Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)


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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

    New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
    Biographies of the authors
    Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
    Footnotes and endnotes
    Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
    Comments by other famous authors
    Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
    Bibliographies for further reading
    Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate

All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.

Perhaps the best-loved nineteenth-century American novel, Mark Twain’s tale of boyhood adventure overflows with comedy, warmth, and slapstick energy. It brings to life and array of irresistible characters—the awesomely self-confident Tom, his best buddy Huck Finn, indulgent Aunt Polly, and the lovely, beguiling Becky—as well as such unforgettable incidents as whitewashing a fence, swearing an oath in blood, and getting lost in a dark and labyrinthine cave. Below Tom Sawyer’s sunny surface lurk hints of a darker reality, of youthful innocence and naïveté confronting the cruelty, hypocrisy, and foolishness of the adult world—a theme that would become more pronounced in Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Despite such suggestions, Tom Sawyer remains Twain’s joyful ode to the endless possibilities of childhood.

H. Daniel Peck is John Guy Vassar Professor of English at Vassar College and is the author of Thoreau’s Morning Work and A World by Itself: The Pastoral Moment in Cooper’s Fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593081393
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Publication date: 03/01/2008
Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 6,931
Product dimensions: 7.94(w) x 5.32(h) x 0.71(d)

About the Author

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), best known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an author and humorist noted for the novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (which has been called "The Great American Novel") and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, among many other books. Twain was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, which later provided the setting for Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and he spent time as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before finding fame as a writer.

Date of Birth:

November 30, 1835

Date of Death:

April 21, 1910

Place of Birth:

Florida, Missouri

Place of Death:

Redding, Connecticut

Read an Excerpt

From H. Daniel Peck's Introduction to Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is Mark Twain's "other" book, the one, it is said, that prepared the way for his masterpiece, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and in which the hero of that work was born as a secondary figure. There is much truth in this formulation. Huck Finn is indeed Twain's masterpiece, perhaps his only great novel. In directly engaging slavery, it far surpasses the moral depth of Tom Sawyer, and its brilliant first-person narration as well as its journey structure elevate it stylistically above the somewhat fragmentary and anecdotal Tom Sawyer. Yet it is important to understand Tom Sawyer in its own terms, and not just as a run-up to Huck Finn. It was, after all, Mark Twain's best-selling novel during much of the twentieth century; and it has always had a vast international following. People who have never actually read the novel know its memorable episodes, such as the fence whitewashing scene, and its characters—Tom foremost among them—who have entered into national folklore. The appeal of Tom Sawyer is enduring, and it will be our purpose here to try to locate some of the sources of that appeal.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was Mark Twain's first novel (the first he authored by himself), but it is hardly the work of an apprentice writer. By the time this book was published in 1876, Samuel L. Clemens was already well known by his pen name Mark Twain, which he had adopted in 1863 while working as a reporter in Nevada. At the time of the novel's publication, he was in his early forties and beginning to live in an architect-designed home in Hartford, Connecticut. He had been married to his wife, Olivia, for six years, and two of his three daughters had been born.

Up to this point, Twain had been known as a journalist, humorist, and social critic. His story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," first published in 1865, had made him famous, and the lecture tours he had given in the United States and England in these years had been well received. His books The Innocents Abroad (1869), which satirizes an American sightseeing tour of the Middle East that he covered for a newspaper, and Roughing It (1872), an account of the far west based on his own experiences there, were great successes. Both works were first published in subscription form, and they quickly advanced Twain's reputation as a popular writer. His publication in 1873 of The Gilded Age, a book coauthored with Charles Dudley Warner dramatizing the excesses of the post-Civil War period, confirmed his place as a leading social critic.

Indeed, the America reflected in The Gilded Age—an America of greed, corruption, and materialism—may have driven Twain back imaginatively to what seemed to him a simpler time—to "those old simple days", as he refers to them in the concluding chapter of Tom Sawyer. The first significant sign of such a return in his publications was his nostalgic essay "Old Times on the Mississippi," which appeared in 1875.3 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, published the following year, belongs to this return to antebellum America, and to the scene of Twain's growing up—Hannibal, Missouri. That the author was able to draw upon his deepest reserves of childhood imagination in this work certainly accounts for much of its appeal. A decade after its publication, he referred to the novel as a "hymn" to a forgotten era,4 and while this characterization oversimplifies The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, it also points to key aspects of its composition and literary character.

In the novel, Twain renames Hannibal as St. Petersburg, thus suggesting, as John C. Gerber has said, St. Peter's place, or heaven.5 But heaven, as Twain depicts it, is a real place. Many of the sites and topographical features are identifiable. Cardiff Hill, so important in the novel as a setting for children's games such as Robin Hood, is Holliday's Hill of Hannibal. Jackson's Island, the scene of the boys' life as "pirates," is recognizable as Glasscock's Island. And McDougal's Cave, so central to the closing movement of the novel, has a real-life reference in McDowell's cave. Human structures, like Aunt Polly's house, as well as the schoolhouse and the church, were similarly modeled after identifiable buildings in Hannibal.

The autobiographical origins of the novel are also evident in the characters. In the preface, Twain says that "Huck Finn is drawn from life" (in part from a childhood friend named Tom Blankenship), and "Tom Sawyer also, but not from an individual—he is a combination of the characteristics of three boys whom I knew." Schoolmates John Briggs and Will Bowen probably were two of the three boys after whom Tom was modeled, and a good bet for the third is young Sam Clemens himself. Many of Tom's qualities resemble Twain's descriptions of his young self, and several of Tom's experiences—such as being forced by Aunt Polly to take the Painkiller and sitz baths—reflect the author's own. Aunt Polly herself has several characteristics that link her to Sam Clemens's mother, Jane Clemens. And scholars have found Hannibal counterparts for many of the other characters, including Becky Thatcher, Joe Harper, and Ben Rogers, as well as the widow Douglas and the town's minister, schoolteacher, and doctor.

Customer Reviews

Adventures of Tom Sawyer Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1096 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best I've ever read and thats saying something! Interesting story written from the mind of a pure ingenuity
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for school, but I didn't consider it as schoolwork. I considered it as reading the best book ever! I loved the characters, and there was so much in this book that was funny and enlightening. Tom is a mischevious boy who hates work, and will make up any sort of clever scheme to get out of it! Huck is a ragged boy with no loving parents; his mom is gone and his dad is a mean, drunk man who doesn't care about him. There are so many good scenes in this book, and I recommend this to any boy, or girl, for that matter. In this book there is humor, drama, hilarious romance, and so much more. I would reccomend this book to anyone ages 10 and up. I hope this reveiw was helpful, and I really hope to read the next book, which is The Adventures of Huck Finn. There are also two more books in the series, so I have something to look forward too! : - )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm fourteen years old and absolutely enjoyed the quirky and adventurous tom sawyer. The book is a quick read and easily relatable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read this book im book form. Love it. Cant belevie it is free
bookdevourer47 More than 1 year ago
Am saving this book to read this summer at the beach - and to have my granddaughter read it. I used to read it every summer - but haven't for about ten years. If you have never read it - you MUST or you will be missing out on a great experience.
Mupples More than 1 year ago
I have decided to read the majority of Samuel Clemens ie Mark Twain. This is a great beginning story due to the simplicity of the narrative. A part that stuck with me was Tom sitting in church while the preacher orally dictated advertisements to the congregation. In his boredom Tom observed it was a useless custom and waste of time because newspapers had modernized messages. "Often the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a perfect classic. There was adventure and a little romance too its my favorite book and i couldnt put it down a must read for all ages girls and boys
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only is it a great classic, but it is also entertaining to! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is like the best book I have ever read. I read this book 6 times and I am in the 4th grade. Plus I understud every word
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sssssoooooo good im 10 and loved it sssssssooooooooooo awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic american story that made me turning pages. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When you get to read this book. It shows you what life is like through a kids eyes. It is funny and adventurous, it takes time for the story to unfold but you get into the adventures that happen along the way. When a kid gets to be a kid and have fun you get this story. It is funny and takes you to a point where you get into and might even relate to some of the characters. You just might enjoy thiss story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recomended. Was very funny at certain points.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story. The only thing I did not like were the footnotes. I wish there were a way to see what the footnotes said without having to scroll through and back again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was an enjoyable read. It may be more for younger readers though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really good book! Loved it!
Helena Kun More than 1 year ago
I luv this book!!! It is a beautiful story that takes you back to the whimsical childhood in an older perspective. I would recommend this to whoever is out there whos looking for adventure, girls or boys. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I understand it is an amazing classic and I did enjoy a lot of the book it was hard for me to get into. While I like adventure and a little mystery the book did not grip me as much as I thought it would and this is why I rated it the way I did. I feel at times it repeated itself in some of the dialog as well as focused on immature nature in many of the boys as acceptable. While as a kid it is always exciting to break the rules I believe it went a little overboard at times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome. I recomend it to people who like reading but like adventures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book. Worth the money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an awesome one! Now I want the adventures of huckleberry finn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If u want a good book, read this NOW! Girls, if you think ths book is only for boys u are mistaken. It has so much girly stuff in it too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too old fashioned
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
haven't read it yet, but have heard about it for years. plan o starting it this weekend.i've already read pride and prejudice and sense and sensebility. they were excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To let you know how good this book is I'm going to say that I'm only on chapter 1 and I LOVE it! Plus, it's FREE!