The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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Hardcover, USA, 1st edition.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a novel written by Mark Twain and first published in 1876. The book is set in the 1840s in a fictional Missouri town near the Mississippi River and follows the adventures of Tom Sawyer as he gets into mischief with his friends, including Huckleberry Finn. Twain explained that many of the adventures the boys have were real events that occurred to him or his friends in childhood.


I do not own the book. I am listening to it as an audio book.



  • Like many books from this era, it uses an expansive vocabulary. I wish more modern novels did this.
  • Twain makes a lot of biting observations about hypocrisy and stupidity with clever wordings.
  • Tom, like many young boys, is extremely selfish about his feelings towards girls, and causes them all sorts of grief because of it. While this is disappointing, it's quite realistic.


  • Most of the events of the story are rather dull, and those that are of significance are extremely difficult to believe.
  • At first, I was interested in reading about the silly superstitions of the time, but as they began to accumulate, to the point where everyone in the town was staggeringly superstitious, it became obnoxious.
  • The use of the N-word and various other forms of racism are a sign of their times, so they don't bother me too much, but I dislike how Twain made the villain a Native American stereotype.
  • Despite witnessing a murder for which a man and an arrest of innocent man supposedly weighing heavily on Tom and Huck, they still manage to have all sorts of wonderfully fun adventures without so much as a second thought about it.
  • Tom and Huck encounter Joe so many times, each time less likely than the previous, it's difficult to suspend disbelief.
  • There is nearly an entire chapter dedicated to insulting how school girls write. This would be forgivable if it were written from the perspective from one of the children in the book, but it's from the perspective of the narrator, so it shows more the misogynistic opinion of Twain as an adult.
  • The parents let a bunch of unsupervised children wander around a huge cave system and don't even bother to take a headcount? Surely people weren't this stupid?


  • Nothing.


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