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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn

Written by Neal on September 5th, 2008

Title: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Year: 1876

Title: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Year: 1883

Author: Mark Twain

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.

I placed these two books together because it seems natural. Even though they are very different books, they are also very similar.

Tom Sawyer is a book about youth for youths. It is written in a narrative style with Mark Twain transcribing the adventures of young Tom. There is no real character depth; Twain is content to move the reader from adventure to adventure. The novel has a lot of darkness to it, mixed with mirth and happiness.

A good introduction to Mark Twain, and I think it is used a lot in schools.

Huckleberry Finn is a much better book. It is a book for adults about youth, written in the first person perspective. Twain also seemed to want to distinguish it from its predecessor, but the novel assumes at least a working knowledge of Tom Sawyer. The book is a lot more serious and it is also quite a bit darker.

In short, a good read. Even though it isn’t as gripping as some of the other novels that I have read, it flows nicely and is worth reading. If you found Tom Sawyer good, but not great, you will like Huckleberry Finn much more.

An interesting note: The year that Mark Twain died (1910), American literacy reached a new low, 7.7%!

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