Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

by Mark Twain

Tom Sawyer PDF

Book info

eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
PublisherSkyview Books
File size2.9 Mb
Release date 01.02.2010
Pages count64
Book rating4.57 (436153 votes)
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I was five and a half years old when my mother gave me The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as a New Year's gift (she is a literature teacher, and I have been reading novels since the tender age of four or so, and so it seemed appropriate).

Being a diligent and serious¹ child (neither of those qualities have stuck with me, unfortunately), I opened it to page 1 and started reading. I even took it with me to kindergarten, where other kids were learning letters and I was mercifully allowed to read hefty tomes, having obviously achieved full literacy by that point.
Me (age 5) and Mom. The diligent seriousness is *all over* this picture.

This book initially left me quite confused, but I was undeterred - after all, the world was a confusing place, full of adults and rules and great books - even those without pictures. (And I was very proud to own books without pictures, after all). But his one was just too strange - its beginning did not quite fit with the rest of the quite fun story - it was odd and dry and incomprehensible for the first 40 pages or so, and it even was about some other guy (Samuel Clemens?) who was not Tom Sawyer.

A few years later I reread my early childhood favorite (I probably reached a ripe old age of eight or so, still diligent but a bit less serious already). It was then that I figured out what seemed strange about the beginning of this book when I was five.

You see, I diligently slogged my way through the most boring academic foreword, assuming that was the first chapter. What amazes me that I managed to stay awake through it. Good job, five-year-old me! Excellent preparation for that painfully boring biochemistry course a couple of decades later!
After that foreword, slogging through any classic was a comparative breeze. Yes, I'm looking at you, War and Peace! You know what you did, you endless tome.
Also, as it turns out, when you include two characters named Joe in one book (Injun Joe and Tom's classmate Joe Harper) that can cause a certain amount of confusion to a five-year-old who assumes they have to be the same person and struggles really hard to reconcile their seemingly conflicting characters. And, as a side note, I have always been disappointed at Tom Sawyer tricking his friends to do the infamous fence whitewashing. A *real* kid knows after all that painting stuff is fun. Five-year-old me was a bit disapproving of the silliness.

I have told bits and pieces of this book to my friends on the playground, while dangling from the monkey bars or building sandcastles (in a sandbox, that in retrospect I suspect was used by the neighborhood stray cats as a litterbox - but I guess you have to develop immunity to germs somehow). We may have planned an escape to an island in a true Tom Sawyer fashion, but the idea fizzled. After all, we did not have an island nearby, which was a problem. Also, we may have got distracted by the afternoon cartoons.

Someday, I just may have to leave this book within a reach of my future hypothetical daughter - as long as I make sure it does not come with a long-winded boring introduction.
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