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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

4.0 (377 )
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4.1 (322 )
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Performance
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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.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Gabbert 02-04-13
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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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathgod Bay Area, CA 04-26-15
    Mathgod Bay Area, CA 04-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Mark Twain comes alive!"
    If you could sum up A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court in three words, what would they be?

    Hillarious, interesting, classic


    What about William Dufris’s performance did you like?

    The narrator gave an excellence performance. The different voices he used made it seem like a theatrical presentations. I've tried to read this book in the past and couldn't get into it but this version was mesmerizing.


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

    Since I listen to books to help fall asleep at night, no. But insomnia aside, yes.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Motorjaw California 04-25-15
    Motorjaw California 04-25-15 Member Since 2011

    Love every genre - read a book every 2 weeks or so- I mix between business books, classics, modern fiction, and biographies

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    "Very entertaining"

    First twain book on audible. it was funny, insightful, and generally an entertaining story. Great narrator and a great author. Feels like it could have been written today.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-26-14 Member Since 2015

    I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

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    "This book has aged remarkably well"

    I've been listening to a lot of classics on audible lately, and while I appreciate their literary value, I find most of them difficult to slog through. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, however, didn't feel like an aged classic. It felt downright modern.

    Dufris narration undoubtedly helped with the modern feel of the book; it was smooth and natural.

    Oddly this production reminded me of "Off to be the Wizard" or a Scalzi book. Except funnier at times, because Mark Twain is a a genius with language. His wit is, if not timeless, than still well before its Use-By date.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy 10-06-13
    Troy 10-06-13

    I grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!

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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.

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debi Johnston texas 02-24-15
    Debi Johnston texas 02-24-15 Member Since 2015

    mom

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    "Loved this novel"

    I loved this novel so much. It contained humor and I thought it was AWESOME. And don't think I'm this old lady reviewing, I'm 13 years old and I liked it. It wasn't boring. Totally recommend it.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 03-10-13 Member Since 2014
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CaraBen Lincoln, NE 01-08-14
    CaraBen Lincoln, NE 01-08-14

    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.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lance 07-15-15
    Lance 07-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth it as a daily deal"

    It was ok overall. The reader was really good performing the female voices, period accents, etc. It was an good enough story but seemed to drag on for quite some time. I wouldn't want to pay the normal $20+ for it but for $1 you can't complain.

    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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