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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Paperback – Mar 3 2009
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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 Audio Cassette edition.
"Twain is the funniest literary American writer. . . . [I]t must have been a great pleasure to be him."
--George Saunders --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
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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!
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.
Unlike most of the other stories, the plot of this story was consisted of two time periods, the modern 19th century and the medieval 6th century. The main character, Hank Morgan, was mysteriously sent back and became someone like Jesus because he knew what was happening and what is going to happened already in the history lessons when he was still in the 19th century. A literary device Mark Twain used in this book that made this book very amusing was all the satires Hank used to mock the people in King Arthur¡¦s court. For example, when a page was introducing himself to Mark, Mark said, ¡§Go ¡¥long, you ain¡¦t more than a paragraph.¡¨
I recommend this book for people who want something light and less serious, because this book will give you a good laugh.
Most recent customer reviews
I cannot give this book a full review as it will take me a few tries to get used to the language!
It's not quite like reading Shakespeare or Dickens but it was written in the... Read more
Excellent book in great shape. Well satisfied with my purchase.Published 22 days ago by W. James Humphrys
The book itself was in good order. The story is a must-read sort of deal. If the author's name itself is not enough to make you want to give this a look then I do not know what... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Three Crippled Monkeys
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 morePublished on Jan. 11 2004 by Eric B. Smith
Who has not wondered what they would do if sent back centuries earlier armed with the knowledge of modern life? Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2004 by Anthony Sanchez
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 morePublished on Oct. 28 2003
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 morePublished on Sept. 1 2003 by Jennifer B. Barton