- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
- Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894)
- Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896)
I'm glad I read the last two novels and feel I've "completed my studies." My evaluation of the last two novels are that they involve Tom, Huck, and Jim in the same humorous relationship we see in the first two novels: the three discussing the nature of the world with both prodigious ignorance and unshakable homespun wisdom.
The difference between the first two and last two novels is that the humorous banter is all the latter have going--and it's not enough. The basic plot lines: a hot air balloon ride and a murder trial, are not carefully enough developed to justify the side journeys of philosophy from the boys.
I'm glad I read the two novels, though. They're quick reads that are not diminished by skimming. Tom Sawyer, Detective, provides an interesting introduction to The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson, Twain's last novel, which is also a murder mystery.
I suppose even Mark Twain is allowed a few "pot-boilers."
Copyright 2012 by Thomas L. Kepler, all rights reserved