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
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
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.
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.
Yes. I already have done so.
It is a classic fish out of water, step back in time tale. What you do if you could step back into time?
Well I did like Clarence but I also enjoyed the portrayal of "Sandy".
Yes and I almost did. It was only 2 sittings anyhow.
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.
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.
Parts of the book are very 'Mark Twain' kind of amusing yarn spinning, and other parts read more like modern sci-fi.
Excellent reader. I'll probably look for other books he's read and consider buying them no matter what they are.
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.
anything could have made it better, it was boring and, frankly, not a good book
not have written it at all, although it made a good movie.
did not like the readers voice
I think this is the worst book I have ever ordered from Amazon. If it was a paper book I'd send it back, I don't even want it on my Kindle
I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry. I also love to listen to the same whilst not paying attention to other things. I aim for my reviews to be short and succinct so that they are easy to read.
To be really honest it got on my nerves a bit. The premise was interesting but I think that Mr Clemens only managed to come out of it sounding a little like the mythical American who is supposed to think that all things American are the best. I know it was supposed to be funny, I didn't miss the point but, I just started to find the entire premise a little awkward toward the second half. Having said that the narrator is good.
Idea seemed good but having a hard time getting into it. Maybe not a Mark Twain fan.
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