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Editorial Reviews

Mark Twain’s epic adventure finds Tom Sawyer walking a line between youthful hijinks and the responsibilities of adulthood. Listeners will join Tom with famous friends Huckleberry Finn and Joe Harper as they skip school, run away to river islands, and plunder caves in search of treasure. With his smoky husk, leisurely performer Norman Dietz twists and turns through Twain’s saga like a lumbering Mississippi steamboat. Dietz’ talent for character acting is evident as he bestows Injun Joe with a grizzled snarl, or strikes a strident tone for Tom’s Aunt Polly, at turns doting and despotic. Twain’s trademark wit is in full force as he contrasts the supposed transgressions of the youthful Tom with the behavior of the story’s adults, themselves naïve and hypocritical.
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Publisher's Summary

The name "Tom Sawyer" is synonymous with the adventures of boyhood. Bold and clever, Tom gets into and out of trouble with an ease many listeners will envy. A story beloved by children, it also has relevance for adults. As Twain himself said, "Although my book is intended for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in." Twain's beloved classic of growing up in Midwest America is as popular today as when it was first published in 1876.
Public Domain (P)1999 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tad Davis on 08-06-13

Nostalgic fairy tale, but at times quite dark

What a pleasure it was to listen to this old story again. When I was a kid, I read it at least once a year, till I was in high school and "put away childish things." Dietz's easy-going story-telling style is perfectly suited to this book: you might just as easily be listening to tales of Lake Wobegon. He never quite loses the sense of innocence and child-like wonder that surrounds the story, but he captures the darker moments as well.

And dark moments there are. The plot, such as it is, hinges on a murder in the graveyard, guilt, courage, and fear. Later, the man who committed the murder is overheard planning to kill the Widow Douglas as well - committing other outrages in the process. Tom and Becky are lost in the cave, facing a very real possibility of starving to death in the darkness.

But Twain somehow manages to keep things in the realm of fairy tale; he was apparently storing up his harshest satire for the sequel.

There are many wonderful readers of Twain on Audible - I'm not sure you can really go wrong with any of them. But Dietz's rendition of this story is one of the best.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Darwin8u on 05-25-13

An Ode to Youth and the Books of Youth

Just finished this with the kids. I remember reading this with my mother when I was 10. It is a nice generational conveyance. When I was young, the STORIES of Tom and Huck affected me the most. Now, however, it is Twain's language that touches me. I love how Tom's life and play is impacted by the adventure books he reads. One day Tom is animated by a bounty of pirates, the next day by a shadow of robbers, and everyday Tom's vocabulary and actions are endowed with the books of his youth. 'Tom Sawyer' is just as much an ode to his youth as it is a poesy to the adventure books of a more tender age.

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15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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