Audiobook Review: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, performed by Nick Offerman

You might be thinking, “Isn’t that the book we had to read back in High School that used the N word a lot?” Yes…and…no. Tom Sawyer does use some racial obloquy from time to time. However, it pales in comparison to the later novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Yes, it is the 21st century and no one should use that word, but this novel is a staple of American literature and the author is using authentic vernacular. Also, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written in 1876 by Mark Twain, not 1981 by current United States Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions.

Mark Twain, a.k.a. Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. t the father of American literature, is a master story teller. He can spin a yarn so thick and twisted that even Harry Houdini himself could not get out. Twain was also a humorist and political satirist which means he was the Saturday Night Live of the 19th century. From the antics of Tom Sawyer showing off in the middle of a classroom lesson or a Sunday Morning sermon, to the eerie graveyards and dark caves of the various islands along the Mississippi river, Twain artistically paints a portrait with every stroke of the brush a word and every word a thoughtful depiction of youth, imagination, and wonder. Twain’s stories are legendary on their own merit. It is of little wonder why so many are still read in classrooms today.

I must equally praise the performance by Nick Offerman. What drew my attention to this audiobook was that it was being read by Ron freaking Swanson himself. If you are not familiar with Nick Offerman, do yourself a favor and Netflix Parks and Recreation or his stand-up comedy American Hamno…seriously…do it right now, I can wait. I trust that you will thank me later for all of the marvelous exploits of Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope (played by Amy Schumer). Nick Offerman was born, nay, bred by science to read this book for the world. There are times when celebrities reading books can be sketchy at best, but this is not one of those times.

Offerman reads with the awareness of an actor, altering his voice for the diverse characters as needed. His technique lends greatly to the pleasure of the story. Yet, it is his verisimilitude, his believable performance, that so captures your imagination and demands your attention. Offerman’s comedic prowess mixed with his baritone voice and excellent pace transport the reader to the very banks of the Mississippi. Nick Offerman was birthed on this planet to read Mark Twain stories, it just sounds right. Regarding his performance, Offerman is quoted as saying, “Being paid to perform such a gratifying activity as reading Mark Twain aloud felt powerfully akin to Tom Sawyer hoodwinking other boys into paying him for the privilege of whitewashing a fence. Let’s keep that between us.”

So, do your ears, your mind, and your imagination a favor by listening to this audiobook. If you purchase it from Audible, it will cost you about $15 depending on the current sale. If you have never listened to an audiobook before, then do yourself an even greater benevolence and click on the link from our home page and download the free 30-day trial of Audible. With the 30-day trial, you can have this audiobook for free. I have never heard of a child that does not like having a good story read to them. So, why not just be a kid again and let Nick Offerman read this great American classic to you?

– BCON, Contributor.




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