Audiobook Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

I received this book for free from Audies in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: The Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Narrator: Ian Lynch
Length: 7 hrs, 12 mins
Series: Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn #1
Published by Cherry Hill Publishing on September 9, 2011
Genres: Adventure, Classics, Historical
Source: Audies
Goodreads
two-half-stars

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, originally published in 1876, was the first novel written on a typewriter. Mark Twain's lively tale of the scrapes and adventures of boyhood is set in St. Petersburg, Missouri, where Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn have the kinds of adventures many boys can imagine: racing bugs during class, impressing girls (especially Beck Thatcher) with fights and stunts in the schoolyard, getting lost in a cave, and playing pirates on the Mississippi River.

Allow me to preface this review by informing my reader that I do not much care for southern accents. I do not find them appealing. I say this as a southern girl (with no accent…I’m Atlanta born and raised). This audiobook definitely plays up the southern-ness of the story. The narrator pulls out the accent, which, perfectly fitting to the story though it may be, annoys me greatly.

In middle school, I had to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which seemed to me at the time to be essentially a form of torture exacted by my teacher. I can say, gratefully, that this one was not so bad, although whether that is the audio format or the different, shorter book, it’s hard to say.

The story did not hugely impress me, although it was interesting to learn the details of a book about which my only knowledge was drawn from Wishbone. True fact. As I was listening, I kept trying to remember what I knew about it and I just now realized that all I know is thanks to a spunky Jack Russell terrier. Man, I miss that show.

Anyway, the book was not too bad. Except for the blatant racism. The discussions of black people and of Injun Joe were certainly what would be expected of a man of Twain’s time, but definitely are completely awful. Also, there was one scene in which Tom was talking about being a pirate in which he describes how pirates or robbers get ladies; his description is essentially of Stockholm Syndrome. Terrifying!!!

Lynch did, accent issues put aside, a really good job with the book. His voices were really unique, almost always allowing me to know who was speaking, even if I missed the part that said who was talking. Aunt Polly’s voice definitely grated, even beyond the accent, but I thought his Tom definitely conveyed the excitement of a young, incorrigible boy.

The production of the audiobook seems to have been done pretty well. I liked the music, which had a sort of slouch-y, casual southern feel to it that fit perfectly. What was odd, though, was that the music seemed to occur at completely random intervals.

 

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