”
Despite owning a copy of the book for many years now I had yet to read it. It is thanks to the wonders of technology and the free time of my commute that I’ve been able to take advantage and experience the books I would like to touch on, but either don’t have the time or have placed other books at a higher priority. And so came the Adventures of Tom Sawyer on my not so adventurous commute.
Either through fault of the reader or my own, I found the speech of the time difficult to grasp at times. It’s even more difficult while listening to the story rather than seeing the words and being able to comprehend them better. There are a lot of archaic references to toys, objects, slang and sayings that the reader rambled over leaving me with question marks I simply had to shake off.
For much of the story I am thankful that I was able to pass it off to audiobook. If I did not have the opportunity to do so, I believe this story would have continued to solidify to my bookshelf. I’m not at an age where I am old enough for the story to have become nostalgic, and I am not young enough for it to be more relatable. As time goes on I think it will become more and more difficult for children to relate to the adventures of Tom Sawyer and his friends. Especially those children who grow up in cities, rather than small towns.
Superstitions play a large role in the story from beginning to end. These were the highlights of the book for me. The odd spells and beliefs of the children were interesting, humorous and even came close to interfering with some of the adventures.
I think the story would have been more enjoyable for me if I had read it when I was younger. Because of this I leave Tom Sawyer behind not with a sense of gay nostalgia, nor disappointment, but simple content to cross it off my lists and move on to the next. In continuing with this fashion I will simply be hopping over to the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, whose character we are familiar with from Tom Sawyers adventures.