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Tom Sawyer in Hell Paperback – January 16, 2010

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The book may prove to be an excellent cautionary tale for young men venturing out of the nest and into the world. --Clarion ForeWord Reviews

Black writes pungent prose stocked with colorfully etched characters and has a knack for evocative landscapes. --Kirkus Discovery Reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (January 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439267553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439267554
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,111,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Black is originally from New York. He is the author of Tom Sawyer In Hell. He lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
TOM SAWYER IN HELL places Peter Black on the scene of new writers to watch. Research into his background fails to reveal any other published works, so this must be a debut novel and as such it deserves a different sort of attention. Some reviewers are calling this novel hilarious as though it were an au courant story related to the plethora of potty mouth guy movies that fill the movie theaters. Some are calling it a modern day 'Catcher in the Rye', referring to the fact that in many ways it could be placed in the genre of coming of age novels. For this reader it is neither. Not knowing the author's background, the book can only be judged on its own merits, and as such it seems to be not a shallow batch of tales of an off center young man, but rather an astute observation of how the progeny of the Baby Boomers are finding their way through the messy, confusing, contradictory world we gave them. Yes, there are some moments of comedy (every good serious evaluation of the times needs the emotional relief recognized by writers all the way back to the Greek playwrights), but there is much more here than the outline of the book suggests.

Peter Black states his vision of this book as follows: 'All life is a series of stories and Tom Sawyer in Hell is mine. The narrative follows the misadventures of a naive young man who has optimistic expectations about life that rapidly go south as he makes his way through three colleges on two coasts, courts and jails and small town lawyers, strip clubs, a gig as a Park Avenue doorman, hopelessness, psychopharmacology, absurdity, and the struggle to land a corporate job.' That is enough of a description of the content of the story.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bennet Pomerantz VINE VOICE on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Tom Sawyer in Hell is a modern fable of grown. To compare to novel to Catcher in the Rye is going overboard. There are many similar situations, but that where the comparsons end. I think this novel is more like an edgier Bright Light Big City of education and life after college.

First time author Peter Black created an interesting coming of age story. I cannot tell if this is biography or not. The Journey seem like ON THE ROAD essays which connect and disconnect at different times of the book.

It is an interesting book for you are ready to take the journey of reading it

Bennet Pomerantz
AUDIOWORLD
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Andrews on January 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Tom Sawyer in Hell" is a collection of stories and narratives not unlike "On the Road" by Jack Kerouak, although the stories and the characters are perhaps a little more edgy. As the author travels from high school through a series of universities and misadventures he produces a constant stream of observations with engaging detail and texture. Line after line the stories describe the absurd that can be found in the ordinary, and how the absurdity of the ordinary can spiral into calamity. Peter says and does things that many of us would like to say and do but don't have the nerve for fear of not fitting in.

Graduating from high school having met and exceeded all expectations, Peter sets off to into the world. Now on his own, the book become a roller coaster ride through his early years as he seeks to make sense of the illogical behavior of friends, faculty, and authorities. How a person with such a solid core of values and education combined with the self discipline of the martial arts can so quickly become at odds with nearly every situation he engages is one of the questions waiting to be answered as you move through the book.

Ultimately for me the book is about the broken promise our families, teachers and society in general make; that if we do as we are told and work hard and honestly we are assured success, only to find that we are truly on our own in a perilous world where the truly authentic are few and far between.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Vine on April 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Tom Sawyer in Hell is a coming of age novel, telling stories to illustrate college life and the angst young people go through when they have to settle on a career. It's a memoir unlike any other memoir I've read, and paints a picture of a misspent college youth, the problems with being room mates with someone who disgusts you, pranks you get up to, and the dabble into alcohol and drugs. As a mother of an 18 year old son in college, I did connect with the story, and was relieved that this wasn't my son. Although, I have no doubt he does get into some of those scrapes in res. The great thing is that even after suffering from bouts of lack of motivation, the author still manages to get a college degree and a job on Wall Street. The book is easy to read and cuts to the chase. Recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. C. Boese on August 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story begins with hope pinned on the sleeve of a bright student wanting to roll into the American Dream, but what he finds is a simulation of college life that isn't living up to the hope and promise of a future, so he changes his outlook and hilarity and huge lessons emerge... The wry observations of the infrastructure of our democracy exposes the actuality that most Americans are going through the motions of a normal life, while existing as a class of scavenger/zombies. the main character weaves and dodges his way through a dysfunctional culture in Academia and in landscape. I couldn't put it down, or stop recalling the comic style of National Lampoon parodies like 'OC and Stiggs' in the narrative, but it reads as smoothly as Stephen King's short 'The Body.'
Soon to be a a major indie feature, I am betting. A joy to read.
Tom Sawyer in Hell
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