Puneet Varma (Editor)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

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Cover artist
Created by Mark Twain

Publication date

Originally published

United States


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer t3gstaticcomimagesqtbnANd9GcQJ1t1zJQfhaqR0zF

English, Limited Edition (Spanish)

American Publishing Company

Preceded by
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, Joe Harper, Sid Sawyer

Followed by
Wuthering Heights, The Prince and the Pauper

Bildungsroman, Picaresque Fiction, Satire, Folklore, Children's literature

Mark Twain books, Fiction books

The adventures of tom sawyer by mark twain full audio book adventure fiction

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. It is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Twain lived.


Plot summary

Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid. He skips school to swim and is made to whitewash the fence the next day as punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. He then trades the treasures for Sunday School tickets which one normally receives for memorizing verses consistently, redeeming them for a Bible, much to the surprise and bewilderment of the superintendent who thought "it was simply preposterous that this boy had warehoused two thousand sheaves of Scriptural wisdom on his premises—a dozen would strain his capacity, without a doubt."

Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town, and persuades her to get "engaged" by kissing him. But their romance collapses when she learns Tom has been "engaged" previously to Amy Lawrence. Shortly after Becky shuns him, he accompanies Huckleberry Finn to the graveyard at night, where they witness a trio of body snatchers, Dr. Robinson, Muff Potter, and Injun Joe, getting into a fight. While Potter is knocked unconscious during the scuffle, Injun Joe stabs the doctor to death and later pins the blame on Potter, who is arrested for the murder. Potter is then shunned by the whole town, except Huck and Tom, who knew the real story. They decided "to keep mum" about this incident because they are afraid of Injun Joe murdering them.

Tom and Huck run away to an island. While enjoying their new-found freedom, they become aware that the community is sounding the river for their bodies. Tom sneaks back home one night to observe the commotion. After a brief moment of remorse at his loved ones' suffering, he is struck by the idea of appearing at his own funeral. Back in school, Tom gets himself back in Becky's favor after he nobly accepts the blame for a book she has ripped. Soon, Muff Potter's trial begins, in which Tom testifies against Injun Joe. Potter is acquitted, but Injun Joe flees the courtroom through a window. Tom then fears for his life as Injun Joe is at large and can easily find him.

Summer arrives, and Tom and Huck go hunting for buried treasure in a haunted house. After venturing upstairs they hear a noise below. Peering through holes in the floor, they see Injun Joe disguised as a deaf-mute Spaniard; Injun Joe and his companion plan to bury some stolen treasure of their own. From their hiding spot, Tom and Huck wriggle with delight at the prospect of digging it up. Huck begins to shadow Injun Joe nightly, watching for an opportunity to nab the gold. In the meantime, Tom goes on a picnic to McDougal's Cave with Becky and their classmates. In his overconfidence, Tom strays off the marked paths with Becky and they get hopelessly lost. That night, Huck sees Injun Joe and his partner making off with a box. He follows and overhears their plans to attack the Widow Douglas. By running to fetch help, Huck prevents the crime and becomes an anonymous hero.

As Tom and Becky wander the extensive cave complex for the next few days, Becky gets extremely dehydrated and starved, so Tom's search for a way out gets even more determined. He accidentally encounters Injun Joe one day, but he is not seen by his nemesis. Eventually, he finds a way out, and they are joyfully welcomed back by their community. As a preventive measure, Judge Thatcher has McDougal's Cave sealed off, but this traps Injun Joe inside. When Tom hears of the sealing several days later and directs a posse to the cave, they find Injun Joe's corpse just inside the sealed entrance, starved to death.

A week later, having deduced from Injun Joe's presence at McDougal's Cave that the villain must have hidden the stolen gold inside, Tom takes Huck to the cave and they find the box of gold, the proceeds of which are invested for them. The Widow Douglas adopts Huck, and when he attempts to escape civilized life, Tom tricks him into thinking that he can join Tom's robber band if he returns to the widow. Reluctantly, he agrees and goes back to her.

Sequels and other works featuring Tom Sawyer

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
  • Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894)
  • Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896)
  • Tom Sawyer, the story's title character, also appears in two other uncompleted sequels: Huck and Tom Among the Indians and Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. He is also a character in Twain's unfinished Schoolhouse Hill.

    Read the book

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at Project Gutenberg
  • Film and television

  • Tom Sawyer (1917), directed by William Desmond Taylor, starring Jack Pickford as Tom
  • Tom Sawyer (1930), directed by John Cromwell, starring Jackie Coogan as Tom
  • Tom Sawyer (1936), Soviet Union version directed by Lazar Frenkel and Gleb Zatvornitsky
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Technicolor film by the Selznick Studio, starring Tommy Kelly as Tom and directed by Norman Taurog; most notable is the cave sequence designed by William Cameron Menzies
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1960), BBC television series in 6 episodes starring Fred Smith as Tom and Janina Faye as Becky. The series' theme song was "John Gilbert is the Boat", sung by Peggy Seeger
  • Les aventur Sawyer (1968), French/German made-for-television miniseries directed by Wolfgang Liebeneiner, starring Roland Demongeot as Tom and Marc Di Napoli as Huck
  • Aventurile lui Tom Sawyer (1968), Romanian movie directed by Mircea Albulescu.
  • The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1968), a half-hour live-action/animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions
  • Las Aventuras de Juliancito (1969), Mexican film
  • Tom Sawyer (1973), musical adaptation by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, with Johnny Whitaker in the title role, Jeff East as Huck Finn, Jodie Foster as Becky Thatcher, and Celeste Holm as Aunt Polly.
  • Tom Sawyer (1973), TV movie version sponsored by Dr Pepper, starring Buddy Ebsen as Muff Potter and filmed in Upper Canada Village
  • Huckleberry Finn and His Friends (1979), TV series
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1980), Japanese anime TV series by Nippon Animation, part of the World Masterpiece Theater, aired in the United States on HBO
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (Приключения Тома Сойера и Гекльберри Финна), 1981 Soviet Union version directed by Stanislav Govorukhin
  • Tom Sawyer (1984), Canadian claymation version produced by Hal Roach studios
  • Tom and Huck (1995), starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Tom and Brad Renfro as Huck Finn
  • Tom Sawyer (2000), animated adaptation featuring the characters as anthropomorphic animals instead of humans with an all-star voice cast, including country singers Rhett Akins, Mark Wills, Lee Ann Womack, Waylon Jennings, and Hank Williams Jr. as well as Betty White
  • Thomas Sawyer, as a young adult, is a character in the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, portrayed by Shane West. Here, Tom is a U.S. Secret Service agent who joins the team's fight against Professor Moriarty.
  • Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn (2014), starring Joel Courtney as Tom and Jake T. Austin as Huck.
  • Band of Robbers, a 2015 American crime comedy film written and directed by the Nee Brothers
  • Theatrical

  • In 1956, We're From Missouri, a musical adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, with book, music, and lyrics by Tom Boyd, was presented by the students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
  • In 1960, Tom Boyd's musical version (re-titled Tom Sawyer) was presented professionally at Theatre Royal Stratford East in London, England, and in 1961 toured provincial theatres in England.
  • In 2001, the musical The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Ken Ludwig and Don Schlitz, debuted on Broadway.
  • In 2015, the Mark Twain House and Museum selected 17-year-old Noah Altshuler (writer of Making the Move), as Mark Twain Playwright in Residence, to create a modern, meta-fictional adaptation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for regional and commercial production.
  • Ballet

    Tom Sawyer: A Ballet in Three Acts premiered on October 14, 2011, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. The score was by composer Maury Yeston, with choreography by William Whitener, artistic director of the Kansas City Ballet. A review in The New York Times observed: "It’s quite likely that this is the first all-new, entirely American three-act ballet: it is based on an American literary classic, has an original score by an American composer and was given its premiere by an American choreographer and company. ... Both the score and the choreography are energetic, robust, warm, deliberately naïve (both ornery and innocent), in ways right for Twain."

    Video Games

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, an action-platformer for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released by SeTa in February 1989 in Japan and August that same year in the North America.
  • Square's Tom Sawyer, a role-playing video game produced by Square. It was released in March 1989 for Japan on the Famicom.
  • Internet

    On November 30, 2011, to celebrate Twain’s 176th birthday, the Google Doodle was a scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.


    According to an October 2012 article published in Smithsonian magazine, Twain named his fictional character after a San Francisco fireman whom he met in June 1863. The real Tom Sawyer was a local hero, famous for rescuing 90 passengers after a shipwreck. The two remained friendly during Twain's three-year stay in San Francisco, often drinking and gambling together.


    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Wikipedia

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