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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Paperback – Mar 3 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Intl Business Pubns USA (March 3 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433089904
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433089909
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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By Curtis Lane on 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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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 By "rimshots_used_books" on 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 By M. Allen Greenbaum on 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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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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