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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court [Paperback]

Mark Twain
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2007 1420929666 978-1420929669
"A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is Mark Twain's classic tale of Hank Morgan, a resident of 19th century Hartford Connecticut who is inexplicably transported to the early medieval England of King Arthur. A classic satire, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" pokes fun at the romanticized notions of chivalry and the idealization of the middle ages. A delightful and enchanting tale, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" shows Twain at his satirical best.

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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Dufris's enthusiastic narration is perfect; the deep drawl he produces might very well be the voice of Twain himself, and his pacing and comedic timing will delight listeners." ---Publishers Weekly Starred Audio Review
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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THE ungentle laws and customs touched upon in this tale are historical, and the episodes which are used to illustrate them are also historical. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent June 2 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The best work by Twain I've read to date. This combination history, memoir, travelogue, and collection of sketches is both humorous and entertaining. I have also learned a great deal about Twain, his time, and the history of steamboating and the Mississippi. Written later in his life, this work is mature in style as well as content in spite of its loose organization and focus. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain's Tribute to the Mississippi River Sept. 24 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Life On the Mississippi" is Mark Twain's tribute to the Mississippi River, which surrounded the earlier part of his life. Mark Twain had been in awe of the river for many years; and inspired him to become a river boat pilot - explained in length in this book; much of which is quite humorous, while other parts are heartbreaking, including that of the horrible death of his brother, Henry.
One of the main complaints about this book that some people have is that is uses too many facts and figures, which tends to bog the reader down. This is true. Yet, the avid reader, and Mark Twain enthusiast, will not bypass these chapters. We will revel in them, and read them with inspired intent; simply because the Mississippi River has been such an integral part of Mark Twain's life, that the more we get to know about the river, the more we get to know about the real Mark Twain.
"Life on the Mississippi" is a work of nonfiction; perhaps Twain's truest account of historical fact concerning his life. For those who are just getting interested in knowing about Mark Twain's writings, I would recommend reading "Roughing It"; as it is humurous throughout. "Life on the Mississippi" would be the second book I would recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not "cute"; but absolutely fascinating! July 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is not a "good" book, in that it fails to achieve its supposed purpose (which is to deprecate chivalric romance). Yet the sheer fascination of this incredibly poigniant failure is enough to keep me returning! It nothing like the "cute" kids versions and movies that it has inspired. Prepare for a vitriolic horror-ride that seems to prove nothing but man's futility--i.e., welcome to Twaine's latter period. Mark Twain's work of psuedo-realistic phantasy is perhaps the most marked and fascinating failure in literature. In the novel Twain sets science and technology against chivalry and romance. Twaine attempts to overthrow a thousand years of fuedal and romantic tradition by means of scientific and economic efficiency. Yet (without revealing too much) in the end the Yankee must praise the romantic hero King Arthur; has used the very superstitions he disdains to dupe the people; come to love an archetype of the simple medieval personality he despises; and, amazingly, has threatened to destroy an entire civilization. In the end the only thing the Yankee proves is that modern man is far too arrogant for his own good, and that it is all too easy to become the villain you hate. So what was Twaine's point? Supposedly to prove the vast superiority of the modern age over the Chivalric Age. But did Twaine actually believe his utterly amazing ending carried out his task? I doubt it; I think the book is a classic example of Twain's disbelief of everything. But the world my never know.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Twain�s Greatest! April 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book--at times disjointed, rambling, self-referential, and irreverent--is decades ahead of its time. It's an interdisciplinarian's dream as Twain takes on economics, geography, politics, ancient and contemporary history, and folklore with equal ease. Mostly though, one appreciates his knack for exaggeration, the tall tale, and the outright lie. It's a triumph of tone, as he lets you in on his wild wit, his keen observation, and his penchant for bending the truth without losing his credibility as a guide.
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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars review for connecticut yankee Feb. 24 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In the novel, A Connecticut in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain shows the differences between modern society, and sixth century Great Britain. Hank is a self-assured factory worker who knows how to make just about anything. The protagonist, is mysteriously transported back to the sixth century, when struck in the head by a crowbar.
He uses his vast knowledge of explosives and metals to quickly become a leader in the monarchy. His democratic thoughts and ideas become his ambition as he strives to make Great Britain a republic. Twain's novel shows how much of a change society has gone through from the sixth century to the time of the writing of the novel. He also show's how little education anyone received in the sixth century, even the members of royalty are not very wise. Hank's mediocre education is far superior to anybody's in the whole monarchy, because of the advances in education to the present.
Twain shows that the laws of the sixth century were made for the few against the many. At one point a woman is put to death for stealing just enough food to feed her baby. Hank tries, throughout the book, to get the royalty to realize how unfair their laws are to the common man.
This book makes you feel angry at points about the horribleness of the monarchy, yet ashamed because similar acts still go on in the present. An example would be how the rich and privileged still get the best of everything, while the have-nots get the last and worst of everything, both now and then. Twain has a comic sense in the book, and yet he still shows a contrast between the comic and the serious. This book should be a classic for Twain's creative portrayal of the sixth century, yet also because it makes us think about our society today.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars amusing book by Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur¡s Court¡ is a hilarious story written by Mark Twain. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by "ryantsaiii"
3.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to read
I read this book, expecting it to be similar to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. However, I struggled through the old English monologues of some of the characters. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2004 by Eric B. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars What would you do for fun in Camelot?
Who has not wondered what they would do if sent back centuries earlier armed with the knowledge of modern life? Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by Anthony Sanchez
5.0 out of 5 stars Conneticut Yankee Big Hit, Twain has done it again!
Wow! What a book. I myself have only read one other book by Mark Twain and that was Tom Sawyer and I really didn't like it. But my compliments to Mr.Twain on this one. Read more
Published on Oct. 28 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Satire but not on same level with Letters From Earth
Twain has a way of taking something that we commonly idealize and shooting holes all through it. Where Letters From Earth took aim at religious belief, this time its Camelot. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2003 by Jennifer B. Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars Mark Twain's Finest Writing
I read this recently after having kept a copy around for years; I now wish I had read it years ago. Read more
Published on June 26 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars An overlooked classic
'Connecticut Yankee' is an excellent political satire still relevant to today's world. Everyone's heard of it, and it's been spoofed many times in film. Read more
Published on June 9 2003 by Lisa
4.0 out of 5 stars This Is What I Think
The book, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court" by Mark Twain was very intriguing to read. The beginning of the book had a very interesting attention grabber. Read more
Published on May 17 2003 by Ashley Will
5.0 out of 5 stars What a story!
Summary:
Hank Morgan is a fiery shop boss in the Colt Arms Factory in New England during the late 1800s when he is knocke unconscious by another worker who gets the better of... Read more
Published on May 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Twain's Mississippi River Recollections..........
In Life on the Mississippi, Twain recounts his river experiences from boyhood to riverboat captain and beyond. Read more
Published on April 2 2003 by nto62
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