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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  92,751 ratings  ·  2,983 reviews
One of the greatest satires in American literature, Mark Twain's 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' begins when Hank Morgan, a skilled mechanic in a nineteenth-century New England arms factory, is struck on the head during a quarrel and awakens to find himself among the knights and magicians of King Arthur's Camelot. The 'Yankee' vows brashly to "boss the whole ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Simon Schuster (first published 1889)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Anne
Jan 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Ever.
DNF 60%

description

I just came to the realization a few minutes ago that I'm a grown-ass woman who doesn't have to read boring shit.
And THIS?
This was some boring shit!
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that classics aren't 'my jam', but A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court looked, on the surface, fun enough to be readable.
BZZZZT!

description

Ok, for example:
This woman (whatshername) is reading a reallyreallyreally dull account of some fight between knights. But instead of just SAYING, "Whatshername reads a really dul
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: twain-mark
Forget Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, this is Twains´ greatest work.

And his unknown, shorter stories, all doing the only thing to make humankinds´ extreme stupidity and cruelty bearable, by satirizing them in a way no other classic author could or dared. Although some of it was released after this death, so he knew about the dynamite. It´s very meaningful that, even today, his great social criticism is almost forgotten, or deliberately ignored, in contrast to his much more famous novels that
...more
Ariel
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare that I get swept up in a story for class, but this book managed it! I've never read any Mark Twain before, and this was a super fun place to start with. This book was hilarious, clever, and endlessly interesting. It's biggest fault for me is its length - there really is no reason for it to be this long, especially since the narrative is very much anecdotal and actually felt a lot like a short story collection. I'm very interested in picking up another Mark Twain in the future!
Kara
Nov 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Most people think they know this story - but they don't - they just know the fish-out-of-water story that is just the surface of this book; this is really a story of about the biggest problems Mark Twain observed in his time period, including slavery, abuses of political power, unchecked factory growth, child labor, and frightening new war technology. The final battle scene eerily predicts World War One. While the book has many funny moments, it's really a somber, reflective, sad story.
Ahmad Sharabiani
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. In the book, a Yankee engineer from Connecticut named Hank Morgan receives a severe blow to the head and is somehow transported in time and space to England during the reign of King Arthur. After some initial confusion and his capture by one of Arthur's knights, Hank realizes that he is actually in the past, and he uses his knowledge to m
...more
Evgeny
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic
A buddy read with Anne, Ginger, and Jeff. Please let me know if I forgot anybody.

Does it even make sense to give a brief plot description for a classic book? I always do, so here goes. A typical 19th century Yankee (from - you guessed it - Connecticut) ended up in 6th century, right at King Arthur court. Using modern skills and knowledge he secured the second position of the kingdom and not liking the current state of affairs tried to change them hoping to establish a republic.

I cannot fully ex
...more
Lyn
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain is a must read classic.

It is so much more than Bing Crosby fooling the medieval English into believing he created a solar eclipse. It is so much more than a time travel novel and anachronistic knowledge. It is so much more even than a satirical vehicle to examine the deficiencies in romantic England and a tongue in cheek critique of his own nineteenth century culture.

This book is all these and all put together under the genius umbrella
...more
Jim
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know why this book doesn't rank higher among the classics & isn't discussed more. Twain manages to highlight more of our human & modern society's ills & graces than any other book I've read. This is not just a man out of his time, but a journey of discovering just how large, fast changes, seemingly made for the best, can actually be horrifying with unforeseen consequences. (Sound familiar? Haven't we all been talking about how technology & the Internet has changed our lives so much recen ...more
Jeff
Welcome to Mark Twain’s cranky, bilious period!

Beset by financial problems, bad investments and the complete failure of his meth lab experiments…



…Twain looked to work off some steam.

He was too old for hookers, so he wrote this book.

The blurb on the back of my edition throws a lot of prospective literary terms at the reader: Satire? Utopian vision? Romantic fantasy? Hilarious Comedy? Well, the fact that all these are bandied about should give you pause for thought, because this book is difficul
...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Feb 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, usa
Man, there is so much potential criticism of modern times in this book, but I would be remiss to dissect it within the framework of my own reality given that I am not an historian, not Mark Twain, this book is not specifically relevant to or directly critical of my world so much as a persistent shadow upon it, and it is straight-up just not 1889 or 5 to 15-something right now. Oh, and thank the old gods and the new for that shit. I've known a lot of re-enactors and Fantasy/Medieval literature bu ...more
Michael
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this years ago, mostly on a commuter train between New Jersey and New York, and I'm convinced the other commuters--mostly men in suits--must have thought I was bonkers because I kept bursting out in laughter. There was one passage I remember re-reading several times, just to see if I could get through it WITHOUT laughing. Alas, no! They really must have thought I was nuts that day. Sure, there is a lot that is improbable and questionable in this book, especially in the set-up (guy gets hi ...more
Darwin8u
"There is no accounting for human beings."
- Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

description

I expected Twain to be good, but this was much better than I expected. I was hoping for a good time-travel rollick in King Arthur's court, but I also got a bit of Marxist criticism of both the Catholic Church AND the monarchy. And, AND, it was super quotable (as you would expect from Mark Twain).

So, come for the anachronistic story, but stay for Twain's critique of monarchy, nobility, slavery, and
...more
Roy Lotz
I managed to be quite disappointed in this book. Yes, some parts are clever and funny, especially near the beginning; but by midway the joke had gone stale, and by the end I was elated to be done with it.

The main problem, for me, was that Twain’s satire is almost wholly directed at the mythologized world of King Arthur. Twain rips apart this world readily enough, but I could not see the purpose in his project. Why bother to write a whole book mocking a time that never existed? I suppose the a
...more
Erik Graff
Oct 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
One of the many good things about lying in order to avoid junior high school is that it allows time to read good books. Having done the old "thermometer to the light bulb" trick, I spent a very productive couple of days home in bed reading, among other things, Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

My parents weren't entirely stupid. My frequent illnesses had to be demonstrated by coughing, dripping, abnormal temperature and the like. Since they were still suspicious, it was a ru
...more
Megan
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iah-207, school
This is a paper I wrote for a class on this novel.

As John Dalberg-Acton, an English historian, politician, and writer, once said “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This theme is illustrated by the character of Hank Morgan in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Hank believes that he is the saving grace for the people of Camelot using capitalism as his means to set them free. However, can someone force freedom and a new ideology onto people, and was Hank really just tryi
...more
Joe Valdez
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next stop in my time travel marathon (November being Science Fiction Month) was A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court, the 1889 satire by Mark Twain believed to be the first "time travel" novel ever written. Episodic in nature, delightful in fits and starts but long on text and quite short on character, there's a wonderful book in here if you're a fan of Twain's irreverence and patient enough to wait for it.

The story gets off to a marvelous start with a tourist at Warwick Castle meetin
...more
Gary Inbinder
3.5 stars

If you're looking for a humorous, time-traveling romp through Arthurian England you'll be disappointed. The humor in this novel is dark and, IMHO, much of it not very amusing. For the most part, this story is a caustic satire of chivalry, monarchy, nobility, and established religion.

The protagonist is a late 19th century superintendent of a large arms factory--based on Hartford's Colt Armory--who's transported back to 6th century England by a blow on the noggin received during a fight
...more
Natalie
Sep 24, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hank, a Yankee from Early America, has found himself in the sixth century. He's now a pupil of King Arthur, a member for Britain, and he's challenged that time periods most magical and dangerous man--Merlin. However, with his superior knowledge and the sciences from his world he is easily able to out stage and out smart not only Merlin, and all other challengers, but the Kingdom itself. He starts small, wanting to add soap and bathing into the equation for cleaner and more sanitary persons. He ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom “Donald Trump” Sawyer meets Don Quixote.
Holly
Apr 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics, dnf, buddy-read
Mark Twain is dead to me. Ok, so he's dead anyways, but you know what I mean. This book is terrible! TERRIBLE! How terrible? Well, over the span of 70 days I only got to the 60% mark and I just could not force myself to finish it. Why was this book so hard to read? A primary example would be the fact that at one point, a single sentence spans THREE WHOLE PAGES of the book. That's right. You have to read three full pages of text until you finally see a period. While perhaps an impressive use of s ...more
Sarah
Jul 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
A book about going to a backwards place, dominated by an ignorant faith and blowing a lot of stuff up in the name of freedom. If you can be non-cynical enough, you might be able to find sympathy for our American freedom-fighters in Iraq by reading of Hank's well-meaning attempt at a socio-political overhaul. I won't tell you how it ends, but your world won't be too rocked. This book is really amazing to read from our contemporary perspective. Here's a cusp-industrial mind writing on the dark age ...more
Sesana
A late-19th century American travels back in time to Arthurian England. This, of course, not really Arthurian England, or even medieval England, but a sort of mythical Dark Age with Arthurian elements. Twain had quite a bit to say about the past that his accidental time traveler finds himself in. Though that relates at least as much, if not more so, to his present day than it did to the Middle Ages. It can be funny, even darkly so, at times.
Franklin Peach
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I Read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain to my kids (7-9). Having never read this classic before I expected it to be a little bit more 'kid oriented' than it was. There were many times when my 7 and 9 year-olds struggled to make it through the book.

Yankee had so many facets to it that it is hard to pin down. At times it is laugh out loud funny, or highly ironic and other times the humor is quite dark. At still other times it is down right preachy, especially against Medie
...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, so Mark Twain. This is the only one I've read, once way back when and just now. MT/SLC - he's not really part of the curriculum or general literary zeitgeist in Canada. So I don't really know much about him or about that Huckleberry boy and the other one, Tom. I'm likely talking out of my hat when I say, if you liked them you've just got to like this one. Although maybe this is more directly scathing and satirical?

Connecticut Yankee is an eviscerating take-down of the entire British social
...more
David Eppenstein
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, fiction
The title of this book would seem to give the reader a fair idea of what the plot will be and that is true to an extent. However, the idea the reader will take from the title is not entirely accurate. I, for one, thought the protagonist of this story would be a young boy. After all the story is about King Arthur and isn't Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable a favorite fantasy of all young boys and aren't many of Twain's books about the adventures of young boys? Well I was wrong since the pr ...more
Ian
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mark Twain wrote A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 130 years ago.

But he could have written it yesterday.

10 years ago this would have been a 3~4 Star book.

Today it's 5 Stars just for what it says about the current political climate.

About the idle rich, the poor people who facilitate their greed, the church. One of the most prescient books I've read.
Rachel Aranda
This was one of my maternal aunts favorite books when she was younger. When she heard I really enjoyed reading two of his other works she urged me to read this one next. It hurts to say this but for me this is not Mr. Twain’s best work.

The premise for this comedic historical fiction is very interesting. A man named Hank Morgan, an engineer from Connecticut, gets hit in the head by one of his coworkers and is transported back to the time where King Arthur reigned over England. He tries to make t
...more
Sue K H
3.5 stars. I liked this, but the satire got old at times. For a book this long, I needed characters to care about, but everyone was an everyman.
East Bay J
Sep 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Having read and enjoyed several of Jack London’s books, it dawned on me to try out some Mark Twain. It was with a certain amount of excitement that I approached A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court but, ultimately, found myself disappointed.

The concept of the book, that a resident of 1860’s America suddenly finds himself transported to sixth century England in the court of King Arthur, is pretty good. However, this book is just so long. The writing is not as sharp as in other Twain works.
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
A classic that deserves to be. I loved it when young and still think it's great. If you haven't read this I'd recommend that you find it. It's great.


**********

The above was my earlier minimalist review of the novel in question. I'd like to elaborate a bit. At the time Twain wrote this the idea of time travel was unquestionably not cliche. Twin's picture of the "competent every-man American" dropped into the midst on King Arthur's court is by turns comic and tragic.

Our hero (The Boss)seems to la
...more
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15,086 followers
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He is noted for his novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), called "the Great American Novel", and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876).

Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which would later provide the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. He apprenticed with a printer. He also work
...more

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