"The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" is a true classic. I loved the abridged version as a child and decided to read it in the original form as an adult.
It is a lively, charming and light-hearted story about a rebellious young boy (his age is never stated), who thrives on playing hilarious pranks and is constantly getting in trouble for disorderly conduct of the most original kind. Under it all though he has a good and generous heart.
Huckleberry Finn is introduced as a dirt-poor, uneducated and disreputable boy whose mother has died and whose drunkard father has abandoned him. An instantly endearing character to the reader, he is nevertheless shunned by the adults of "civilized" society, who warn their children to stay away from him because "he was idle and lawless and vulgar and bad". Tom, like the rest of the respectable boys is under strict orders not to play with him.
Not surprisingly, Tom "played with him every time he got a chance."
Thus begins a deep and enduring friendship that remains the central theme for the rest of the book.
The book is part memoir and part social critique against prevailing attitudes and hypocrisies, but mostly it is a witty and charming story jumping blithely from one adventure to the next, and told in deceptively simple but deftly crafted language. Therefore it is thoroughly enjoyable, even when the subject matter is inconsequential. I loved his description of a rather one-sided contest between a poodle and a "pinch bug" in the middle of a chruch service - it is a minor event in the book, but absolutely hilarious and a joy to read and re-read. It is quintessential Mark Twain writing at the pinnacle of his wit and style. An excerpt: "Presently a vagrant poodle dog came idling along, sad at heart, lazy with the summer softness and the quiet, weary of captivity, sighing for change. He spied the beetle; the drooping tail lifted and wagged..."
No wonder this book has remained a favorite for generations. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.