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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Book genre:
Bildungsroman, picaresque novel, satire, folk, children's literature
First Published:
January 1, 1876
Original language:

What's the book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" about?

"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is a novel written by Mark Twain, published in 1876. It follows the adventures of a young boy named Tom Sawyer, set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, Missouri, along the Mississippi River.

Tom is mischievous, imaginative, and often rebellious, getting into various escapades with his friends, including Huckleberry Finn and Joe Harper. The novel is structured as a series of episodic adventures, showcasing Tom's knack for finding trouble and his creative ways of getting out of it.

Some of the notable adventures include Tom's whitewashing of a fence as punishment, his daring exploration of a haunted house, his witnessing of a murder, and his involvement in a treasure hunt. Along the way, Tom learns important lessons about friendship, responsibility, and the difference between right and wrong.

"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is renowned for its vivid depiction of childhood, its humor, and its nostalgic portrayal of small-town life in the American Midwest during the mid-19th century. It's often considered a classic of American literature and has been adapted into numerous films, plays, and other media over the years.

Listen to an excerpt from the book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

His aunt Polly stood surprised a moment, and then broke into a gentle laugh.

“Hang the boy, can’t I never learn anything? Ain’t he played me tricks enough like that for me to be looking out for him by this time? But old fools is the biggest fools there is. Can’t learn an old dog new tricks, as the saying is. But my goodness, he never plays them alike, two days, and how is a body to know what’s coming? He ’pears to know just how long he can torment me before I get my dander up, and he knows if he can make out to put me off for a minute or make me laugh, it’s all down again and I can’t hit him a lick. I ain’t doing my duty by that boy, and that’s the Lord’s truth, goodness knows. Spare the rod and spile the child, as the Good Book says. I’m a laying up sin and suffering for us both, I know. He’s full of the Old Scratch, but laws-a-me! he’s my own dead sister’s boy, poor thing, and I ain’t got the heart to lash him, somehow. Every time I let him off, my conscience does hurt me so, and every time I hit him my old heart most breaks. Well-a-well, man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble, as the Scripture says, and I reckon it’s so. He’ll play hookey this evening,and I’ll just be obleeged to make him work, tomorrow, to punish him. It’s mighty hard to make him work Saturdays, when all the boys is having holiday, but he hates work more than he hates anything else, and I’ve got to do some of my duty by him, or I’ll be the ruination of the child.”

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Yes, this book is in the public domain and can be accessed without any restrictions or royalties. The copyright term has expired. In most countries, copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years. Therefore, books published before the date of 1924 are generally in the public domain in the US if the copyright was not renewed.

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