©2002 Mark Twain; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Bibliophile, English Teacher, Wordsmith
This adventure has everything: Pirates, robbers, orphans, mysterious strangers, buried treasure, a swimming hole, a ghostly graveyard, a deserted island, a spooky cavern, a sensational murder and more sensational trial, even a brutal and evil villain.
Tom is brash, brave, adventurous, and smart. His mischievous ways are troublesome but endearing. Whether snitching donuts from Aunt Polly's pantry, playing hooky to go swimming, or running away with his friends to Jackson's Island, Tom always has the upper hand. He tricks the Sunday school superintendent, fools his aunt, pranks the schoolmaster, taunts his half-brother, charms the new girl, and teaches his friends an important lesson about whitewashing--and human nature.
Tom is alternately the village darling or the town pariah in this ultimate boyhood tale. His scrapes are sometimes scary, even life-threatening, but he always pulls it off. He is irresistible, and you'll be cheering for him long before he emerges the hero, as you know he will.
Dick Hill's narration is absolutely perfect. He enhances every character through his skillful differentiation, and his accents are authentic to the time and place setting. The shy schoolgirl, the town drunk, the grizzled judge, the "Spaniard," and the kindly widow all come to life through his talented narration.
This is a tale you won't want to end! Just don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling a bit wistful that you didn't grow up on the banks of the Mississippi River in the 1840's, like Tom (and Samuel Clemons, aka Mark Twain) did.
I made the colossal error of not noting the narrator of this version of the Twain classic. Dick Hill mangles one of the great novels in the history of American literature with his amateurish style. He stresses words for no apparent reason (think William Shatner in Star Trek) and them 'throws away' an important passage. Tom Sawyer is a must read (or listen) for everyone, but try one of the other offerings audible provides. When I can only give 'Tom' two stars you know the narration must be bad. It is.
I read this book in high school, and while it wasn't as tedious as other required reading, I wasn't enthralled. Now as I listened to it with my children I am taken aback about how funny and insightful and witty this book is.
Made a boring read delightful and supremely funny. Dick Hill's twangs made us all snort with laughter at all the characters in the book.
Look for a different version. The audio on this will inexplicably fade out to almost inaudible for a seconds to minutes at a time.
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