Friday, December 2, 2011

Double Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer && The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

These are books that, to most Americans, need no introduction. These are classics by almost any standard, not only because they are required reading in many schools (although not mine, unfortunately), but also because they offer incredible insight into the lives and minds of the average primary school-aged child growing up during the 19th century. It's true that these books are outdated, and irrelevant to the lives of most kids today, but there is still something so innocent and magical about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that I couldn't help but be drawn to.

Despite the fact that these books were written more than a hundred years ago, I found them to be very easy to read and really fast-paced. I would also like to comment on the specific edition of the books I was reading: The Barnes and Noble Classics Series Editions. I read these on my NookColor and I just loved the introduction, the glossary of terms, the timelines, and everything else that added to my knowledge of the books and of Mark Twain himself. If you're looking to pick up these books, I would highly recommend the BN edition.

It's really hard to review these books, because so many people have read them. I'm sure a lot of people have very hard feelings towards these books because they were forced upon many people as young students, but I was lucky enough to willingly expose myself to these books, which perhaps enhanced my reading experience. I also have to comment on the fact that many people have an issue with the racism in these books (especially in Huck Finn). I am not racist, and I do not support openly racist books, but in these books I am willing to accept the fact that it was a common occurrence. This does NOT make racism right, but it is something that is very real to the time, and to make Huck Finn entirely unaffected by the racial issues of the time would be an insult to the reality of the time period and the novel. In addition, I believe that these books do not support racism in the slightest; the writing is very satirical, and Twain's purpose was to shed light on the ridiculousness of the common ideas, not to promote them.

But I do not want to discuss racial issues, because I know some people will have problems with this book regardless of what I say, and some of the more opinionated people might want to pick a fight about it. So moving on...

Overall, these books are interesting, fun, and fast-paced. I loved being able to take a look at the thoughts of such unique characters, and I'm glad that I was able to experience it without having to over-analyze the whole story within a classroom.

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