Item description for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain...
When A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court was published in 1889, Mark Twain was undergoing a series of personal and professional crises. In his Introduction, M. Thomas Inge shows how what began as a literary burlesque of British chivalry and culture developed to tragedy and into a novel that remains a major literary and cultural text for generations of new readers. This edition reproduces a number of the original drawings by Dan Beard, of whom Twain said "He not only illustrates the text but he illustrates my thoughts."
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.51" Width: 4.88" Height: 0.39" Weight: 0.22 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 9626342188 ISBN13 9789626342183 UPC 730099021821
Availability 0 units.
More About Mark Twain
Mark Twain, born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in 1835, led one of the most exciting of literary lives. Raised in the river town of Hannibal, Missouri, Twain had to leave school at age 12 and was successively a journeyman printer, a steamboat pilot, a halfhearted Confederate soldier, and a prospector, miner, and reporter in the western territories. His experiences furnished him with a wide knowledge of humanity, as well as with the perfect grasp of local customs and speech which manifests itself in his writing. With the publication in 1865 of The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, Twain gained national attention as a frontier humorist, and the bestselling Innocents Abroad solidified his fame. But it wasn't until Life on the Mississippi (1883), and finally, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), that he was recognized by the literary establishment as one of the greatest writers America would ever produce. Toward the end of his life, plagued by personal tragedy and financial failure, Twain grew more and more pessimistic--an outlook not alleviated by his natural skepticism and sarcasm. Though his fame continued to widen--Yale & Oxford awarded him honorary degrees--Twain spent his last years in gloom and exasperation, writing fables about "the damned human race."
Mark Twain lived in Hannibal, in the state of Missouri. Mark Twain was born in 1835 and died in 1910.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court?
Love Twain's writing, but not so much in this one Jun 30, 2008
Although I usually enjoy Twain's writing style, and his sense of wry humor, there was something about A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court that was less than satisfying.
Some of the situations that the protagonist gets himself into are "classic" Twain. When the narrator is transported back to the time of Camelot, he begins to speculate about rituals, customs and general style of life. There is one part where the townspeople are convinced that he can perform great magical feats (he actually has Merlin as his rival), and when they corner him about performing one, he has to think of a way to please them or face punishment. He realizes that he can remember when an eclipse is going to come, and there is the way out of his situation. There are many adventures, where the narrator becomes critical of their ways, as a time warp will do. He is a fish out of water in many ways in this new world, not understanding, for instance, their need to have extravagant adventures: "Hardly a month went by without one of these tramps arriving; and generally loaded with some tale about some princess or other wanting help to get her out of some faraway castle where she was being held in captivity by a lawless scoundrel..." Because of his ability to perform great acts, he becomes known as the Boss, and helps to free some poor peasants from terrible punishments.
Maybe what made this less of a story was that it became too "preachy" and filled with social commentary. Although this is what usually makes Twain's novels, here it seemed to detract from the over all story. I was much more interested in hearing about the next adventure, but the narrator continued to rattle on and on about what he felt was wrong with this society. You get the feeling that Twain, not the narrator, is speaking after awhile. In the end, I guess it wasn't really the book I expected it to be. Still, it has its moments, and there are some parts that will have you chuckling to yourself as you read.
I consider Twain to be one of my favorite authors, but this is one of his lesser achievements.
Promising premise, disappointing and remarkably dour delivery Mar 16, 2008
Twain spoils a promising premise with bloated preachifying, colorless prose, and an uneven, nigh-absurdist plot arc.
Always Feb 26, 2008
I have always received the best service when I have placed an order from you. Outstanding!!!!!
Hilarious, yet meaningful Nov 28, 2007
With each Twain novel I read, I am amazed at how he can be so funny while packing such astute insights about life. This novel is no exception as Twain strikes the balance between the two again here. The premise for this novel is perhaps Twain's most original idea (when did Tom Sawyer ever time travel?) and the story and characters satisify at every turn. While this isn't Twain's best work, I think that some of his funniest moments are in this novel. I recommend Tom Sawyer as the place to begin reading Twain, but if you are already a fan then this book is a must-read.
A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT Nov 9, 2007
The title also happens to be the plot outline. Elements of the plot have been duplicated in countless books, TV shows and movies. Army of Darkness and MacGyver leap immediately to mind. The book is a fantasy, and if haters can set aside its numerous anachronisms (A man from 1900, for example, would never be able to understand the language of 6th century England), it's quite enjoyable.
The novel is considerably more adversarial than one might expect. The main character is uncouth, obnoxious, and a jerk, even more so than is necessary given the immensely frustrating ignorance of the 6th century people. I suspect Twain plugged himself in to the Boss character, and had a good old time writing this one.
The main character is out to get the established Church, not in a no-holds-barred, Philip Pullman way, but in a logical way that recognizes the value of faith while tearing down the humanistic and suppressive political and economic machinations of the Church.
Twain also takes shots at England through the ages, at its historically oppressive caste system and at the English people's long-running love of hereditary nobility.
Commentary on politics and on human nature abound, but A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is still a great adventure story. These two elements step on each other's toes sometimes, but Twain pulls it off.