Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, a glorious rediscovery.







I’ve just finished reading ‘Tom Sawyer’ by Mark Twain and I’ve got to say I’ve been totally taken by it. I’ve been making an effort to read the classics of literature but all too often they can be a bit of a chore, but while there are undeniably slow moments in Tom Sawyer I relished every minute detail and hammered through the pages of this book till the end.

Considering Mark Twain’s classic tale was originally published in 1876 the language is surprisingly accessible, but not at the cost of describing a world which is totally foreign to me as a reader in the twenty first century (let alone a reader metropolitan Suffolk as apposed to the American South!)

If (like me) you remember watching the 'Huckleberry Finn and His Friends' TV series on the BBC in the 1980s you’ll be surprised just how true to the book that series was. I was delighted by just how many of the tales in this book I was familiar with. One word of warning though, even although it was originally written as children’s book there are some surprisingly horrifying and traumatic events, not least of which is the gruesome murder that occupies one of the more memorable story strands throughout the book.

Tom Sawyer should not be dismissed as a book for children by any means; while it does catalogue mischief that today’s youth would be astounded by (especially in the light of Madeleine McCann, the Soham Murders and Jamie Bulger) it also documents a lot of the growing pains and passions that the aforementioned youths would easily identify with.
I was delighted to find out that a DVD box set containing all 26 episodes of the 1979 'Huckleberry Finn and His Friends' adaptation that spans both the Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn books. I will be ordering it as soon as I can rustle some pennies together.







The edition of Tom Sawyer I’ve just read is coupled with Huckleberry Finn, and I’m sure I’ll devour it with as much joy as its predecessor.






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