A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Audiobook | Mark Twain | Audible.com
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court | [Mark Twain]

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is both a whimsical fantasy and a social satire chock-full of brilliant Twainisms. Hank Morgan, a nineteenth-century American---a Connecticut Yankee---by a stroke of fate is sent back into time to sixth-century England and ends up in Camelot and King Arthur's Court.
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Publisher's Summary

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is both a whimsical fantasy and a social satire chock-full of brilliant Twainisms. Hank Morgan, a 19th-century American - a Connecticut Yankee - by a stroke of fate is sent back into time to sixth-century England and ends up in Camelot and King Arthur's Court. Although of average intelligence, he finds himself with knowledge beyond any of those in the sixth century, and he uses it to become the king's right-hand man and to challenge Merlin as the court magician. Astounded at the way of life in Camelot, Hank does the only thing he can think of to do: change them. In his attempt to civilize medieval Camelot, he experiences many challenges and misadventures.

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (179 )
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4.0 (146 )
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  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-23-12
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-23-12 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

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    "A Classic Yarn"

    When you pick up a Twain you know you'll get a good yarn. This is no exception. This is another book I read in my youth. I remember it more fondly that it appears to me now. I guess this goes to prove that tastes change and, in that sense, they mature.
    It's still a good yarn. Not as funny as I remember it to be and more tragic, too. The satire is classic Twain. The wit sharp and, at times, quite brutal. The attack on the Dixie South slavery and serfdom is caustic, for example. The attack on the monarchy (more visceral than mocking) and hereditary privilege is relentless and, I felt, overdone. Perhaps that is because I don't need to be convinced. Another example is Hank Morgan's (aka Twain's) disdain of the Catholic Church. Ironically, Twain's criticism is almost religious. Similarly, his zeal for universeral sufferage is fanatical.
    Through it all, there is no mistaking Twain's message. It might be written through the conceit of a Yankee who is struck on the head in the 1890s and wakes up in the 7th Century, but the opinions are still controversial in the 21st Century.
    Stangely, I found the message less palatable in 2012 than I did in the 1980s, although I agee with most of Twain's views. Generally, I found it a bit forced for my modern sensibility.
    From a performance point of view, William Dufris delivers his customary skilled performance. I particularly liked his Twain and his Sandy. However, there are not enough characters to allow him to shine.
    Overall, I'm not sure I should have re-read this book. My memory of it was better, but that's no reflection on the production values or the performance. As a first time read, I think it would have scored better.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy DALLAS, TX, United States 10-06-13
    Troy DALLAS, TX, United States 10-06-13 Member Since 2012

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

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    "Twain vs. Everything Un-American"

    Mark Twain's rapier wit vs. the ills of the un-American world both past and present in the guise of Medieval England. Representing the case for all things un-American is King Arthur himself as characterized in Sir Thomas Malory's La Morte d'Arthur. It's no spoiler to say that Arthur's Camelot is well and truly skewered at every conceivable turn.

    One of the things great literature does is hold a mirror, both to the times in which it is written and to the times in which it is read. I went through this in the midst of the government shutdown of 2013, and it's fair to say that Twain points out pretty well exactly where the flaws in our own system have been exacerbated. I found myself laughing quite a bit, but there were more than a handful of uneasy chuckles as I realized how many of his words struck home in this day and age. You see, in 1889 when this was written, Britain was in the midst of its Victorian Age, and all that Imperialist expansionism implies. The US had barely left behind the Civil War a generation back, and the wounds were still fresh. Today, the US is feeling the economic and social repercussions of its own Imperial expansionism (even when we don't acknowledge it ourselves for what it is), so the double meaning through the mirror of modern times is rather apt and sobering. Social classes, slavery, unnecessarily complex language... it's all here, and so much more, fired at with both barrels in terms that only Twain could deliver. Chapter breaks only serve to allow him to reload.

    William Dufris is an astounding narrator, coming across as though Twain himself were narrating this, mocking virtually every character encountered along the path. It's a performance you have to hear to believe.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim chino, CA, United States 12-17-11
    Tim chino, CA, United States 12-17-11 Member Since 2010
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    "MARK TWAIN YOU HIT ANOTHER ONE OUT OF THE PARK"

    this one definitely shows mark twain's imagination. you think he had an imagination in the adventures of: tom sawyer or huckleberry finn, this one is off the charts. well done! they say charles dickens is the best england has produced, while being very imaginative charles dickens doesn't have the consistantcy that mark twain delivers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CaraBen Lincoln, NE 01-08-14
    CaraBen Lincoln, NE 01-08-14 Member Since 2011

    Love listening to audio books at work or on the road.

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    "Mark Twain is a genius"
    What made the experience of listening to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court the most enjoyable?

    I read this in high school and it was a great read. The only issue I have is the older bigger words make it hard to listen to when you are at work and just wanted something to listen too.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Fox Point, WI, United States 11-12-13
    Jeffrey Fox Point, WI, United States 11-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Mark Train's humor and wit on display."
    What did you love best about A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?

    The playful way that the story compares and contrastes the cultures of the past and present.


    What other book might you compare A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to and why?

    Hard to compare to other books. It is a contemporary critique of the Arthurian error. In contrast to The Once and Future King that has a more rmantic view of the ideals of the period.


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    The way the characters are personified and compelling a great match for Twains writing style.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When our Yankee Hero realizes his dream is lost, and how he describes what went wrong.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie la vernia, TX, United States 10-12-13
    Julie la vernia, TX, United States 10-12-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Not really a kids' story"
    Would you try another book from Mark Twain and/or William Dufris?

    I've already read all of Mark Twain's books. This was one I missed as a teenager. I put it on for my 11 and 10 year old kids to listen to during our summer vacation road trip. The societal issues just did not translate well to their age group. I kept having to explain what was going on during the mid-late 19th century to them to give them a reference point or two, but they still didn't grasp the concepts. Definitely for high schoolers at the minimum education level!

    They love Tom Sawyer, though!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Portland, OR, United States 06-19-13
    Heather Portland, OR, United States 06-19-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Disappointed. I was expecting to be entertained."
    What disappointed you about A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?

    It was painfully boring.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Twain again?

    Yes, I loved Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He over did it a bit.


    What character would you cut from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?

    All of them. I would prefer it if the book didn't exist at all. Once I start a book, I have to finish it and this was more like a chore than something enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    I am usually pretty easily entertained but this was almost an agony to finish it. I guess after his other books I just was expecting something excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Surprise, AZ, United States 05-27-13
    Patricia Surprise, AZ, United States 05-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    "worst narrator"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is the worst narrator I have listened to, actually painful in his exaggerations. I wish I had checked the other possible narrators for the book before purchasing this one, I really wanted to hear the story, but it was so truly awful I couldn't do it. Hate to buy it all over again with a different narrator. Ugh!


    How could the performance have been better?

    Just read the story, with dignity. Stop with all the silly exaggerated breathing and yawning and gravelly, bored voice. The interpretive garbage actually damaged the story line, made it hard to follow. Grrrrr.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Brown Hill, Australia 03-10-13
    Rod Brown Hill, Australia 03-10-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Twice As Nice"
    Would you listen to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court again? Why?

    Yes. I already have done so.


    What other book might you compare A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to and why?

    It is a classic fish out of water, step back in time tale. What you do if you could step back into time?


    Which character – as performed by William Dufris – was your favorite?

    Well I did like Clarence but I also enjoyed the portrayal of "Sandy".


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and I almost did. It was only 2 sittings anyhow.


    Any additional comments?

    I though Twain was making some big statements against Monarchy and Slavery. I dare say this may have been the motivation for the story. Twain is a great story teller. I do make one comment though that in reading it today not only is the language of Arthur's day antiquated, as Twain points out but the language of Twain's day is similarly so. This kinda is part of the attraction to the tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Henderson, NV, USA 02-04-13
    Kevin Henderson, NV, USA 02-04-13 Member Since 2002
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    "Entertaining, but a bit slow in places"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If they liked Sci Fi, this is the earliest example of popular alternate history work that I am aware of and its fairly good writing.


    What other book might you compare A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court to and why?

    Parts of the book are very 'Mark Twain' kind of amusing yarn spinning, and other parts read more like modern sci-fi.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent reader. I'll probably look for other books he's read and consider buying them no matter what they are.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not particularly.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm sure I'll keep this is my rotation of books and read it at least a few more times. There were a few slow parts, and some parts that were just too rooted in the time it was written for me to really follow completely, but overall I liked it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • ajb
    UK
    3/9/13
    Overall
    "A great tale, full of wit an humour"

    I spent some time listening to the samples for the different unabridged versions of this book and finally chose William Dufris. Am very pleased with my choice, he makes an excellent Connecticut Yankee and delivers the brilliant and witty dialogue in just the right way. A great story and a pleasure to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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