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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – June 14, 2001
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From School Library Journal
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
--George Saunders --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book's structure is also modern: He recounts his days as a paddlewheel steam boat "cub," piloting the hundreds of miles of the Mississippi before the Civil War, then, in Part 2, returns to retrace his paddleboat route. Although a few of his many digressions don't work (they sometimes sound formulaic or too detailed) most of the narrative is extremely entertaining. Twain seems caught between admiration and disdain for the "modern" age-but he also rejects over-sentimentality over the past. He writes with beauty and cynicism, verve and humor. Very highly recommended!
Whether the man, Mark Twain, interests you or not, Life on the Mississippi, is an eye opening look at America in an earlier era.
In my (humble) opinion this is Mark Twain's best work.
Writing in the first half of the 1870s, Twain retraces the steps of his youth: the watery highway he knew when he trained to be a riverboat pilot nearly 20 years earlier. He speaks of how life _was_ along the river, and what life _became_. It's almost a "you can't go home again" experience for him, while the reader gets the benefit of discovering both time periods.
I have two favorite parts that I share with others. Chapter IX includes a wonderful dissertation about how learning the navigational intricacies of the river caused Twain to lose the ability to see its natural beauty. And Chapter XLV includes an assessment of how the people of the North and the South reacted differently to the war experience. If I were a social studies teacher, I'd use that last passage in a unit on the reconstruction period. So put this title on your vacation reading list, and don't fret: the chapters are short and are many -- 60! -- but you can stop at any time, and the words go by fast. _Life on the Mississippi_ should make you forget all about any Twain trauma and report-writing you may have suffered as a teenager. [This reviewer was an Illinois resident when these comments were written.]
I have to believe that most of his readers of his time (and ours) did not understand his underlying messages regarding society and its institutions. For me, it was hard to miss the way he unmasked the church, the state and society as a whole. I had to laugh out loud at some of the ways he managed to expose the absurdities of government and religion.
This book is a quick read and is immensely satisfying if the reader takes the time to follow Twain's logic to its natural conclusions.
When a Connecticut Yankee gets sent back in time to King Arthur's Court, he decides his superior knowledge should be used to educate such an "ignorant race." Of course, we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if I didn't know better, I would say that the person who coined the phrase did so after finishing this novel. The story's main character, Hank Morgan, is a likeable, if not laughable character, yet as most of us already know: absolute power corrupts absolutely. Once technology gets on a roll, the beast of civilization takes off running and Morgan cannot pull in the reigns. Total disaster ensues (incase you had not already guessed).
This was a fun read and a look at a problem that is still very much alive today. Too much civilization can be like a disease, especially when those who are working to spread it find that they are doing it for reasons other than altruism.
Also, do you remember the scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when Indiana Jones whips out his gun to shoot the sword-wielding Sultan? That scene was surely lifted from this very book!
Trust me, this is a novel for thought, but one that will not bore you. Twain was a master and this is perhaps my favorite of his novels. Very highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A Twain classic mixing technology and science with fantasy and ignorance. Everyone should read this.Published 1 day ago by Tan Gent
This is anything but a professional production. The pixelated image on the front cover gives the first clue of its poor quality. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Allan K.
COULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD SHORT STORY WITHOUT THE AUTHOR'S CONSTANT REPETITION OF HIS DISLIKES OF ROYALTY, ARISTOCRACY, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND THE CLASS SYSTEM. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Geo C Kaplan
This book was so fun and amazing especially given the time in which it was written. The advanced science in medieval times is awesome.Published 1 month ago by David M. Raymer