I read this as part of the Back to the Classics Challenge 2019: A Classic from the Americas.
Well, you don’t get much more classic, nor more American than Tom Sawyer.
As I did in my review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, I will refer to the novels as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and the characters themselves as Tom and Huck.
Tom Sawyer comes before (not properly called a prequel) Huckleberry Finn. I think Huckleberry Finn is considered Twain’s greater work, but not for me. I enjoy both, but if forced to choose, I like Tom Sawyer better.
It’s more fun. Huckleberry Finn is fun – but it’s also important. Tom Sawyer is just fun. And once in a while, “just fun” is better than fun and important.
If that doesn’t make sense – I sort of feel sorry for you.
Another reason I like it so much: I identify with Tom much more than Huck. I lived a pretty carefree, barefoot in summer, fishing, swimming, and playing cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, or soldier, much like Tom. Like Tom, and unlike Huck, I was also loved and nurtured.
Tom is a wild, mischievous, but good at heart boy growing up along the banks of the Mississippi River in the 1840s. I don’t believe Twain ever gives his age, or grade. My guess is about 12.
And, did I mention this? It’s just loads of fun. Tom has adventures with his friends Joe Harper and Huck Finn, he falls in love with Becky Thatcher, blows it by being a jerk, then redeems himself by taking blame, and a whipping, for Becky. He runs away and becomes a pirate, witnesses a murder, saves a convicted criminal, finds stolen treasure, and attends his own funeral.
I know; there are some who think this book is inappropriate today. I understand and I disagree.
This at least the third time I’ve read Tom Sawyer. It doesn’t get old. Well, I mean it is old, but I don’t get tired of it.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“What's your name?""Becky Thatcher. What's yours? Oh, I know. It's Thomas Sawyer.""That's the name they lick me by. I'm Tom when I'm good. You call me Tom, will you?""Yes”