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ENDURING LITERATURE ILLUMINATED BY PRACTICAL SCHOLARSHIP

A nineteenth-century American travels back in time to sixth-century England in this darkly comic social satire.

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A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience

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Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9781416561583
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It was good to get my teeth into this, having meant to read it for a long time. I enjoyed the humour, and the political commentary, despite not agreeing with it and preferring (with a somewhat guilty pleasure) the shining chivalric version of Camelot to the dirt, ignorance and stupidity of this world. Parts of it felt very ranty and not like a story at all -- like the story was a vehicle for the political rants. Which is the way some authors work, and I suspect I'll find it in at least some of Twain's other work, when I revisit -- as a child, I didn't see it that way, but children tend not to.

There's lots of amusing ideas, and I kinda wish this was on my Arthurian Lit course to discuss -- I don't think it is, but you never know, I still might be able to write an essay on it...

It's definitely not so much about Arthur/Camelot as it is about Twain's own day, though. Don't be deceived.more
I kept waiting for some grand end to this book, something that would give the rest of it purpose. And the closest I got was the suggestion that perhaps the world would be better off it all the ruling monarchs were replaced with ruling cats. A large part of me wanted that to be the ultimate conclusion. It wasn't. Still, the book was entertaining (though I must confess I skipped over a hefty portion of the period writing--I just couldn't take it).Overall, it was a fun book. There was a mix of humor and a look at what makes people behave the way they do. The book was a little long, and I kept waiting for that "Aha!" moment, but it was worth the time and effort it took to read.more
Mark Twain was considered a humorist during his lifetime and this book definitely shows his talent in that area. As the reader progresses through the adventure of Hank also known as "The Boss" we see items from the "future" being incorporated into the 6th century environment - knight's armor used as advertising billboards, newspaper (when most residents couldn't read), schools and factories.Slavery was a blatant issue throughout with both the Boss and Arthur ending the Slave market at one time. But the amusing details that Twain adds - Child's Name being HelloCentral, cycling knights instead of riding horses, pipe smoking seeming to be a dragon - all has the reader laughing and smiling throughout. I'm usually not a big fan of Classics, but this one was fun!more
What happens when a man from 19th century Connecticut suddenly finds himself in the world of King Arthur? He tries to modernize the place, of course. It's a quite humorous look at a man who can outperform the magician Merlin by equipping them with useful gadgets like telephones. He even trains the armed forces with 19th century weaponry. I'm not a huge fan of time travel stories, but this one was just absurd enough to keep me laughing. Twain's imagination in this novel is certainly one of the things that probably endeared him so much as a 19th century humorist. I suspect that a 21st century Connecticut Yankee would be burned at the stake as a witch when he came up with the Internet and other inventions that have transpired in the 125 years or so since the writing of this work.more
When a “modern” 19th-century New Englander gets hit on the head and finds himself in King Arthur's England, it's obvious that there will be a clash of cultures. Hank Morgan doesn't think much of the average medieval person (or even the above average ones). From his “advantage” as a beneficiary of industrial age inventions, he sees the people of Camelot as simple-minded and superstitious. He does find one person with promise, a young man he calls Clarence. With Clarence's help, Hank surreptitiously embarks on an improvement plan to introduce the wonders of 19th-century technology into Arthurian Britain.Even though 19-century technology is no longer what anyone would consider modern, it's fun to see the anachronistic blending of distinct historical eras, such as knights wearing sandwich board ads or competing against each other in baseball. Twain lived at the right time to tell this story. He couldn't have written the same book today. It's just believable that a 19th century man could train enough laborers to replicate 19th century technology as long as the raw materials were available. It would be much harder for a single 21st century man (or woman) to train medieval laborers to build a computer, a cell phone, a television, or an airplane, and connect them all with the Internet.I thought I had read this book years ago, but only the first few chapters seemed familiar to me. Maybe I started the book but didn't finish it. I listened to an unabridged audio version this time. It took a while for me to warm up to the narrator. Or maybe it took him a while to become fully invested in the story. I also discovered that some parts of the book don't work well in audio format. Twain uses archaic language and speech patterns when the medieval characters tell stories. These parts of the book are difficult to follow in audio format. I would encourage most readers to start with the book and save the audio version for a re-read.more
I thought I would like this book. I like time travel and I like the legend of King Arthur. It didn't take very long however before I knew I wouldn't like it as much as I expected to. The big reason is that the narrator continually degrades the people of King Arthur's time as lacking intelligence. It's always brought up that he is the smarter one and everyone else is a bit slow. This bothered me. I don't believe in societies being more civilized or less primitive than other societies. As an anthropologist, it is a big deal for me that everyone realizes no societies is superior or inferior to any other society. Now I do realize that this book was written in the late 1800s, which was a time were unilineal evolution was very prevalent (Thinking that societies other than western society are inferior and that they are not yet civilized). And because of this I can see why this superiority is found throughout the book. It still bothers me. :) The book does bring up some very important issues about things like slavery, the effects of caste systems, and taxes. It turned out that was most of what the book was about; social commentary. I didn’t mind that all that much although it did seem to get slightly preachy. There are some fairy funny parts and overall it was an interesting story. But it didn’t really satisfy me. I do think it is a great classic book. There are tons of good discussions that could be pulled from it in classrooms or book discussions. I am glad I finally read it, even if I won’t ever read it again.more
What a very American book! I read that Mark Twain was writing this as a satire, criticizing the institution of slavery, but for me, it's a bit of a parody of how the Americans go into developing countries around the world and try to muscle through changes in the name of advancement, civilization and democracy, in disregard of local customs, sensitivities, etc. Not that I think that local customs and all the things that are defended in the name of 'local culture' are necessarily good, and in fact the values that Mark Twain is promoting are values that I do agree with in principle, but the gung-ho cowboy way of going into other countries is something distinctly American. Or at least, I think it agrees with the way much of the world views Americans... :p In any case, a bizarre story--I'm not sure what to make of it in the end.more
With just a vague memory of the film adaptation starring Bing Crosby, some notion of the influences it has had on Doctor Who, and the cover illustration as a guide, I approached A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court expecting a typically structured but entertaining story of a man out of time and although Twain/Clemens’s tale begins in that mode, it quickly tips over into a far darker meandering satire on Western imperialism and industrialisation. The protagonist Hank Martin is a loathsome figure and even though the story’s told from his POV, I slowly became more and more protective of the Arthurian characters who barely seem to deserve the treatment the Yankee gives them. But that’s Twain/Clemens’s point I think; how the modern versions of us, apparently so sophisticated, are desperate to sap the magic from the world, be it in nature or man itself. A difficult read but a transportative one. This is psychogeographical literature.more
Mark Twain has used the subject of knighthood and King Arthur to write about problems of the nineteenth century. His main character, Hank Morgan, is hit on the head and wakes up in Arthur’s England. With New England ingenuity, he soon has modern conveniences like electricity, schools, telegraph, telephone, railroads, etc. Many of his adventures are hilarious, but several are graphic and heartrending. One of the best sections involves the quest to free friends of Lady Alisande la Carteloise who have been enchanted by ogres. This is the same Sandy who speaks in very long sentences, at least a page or two in length, and puts most everyone to sleep!When I read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court as a teenager, I was caught up in the Camelot mystique and did not choose to recognize the issues that Twain was trying to preach to his audience. Slavery was still raw in this country; there was a wide gulf between the haves and have-nots; education was not free to all. The established church also did not far well in this novel. (The Boss wanted to replace the Catholic Church with a free-form system of Protestant churches.) By far, the most interesting section was the lesson on economics where the wages paid to a worker and the price of goods could make the less-well paid worker much better off. But most disturbing to me was the wanton killing – life was cheap and not really valued. The nobility killed and cared not. Even Hank kills many knights and doesn’t seem to see the parallels. But just maybe, this is one of the things that Twain wants us to notice - this and the parallels to life in the author’s day.Reading this book may make you uncomfortable but it will make you think. It was well worth the re-reading these many years later.more
I'm going to disagree with the other reviewers here and say that I found A Connecticut Yankee largely disappointing. It's been said that it marks the transition from Twain as an idealist to Twain as disillusioned. I found him already on the latter side of that hill, and the text often came across as bitter and annoyed and not very funny, which isn't good since it's supposed to be a satire. Twain apparently blamed Sir Walter Scott for the Civil War because the South fell in love with chivalry as represented in his works, and so he was, at least in part, criticizing that. But that in itself tells me how mistaken he was, because I can't see Sir Walter Scott, over in Scotland, having much to do with the Civil War in the United States.Now, as to Huck Finn...I found it a hell of a lot better work.more
Like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee uses the literary and historical past to satirize the idealization of the medieval period and the fictions of Sir Walter Scott, which Twain held responsible for the willingness of the South to enter the failed cause of the Civil War. Hank Morgan works in an arms factory in modern day Hartford, Connecticut, but a blow to the head sends him back into the world of Camelot and King Arthur. Rather than idyllic, the world into which Hank enters reeks of superstition, cruelty, poverty, misery, and moral chaos, including slavery. The drama unfolds as the skill of Hank in manipulating physical reality transforms him into a demi-god, which in turns sparks his desire to eliminate, through all means necessary, the superstitious world that confronts him. This takes the form of a total war that before its time anticipates the carnage of WWI and the outcome of the clash between psychological ignorance and belief and modern scientific and technological "wizardry." Although the tone is occasionally clumsy, and although the book cannot hold a candle to masterpieces by Twain such as Huckleberry Finn or The Mysterious Stranger, Connecticut Yankee contains one passage, about the nastiness of attempting to live inside armor that is so hilarious it brings tears to the eyes.more
I loved this book. It was short and funny.more
While I admit there were several funny scenes in this book, overall it is bitter and boring. Twain was angry at the Catholic Church at this time and it shows. The premise is awesome, but it needed to be much shorter.more
Overall I found this disappointing. It had a few good bits in it, where the author/narrator rails against oppression and injustice and a few moving and horrifying scenes depicting said oppression and injustice. However, these were surrounded by oceans of silliness in which the author is preoccupied with reproducing the details, both good and bad, of 19th century American society into 6th century England (of course, it is not really 6th century England, as it is the Thomas Malory depiction of King Arthur in the style of high Medieval chivalry). Despite his self-proclaimed lofty ideals and opposition to the violence of the era, the narrator uses violence himself and casually causes the deaths of 25,000 knights in the final battle. This may be authorial comment on 19th century white American treatment of the native American and Black populations, but I rather doubt it - it all seems too trivial to be satirical.more
I picked up this book in a second hand shop, because I was curious what Twain would have made of this nice idea: a technically well educated 19th century man in the court of Arthur. I did not expect too much, and I was right to: the story is secondary to the political messages in this book, and the story is not very interesting. I read a lot of it diagonally - the book is very slow in places. A bit disappointing, and I wonder if this will stay a "classic" - I think it might quietly disappear in the mists of time.”more
Mark Twain's classic tale of culture clash. The narrator was great.more
A delightful humorous account of time travel by Mark Twain. Reading a work from the 1880's by an author writing in the "style" of England in the 6th Century was at times difficult to understand. Twain's humor shielded in serious dialog made it even more difficult. But nonetheless I did enjoy reading Twain's views on slavery, economy, health, chivalry, and religion from eyes that had just seen the bloody American Civil War. The accounts of his character hank's interactions of slavery were heart wrenching as well as the stories of poverty, illness and injustice. Twain's goal in this work was to ridicule chivalry, some say because of Southern attitudes towards chivalry during the war. I expected many great quotes, but only this one stood out, "My acquaintance smiled - not a modern smile, but one that must have gone out of general use many, many centuries ago." (p, 16) And one more, Hank has just met Clarance who informs hank he is a page, "Go 'long, I said; "you ain't more than a paragraph." (p.28)01-2010more
Sometimes rambling, but an excellent case against state controlled societies and the harm it does to the human spirit.more
One of Twain's better novels. It's hilarious, especially if you've read Thomas Malory or other old Arthurian stories, but it's also much, much darker and weirder than I'd expected.more
Twain's version of Gulliver's Travels, with wonderful satire on the nature of the modern world thrown in.more
If you've only seen the Danny Kay adaptation, then don't judge this book by its movie. The novel is darker and deeper, with an outcome as inevitable as it is unlikely. Twain's witty take on the now classic, even cliched, time traveller tale is American Science Fiction at its best.more
A satirical look at the era of King Arthur's court from the viewpoint of a 19th century man. I found this book more practical and political that I had expected. Hank Morgan, the Connecticut Yankee, introduces modern conveniences and inventions into a superstitious and poor era.more
I loved the idea of this tale. A man with full knowledge of modern marvels somehow travels back to a much less civilized time and wreaks havoc. But after the initial fascination wore off, it became a rather tedious read.The main character suddenly finds himself in medieval times, surrounded lunacy and superstition. A well-timed eclipse is the only thing that saves him from execution, and he then begins using his knowledge of modern conveniences to claim his position as a man of magic. Initially, it's fun and interesting, but it soon becomes one "magic" display after another, while the locals act like idiots, until the whole thing blows up and he finds himself back in the modern day. I suppose it would make for a good movie, but as much as I like Twain, I have to say I am more than finished with this bookmore
Read all 35 reviews

Reviews

It was good to get my teeth into this, having meant to read it for a long time. I enjoyed the humour, and the political commentary, despite not agreeing with it and preferring (with a somewhat guilty pleasure) the shining chivalric version of Camelot to the dirt, ignorance and stupidity of this world. Parts of it felt very ranty and not like a story at all -- like the story was a vehicle for the political rants. Which is the way some authors work, and I suspect I'll find it in at least some of Twain's other work, when I revisit -- as a child, I didn't see it that way, but children tend not to.

There's lots of amusing ideas, and I kinda wish this was on my Arthurian Lit course to discuss -- I don't think it is, but you never know, I still might be able to write an essay on it...

It's definitely not so much about Arthur/Camelot as it is about Twain's own day, though. Don't be deceived.more
I kept waiting for some grand end to this book, something that would give the rest of it purpose. And the closest I got was the suggestion that perhaps the world would be better off it all the ruling monarchs were replaced with ruling cats. A large part of me wanted that to be the ultimate conclusion. It wasn't. Still, the book was entertaining (though I must confess I skipped over a hefty portion of the period writing--I just couldn't take it).Overall, it was a fun book. There was a mix of humor and a look at what makes people behave the way they do. The book was a little long, and I kept waiting for that "Aha!" moment, but it was worth the time and effort it took to read.more
Mark Twain was considered a humorist during his lifetime and this book definitely shows his talent in that area. As the reader progresses through the adventure of Hank also known as "The Boss" we see items from the "future" being incorporated into the 6th century environment - knight's armor used as advertising billboards, newspaper (when most residents couldn't read), schools and factories.Slavery was a blatant issue throughout with both the Boss and Arthur ending the Slave market at one time. But the amusing details that Twain adds - Child's Name being HelloCentral, cycling knights instead of riding horses, pipe smoking seeming to be a dragon - all has the reader laughing and smiling throughout. I'm usually not a big fan of Classics, but this one was fun!more
What happens when a man from 19th century Connecticut suddenly finds himself in the world of King Arthur? He tries to modernize the place, of course. It's a quite humorous look at a man who can outperform the magician Merlin by equipping them with useful gadgets like telephones. He even trains the armed forces with 19th century weaponry. I'm not a huge fan of time travel stories, but this one was just absurd enough to keep me laughing. Twain's imagination in this novel is certainly one of the things that probably endeared him so much as a 19th century humorist. I suspect that a 21st century Connecticut Yankee would be burned at the stake as a witch when he came up with the Internet and other inventions that have transpired in the 125 years or so since the writing of this work.more
When a “modern” 19th-century New Englander gets hit on the head and finds himself in King Arthur's England, it's obvious that there will be a clash of cultures. Hank Morgan doesn't think much of the average medieval person (or even the above average ones). From his “advantage” as a beneficiary of industrial age inventions, he sees the people of Camelot as simple-minded and superstitious. He does find one person with promise, a young man he calls Clarence. With Clarence's help, Hank surreptitiously embarks on an improvement plan to introduce the wonders of 19th-century technology into Arthurian Britain.Even though 19-century technology is no longer what anyone would consider modern, it's fun to see the anachronistic blending of distinct historical eras, such as knights wearing sandwich board ads or competing against each other in baseball. Twain lived at the right time to tell this story. He couldn't have written the same book today. It's just believable that a 19th century man could train enough laborers to replicate 19th century technology as long as the raw materials were available. It would be much harder for a single 21st century man (or woman) to train medieval laborers to build a computer, a cell phone, a television, or an airplane, and connect them all with the Internet.I thought I had read this book years ago, but only the first few chapters seemed familiar to me. Maybe I started the book but didn't finish it. I listened to an unabridged audio version this time. It took a while for me to warm up to the narrator. Or maybe it took him a while to become fully invested in the story. I also discovered that some parts of the book don't work well in audio format. Twain uses archaic language and speech patterns when the medieval characters tell stories. These parts of the book are difficult to follow in audio format. I would encourage most readers to start with the book and save the audio version for a re-read.more
I thought I would like this book. I like time travel and I like the legend of King Arthur. It didn't take very long however before I knew I wouldn't like it as much as I expected to. The big reason is that the narrator continually degrades the people of King Arthur's time as lacking intelligence. It's always brought up that he is the smarter one and everyone else is a bit slow. This bothered me. I don't believe in societies being more civilized or less primitive than other societies. As an anthropologist, it is a big deal for me that everyone realizes no societies is superior or inferior to any other society. Now I do realize that this book was written in the late 1800s, which was a time were unilineal evolution was very prevalent (Thinking that societies other than western society are inferior and that they are not yet civilized). And because of this I can see why this superiority is found throughout the book. It still bothers me. :) The book does bring up some very important issues about things like slavery, the effects of caste systems, and taxes. It turned out that was most of what the book was about; social commentary. I didn’t mind that all that much although it did seem to get slightly preachy. There are some fairy funny parts and overall it was an interesting story. But it didn’t really satisfy me. I do think it is a great classic book. There are tons of good discussions that could be pulled from it in classrooms or book discussions. I am glad I finally read it, even if I won’t ever read it again.more
What a very American book! I read that Mark Twain was writing this as a satire, criticizing the institution of slavery, but for me, it's a bit of a parody of how the Americans go into developing countries around the world and try to muscle through changes in the name of advancement, civilization and democracy, in disregard of local customs, sensitivities, etc. Not that I think that local customs and all the things that are defended in the name of 'local culture' are necessarily good, and in fact the values that Mark Twain is promoting are values that I do agree with in principle, but the gung-ho cowboy way of going into other countries is something distinctly American. Or at least, I think it agrees with the way much of the world views Americans... :p In any case, a bizarre story--I'm not sure what to make of it in the end.more
With just a vague memory of the film adaptation starring Bing Crosby, some notion of the influences it has had on Doctor Who, and the cover illustration as a guide, I approached A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court expecting a typically structured but entertaining story of a man out of time and although Twain/Clemens’s tale begins in that mode, it quickly tips over into a far darker meandering satire on Western imperialism and industrialisation. The protagonist Hank Martin is a loathsome figure and even though the story’s told from his POV, I slowly became more and more protective of the Arthurian characters who barely seem to deserve the treatment the Yankee gives them. But that’s Twain/Clemens’s point I think; how the modern versions of us, apparently so sophisticated, are desperate to sap the magic from the world, be it in nature or man itself. A difficult read but a transportative one. This is psychogeographical literature.more
Mark Twain has used the subject of knighthood and King Arthur to write about problems of the nineteenth century. His main character, Hank Morgan, is hit on the head and wakes up in Arthur’s England. With New England ingenuity, he soon has modern conveniences like electricity, schools, telegraph, telephone, railroads, etc. Many of his adventures are hilarious, but several are graphic and heartrending. One of the best sections involves the quest to free friends of Lady Alisande la Carteloise who have been enchanted by ogres. This is the same Sandy who speaks in very long sentences, at least a page or two in length, and puts most everyone to sleep!When I read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court as a teenager, I was caught up in the Camelot mystique and did not choose to recognize the issues that Twain was trying to preach to his audience. Slavery was still raw in this country; there was a wide gulf between the haves and have-nots; education was not free to all. The established church also did not far well in this novel. (The Boss wanted to replace the Catholic Church with a free-form system of Protestant churches.) By far, the most interesting section was the lesson on economics where the wages paid to a worker and the price of goods could make the less-well paid worker much better off. But most disturbing to me was the wanton killing – life was cheap and not really valued. The nobility killed and cared not. Even Hank kills many knights and doesn’t seem to see the parallels. But just maybe, this is one of the things that Twain wants us to notice - this and the parallels to life in the author’s day.Reading this book may make you uncomfortable but it will make you think. It was well worth the re-reading these many years later.more
I'm going to disagree with the other reviewers here and say that I found A Connecticut Yankee largely disappointing. It's been said that it marks the transition from Twain as an idealist to Twain as disillusioned. I found him already on the latter side of that hill, and the text often came across as bitter and annoyed and not very funny, which isn't good since it's supposed to be a satire. Twain apparently blamed Sir Walter Scott for the Civil War because the South fell in love with chivalry as represented in his works, and so he was, at least in part, criticizing that. But that in itself tells me how mistaken he was, because I can't see Sir Walter Scott, over in Scotland, having much to do with the Civil War in the United States.Now, as to Huck Finn...I found it a hell of a lot better work.more
Like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Connecticut Yankee uses the literary and historical past to satirize the idealization of the medieval period and the fictions of Sir Walter Scott, which Twain held responsible for the willingness of the South to enter the failed cause of the Civil War. Hank Morgan works in an arms factory in modern day Hartford, Connecticut, but a blow to the head sends him back into the world of Camelot and King Arthur. Rather than idyllic, the world into which Hank enters reeks of superstition, cruelty, poverty, misery, and moral chaos, including slavery. The drama unfolds as the skill of Hank in manipulating physical reality transforms him into a demi-god, which in turns sparks his desire to eliminate, through all means necessary, the superstitious world that confronts him. This takes the form of a total war that before its time anticipates the carnage of WWI and the outcome of the clash between psychological ignorance and belief and modern scientific and technological "wizardry." Although the tone is occasionally clumsy, and although the book cannot hold a candle to masterpieces by Twain such as Huckleberry Finn or The Mysterious Stranger, Connecticut Yankee contains one passage, about the nastiness of attempting to live inside armor that is so hilarious it brings tears to the eyes.more
I loved this book. It was short and funny.more
While I admit there were several funny scenes in this book, overall it is bitter and boring. Twain was angry at the Catholic Church at this time and it shows. The premise is awesome, but it needed to be much shorter.more
Overall I found this disappointing. It had a few good bits in it, where the author/narrator rails against oppression and injustice and a few moving and horrifying scenes depicting said oppression and injustice. However, these were surrounded by oceans of silliness in which the author is preoccupied with reproducing the details, both good and bad, of 19th century American society into 6th century England (of course, it is not really 6th century England, as it is the Thomas Malory depiction of King Arthur in the style of high Medieval chivalry). Despite his self-proclaimed lofty ideals and opposition to the violence of the era, the narrator uses violence himself and casually causes the deaths of 25,000 knights in the final battle. This may be authorial comment on 19th century white American treatment of the native American and Black populations, but I rather doubt it - it all seems too trivial to be satirical.more
I picked up this book in a second hand shop, because I was curious what Twain would have made of this nice idea: a technically well educated 19th century man in the court of Arthur. I did not expect too much, and I was right to: the story is secondary to the political messages in this book, and the story is not very interesting. I read a lot of it diagonally - the book is very slow in places. A bit disappointing, and I wonder if this will stay a "classic" - I think it might quietly disappear in the mists of time.”more
Mark Twain's classic tale of culture clash. The narrator was great.more
A delightful humorous account of time travel by Mark Twain. Reading a work from the 1880's by an author writing in the "style" of England in the 6th Century was at times difficult to understand. Twain's humor shielded in serious dialog made it even more difficult. But nonetheless I did enjoy reading Twain's views on slavery, economy, health, chivalry, and religion from eyes that had just seen the bloody American Civil War. The accounts of his character hank's interactions of slavery were heart wrenching as well as the stories of poverty, illness and injustice. Twain's goal in this work was to ridicule chivalry, some say because of Southern attitudes towards chivalry during the war. I expected many great quotes, but only this one stood out, "My acquaintance smiled - not a modern smile, but one that must have gone out of general use many, many centuries ago." (p, 16) And one more, Hank has just met Clarance who informs hank he is a page, "Go 'long, I said; "you ain't more than a paragraph." (p.28)01-2010more
Sometimes rambling, but an excellent case against state controlled societies and the harm it does to the human spirit.more
One of Twain's better novels. It's hilarious, especially if you've read Thomas Malory or other old Arthurian stories, but it's also much, much darker and weirder than I'd expected.more
Twain's version of Gulliver's Travels, with wonderful satire on the nature of the modern world thrown in.more
If you've only seen the Danny Kay adaptation, then don't judge this book by its movie. The novel is darker and deeper, with an outcome as inevitable as it is unlikely. Twain's witty take on the now classic, even cliched, time traveller tale is American Science Fiction at its best.more
A satirical look at the era of King Arthur's court from the viewpoint of a 19th century man. I found this book more practical and political that I had expected. Hank Morgan, the Connecticut Yankee, introduces modern conveniences and inventions into a superstitious and poor era.more
I loved the idea of this tale. A man with full knowledge of modern marvels somehow travels back to a much less civilized time and wreaks havoc. But after the initial fascination wore off, it became a rather tedious read.The main character suddenly finds himself in medieval times, surrounded lunacy and superstition. A well-timed eclipse is the only thing that saves him from execution, and he then begins using his knowledge of modern conveniences to claim his position as a man of magic. Initially, it's fun and interesting, but it soon becomes one "magic" display after another, while the locals act like idiots, until the whole thing blows up and he finds himself back in the modern day. I suppose it would make for a good movie, but as much as I like Twain, I have to say I am more than finished with this bookmore
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