17 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Carmela D. reviewed A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Dover Thrift Editions) on
Helpful Score: 1
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is one of those books that require an open mind and careful reading, but it is definitely worth your time. I found the plot to be engaging, but beware of some intentional plot holes and a very erratic pace. The plot holes tend to reflect a deeper meaning, so I suggest examining them after taking in the book as a hole. A good example would be the fact that none of the main character's (The Boss) machines ever malfunction. This is symbolic of Twain's faith in the modern machine, and rather ironic as he went bankrupt (while writing this book) after investing in a new invention known as a typesetter (invented by James W Paige). The pace quickly goes from action pact escapes from angry villagers and knights to a rather long, but interesting, discussion on economics. I found some of these lengthy discussions to be very interesting and applicable in the modern day world. One could very easily say two things about this book. One that it is a Satire of sorts in that he expounds his beliefs by using his trade mark sarcasm and rather horrific humour. He is not all tragedy in this book, however, a sentimental side full of grief and hope for hummanity comes through distinctly, and hits the reader hard when least expected. Finally two, the book is an extension of Mark Twain. In fact, I fell safe in saying that it really is a culmination of his politics, opinions, personality, ect.. put into one book. I like to think of this book as Twain's shout-out to humanity. A must read for Mark Twain fans everywhere.
I think I liked the idea better than the book, but it was still a very entertaining read. It began simply enough, became interesting very quickly, then somehow lost my interest toward the end. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood at the time.
Mark Twain. What else is there to say? This book takes you on an adventure that is of course extremely well written, funny, sarcastic, an observation of human nature both then and just as applicably, now.
From School Library Journal
Grade 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.
Being an ardent fan of Medieval romance, I didn't appreciate Twain's satire on it. As much as I enjoy many of Mark Twain's writings. This one was a little obscure. I think he was trying to create an analogy between the narrow mindedness and oppressive rule in the middle ages to how Americans were treating black people in the 19th century. his reasoning wasn't always consistent, though.
My favorite of Mark Twain's many wonderful contributions to literature! Our dear hero, the Connecticut Yankee, finds himself lost in the backwards Arthurian society, where his ingenuity and wit make him special enough to wreak havoc on the world of medieval chivalry. Twain's tongue-in-cheek portrayal of our beloved King Arthur and the day-to-day lives of his court is just hilarious. And I always cry a little bit at the end.
Also I must mention that this particular edition boasts truly excellent illustrations and decorations by Trina Schart Hyman - my favorite!
This is a book that was very much recommended by my mother. I was really excited when I found it at the Baltimore Book Thing for free and immediately took it home and tried to read it. I got about 2 pages in and was asleep -- one of the most boring things I'd ever read. I tried again 2 or 3 times during the course of 2010 and 2011, but never got past those first few pages.
So in 2012, I added this book to a challenge list for a group I'm in here on GoodReads -- the top 10 books I just "had to have" but still haven't read. If we finished those 10 books, we would get 25 bonus points for other challenges. This I deemed to be a good motivator. It worked, I read this book! (though I only read 8 of the 10 total, so no bonus points for me).
Aaanyway, it turns out that once you get past the first few pages (the "Word of Explanation") and into the actual story, the book gets a LOT better. So I'm glad I forced myself through. But don't skip the Explanation, even though it is incredibly boring, because it covers some very important information that you'll need in order to understand much of the book. Now, that's not to say it's an amazing story... and also the vocabulary is still a bit old since it was written so long ago.
But parts of it are quite funny, and it is a nice sort of "what if" situation. Twain did a great job of imagining how the characters from these two very different times would react to each other. It's a good commentary on society and technology and capitalism, but without being a tedious essay. It's a bit odd how there are no repercussions of his changes to the olden days; when he "returns" to the future it seems to be exactly the same as it was before. I would have thought people would find some trace of the knowledge that he imparted there.
Anyway, a cute book... I'm glad I read it once, but probably not one I will be returning to.