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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Bantam Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1983
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-While Mark Twain is most often identified with his childhood home on the Mississippi, he wrote many of his enduring classics during the years he lived in Hartford, Connecticut. He had come a long way from Hannibal when he focused his irreverent humor on medieval tales, and wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The hit on the head that sent protagonist Hank Morgan back through 13 centuries did not affect his natural resourcefulness. Using his knowledge of an upcoming eclipse, Hank escapes a death sentence, and secures an important position at court. Gradually, he introduces 19th century technology so the clever Morgan soon has an easy life. That does not stop him from making disparaging, tongue-in-cheek remarks about the inequalities and imperfections of life in Camelot. Twain weaves many of the well-known Arthurian characters into his story, and he includes a pitched battle between Morgan's men and the nobility. Kenneth Jay's narration is a mix of good-natured bonhomie for Hank and more formal diction for the arcane Olde English speakers. Appropriate music is used throughout to indicate story breaks and add authenticity to scenes. This good quality recording is enhanced by useful liner notes and an attractive case. Younger listeners may need explanations of less familiar words, and some knowledge of the Knights of the Round Table will be helpful. Libraries completing an audiobook collection of Twain titles will enjoy this nice, but not necessary, abridgement.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"Twain is the funniest literary American writer. . . . [I]t must have been a great pleasure to be him."
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In my opinion, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is not as good as its predecessor as a story. Its strength lies in its biting satire about both early England and the 19th century America that Mark twain was living in.
Naturally enough this satire was more effective about his own society than the English one that most of the story is set in.
The plot, while completely new in its day, feels a little hashed and contrived now, but it's still an entertaining read. Twain just seemed to have the ability to know what the reader was ready to read, and so there were very few lulls in the adventure.
The book is more of a commentary on modern life (at the time of it's writing)
I'm dragging it out, fiction for me is a palate cleanser. So it's interesting..
His insights and humor don't dim with age.
In short, I didn't like it.
While known primarily for his biting wit, it is not all fun and games in Twain’s Arthurian land, and he brought forward several serious issues in his narrative. The author showed that he could write as eloquently about heavy subject matter as he could be flippant and irreverent on lighter topics. The most poignant and moving scenes involved a woman dying of smallpox in her home and a young mother who was hanged for being poor. Mark Twain may have had a bristly, acerbic exterior, but reading these scenes so tenderly described, one sees that the man Samuel Clemens had a deep affection for his fellow human beings, and that justice, mercy and kindness were principles dear to his person.
On the whole, this was an enjoyable book to read. By today’s standards, there is not much action in it, but it is well-written and continually keeps the plot moving through the introduction of new incidents and characters. The Yankee, Hank Morgan, is a driver of much of the plot, and so it is easy to connect with him as he makes things happen in King Arthur’s world.
Most recent customer reviews
Terribly boring, unlike other works I have read by Twain.Read more