Thursday, January 07, 2010

Book Review - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

When I was but a little tacker I received a book from my Great Grandma for Christmas. It was Mark Twain's unabridged version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. That was back in 1982. Late last year I began to read it. I thought that it would be a good idea to read it as a bedtime story to my son. One chapter a night, in general, it was. There have been a few lapses in the reading but we finished it last night.

I know, I know. It is one of the classics but why has it taken so long for me to get around to reading one of the all time classics? Well, I guess I wasn't inclined to read it when I was younger. There were too many computer games and sports to be played. If I read anything they generally consisted of Tintin, Asterix, computer and cricket magazines. Books included atlases and other reference material such as knowledge and encyclopedia. I quite enjoyed the dictionary too. Perhaps you can understand why I had the nickname "Cuboid" at one stage. I was more square than a square.

Back to the book. As it was written in 1876 there is a lot of language not in common use these days. And the words used were very non-prosaic. At times there was too much effort placed in making the description. I felt that it went over the top trying to set the scene. That said, the story itself is uplifting and insightful about the adventures of a boy and his friends. I had no difficulty imagining what the movie should look like. Glad we've finished it. My boy thought that the story was "pretty interesting". Maybe that had a lot to do with the fact he didn't have to the do the reading but also because it appealed to his sense of boyhood. It certainly captured his attention and no matter how tired he was he was listened. And I tested him to make sure he was paying attention. As the words were unusual it gave me a bit of work explaining the words and concepts associated with them so he got more out of it than by just reading to himself and glossing over what he didn't immediately understand. Great if you can make the time for your child to do that too.

I'd certainly recommend the book although reading it aloud was difficult at times. Perhaps I could purchase an ebook from my friend at Your Success eBooks for improvement in reading aloud.

Mark Twain's unabridged version of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


Susan Ham said...

Don't understand what you found difficult in this book. I must admit, it has been a very long time since I studied it in high school English. I also did not think much of it as stories go. Perhaps I had better read it again.

Hammy said...

I found that your tongue has a much more difficult time getting around words than your brain does. It's a great deal easier to sound the word in your mind than out aloud.

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