Time Travel discussion

63 views
Book Club Discussions > A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT - May 2015

Comments Showing 1-50 of 68 (68 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited May 05, 2015 09:35AM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
This one has gotten nominated several times a year ever since our group has started. I think many of us are glad to see it finally become a group read. So, for the month of May 2015, we'll be reading it together.

Being in the public domain, it's available free from various sources:
*Gutenberg: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/sear...
*Amazon (in parts): http://www.amazon.com/Connecticut-Yan...
*LibriVox (audio book, 2 versions): https://librivox.org/search?q=a%20con...

Pre-Reading Questions:
1. Have you read this before? If so, what are your sentiments and how long ago did you read it?
2. Tell us your fondest Mark Twain anecdotes or quotations.
3. Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?


message 2: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
“Anyone who can only think of one way to spell a word obviously lacks imagination.” -Mark Twain


message 3: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
“I haven't any right to criticize books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
― Mark Twain

I concur.


message 4: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 421 comments I have not read this book before, and I am having a really hard time getting into it.

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain


message 5: by Nathan, First Tiger (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 539 comments Mod
"Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat.

If man could be crossed with a cat, it would improve man, but deteriorate the cat."
-Mark Twain

This is my first time reading this story, though it has been on my list for a long time. I have been an enthusiastic fan of Twain's other works.


message 6: by Amy, Queen of Time (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
I haven't read it before either. I'm extremely curious.


message 7: by Chris (last edited May 03, 2015 11:38AM) (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments I "thought" I'd read it before. I even rated it. But now that I'm reading it, the book is not seeming familiar. I'm not liking it as much as I thought.

a) No explanation of 'how' or 'why' the main character came to be in Arthurian England.
b) He talks about how virtually no one can read, then quickly starts a newspaper. That makes no sense.

It reminds me of what Amy said about the last book. It feels a bit like a story that isn't really going anywhere, just a continuous trail of "and the he did this.....and then he did this....".


message 8: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments This is the second time I have read Mark Twain's tale of the Arthurian Age and the Yankee visitor. All those years since I first learned to read I have loved it. Now, reading it again, I see there are some grammar issues that may have not been a problem when it was written. I suppose it's possible that was the proper way to tell a story in Mark Twain's times. When I first read it, I didn't notice that at all. Since then I have become "educated" and even though I know how to write in an acceptable fashion now, I still love the story. I confess I am always in need of an editor in my own work. To me, the story is everything in any book. If it's not there it loses its luster, truly.

Consider this. What other book has been around down through the years since those first stories of King Arthur were written sometime in the 10th Century beginning with Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chrétien de Troyes, Layamon, and, most notably in English, Sir Thomas Malory with his Le Morte d'Arthur which ironically means the Death of Arthur? That title fortunately, was not accurate as a prediction. The story has lived on in new novels, film and several television series.

I honestly can think of only one other book of stories that has endured down through time. With an entire religion built around it.

Mark Twain joined many who have taken the Arthurian Legend and made it their own. I am as guilty of that as anyone. My latest novel uses that era as a setting for my story. I sought to give it a ride around the park in my mind and came up with something that was pleasing to write for me. That is my sole purpose in writing. I believe it's for entertainment.

Thanks for listening. :)


message 9: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments OK. I still don't like my two gripes mentioned above, but I'm starting to relax on the "no long term story...just he did this and then he did this thing".

I'm starting to realize that he's writing this in the style of the tales of old. They were much like this book in that they didn't have much of a long-term story, they were really more like a bunch of short stories. If you've ever read Le Morte De Arthur, it's exactly like that. I think Twain is just trying to mimic that style to some degree.


message 10: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 421 comments I have settled into the story a bit more now, it at least keeps my attention. I have to keep reminding my self of the time period when it was written. I am still very early in the book. I have never liked King Arthur, Merlin, or Knights of the Roundtable stories in general, so the time travel aspect just makes it barely interesting to me.


message 11: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 862 comments Well, since it's Twain, it's probably most appropriate to focus primarily on the satire, rather than adventure, or character development, anything like that. Is it a satire of (among other things) the Arthurian legend itself?


message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments Chris wrote: "OK. I still don't like my two gripes mentioned above, but I'm starting to relax on the "no long term story...just he did this and then he did this thing".

I'm starting to realize that he's writin..."


I agree, Chris. I hope I have learned from what we have discussed here. It is simply an affirmation of my own take on it.


message 13: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments Heather wrote: "I have settled into the story a bit more now, it at least keeps my attention. I have to keep reminding my self of the time period when it was written. I am still very early in the book. I have ne..."

Hello, Heather. No challenge intended, but I am merely curious why you have never like King Arthur and his Knights of The Round Table and, of course, Merlin.


message 14: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 421 comments I hated The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings too if that gives a clue to my taste, but I don't dislike all fantasy. I do not like reading about battles, is probably the main thing.


message 15: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited May 06, 2015 09:01AM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "I hated The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings too if that gives a clue to my taste, but I don't dislike all fantasy. I do not like reading about battles, is probably the main thing."

I think that's where my break down is with LOTR, etc. I find battle scenes boring. I would much rather the author tell me that a battle happened, who won, who lost, and what the consequences were. I have zero interest in "experiencing" guys (and/or girls) locked in battle.

I had a teacher in elementary school read The Once and Future King by T.H. White aloud to us, and I enjoyed it enough to end up doing a big research paper on the origins of the legend of King Arthur later in high school. I think The Once and Future King was more character-driven than battle-driven.

I had no idea there were so many fictional works based on the legend of King Arthur until I was trying to remember the name of the book I knew from childhood. The list is quite impressive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_.... For example, I had no idea Steinbeck had rewritten the Arthurian legends.

I think I still have that research paper somewhere in my attic. The original historical reference to Arthur was that he was a 6th century warrior who was successful in battle. Some historians argue that he was a British or Roman warrior, others say he was a British king, still others think he was a Celtic deity and never actually lived at all. Fiction sets him up forever in our minds as "King Arthur", gave him the knights of the round table, a quest for a holy grail, and all the figures that we have grown to love such as Merlin, Lancelot, and Guinevere. Those certainly don't appear in the early historical references to Arthur. But they certainly make for more interesting reading.


message 16: by Amy, Queen of Time (last edited May 05, 2015 09:35AM) (new)

Amy | 2210 comments Mod
Pre-Reading Question 3:
Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?


message 17: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 421 comments Ealiesst memories are from Disney's movie The Sword and the Stone.
First book related to King Arthur was The Crystal Cave which was just so so for me.


message 18: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments Heather wrote: "Ealiesst memories are from Disney's movie The Sword and the Stone.
First book related to King Arthur was The Crystal Cave which was just so so for me."


About same for me, I think.

I still have "The Sword in the Stone" on DVD and still watch it at least once a year. :D It was my favorite "Little Golden" book when I was a kid too. I read it and reread until the cover was lost.


message 19: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 421 comments and who could forget Monty Python and the Holy Grail


message 20: by Ingrid Geibel (new)

Ingrid Geibel | 10 comments "NE!" "It's just a flash wound"


message 21: by Ingrid Geibel (new)

Ingrid Geibel | 10 comments "Flesh" even


message 22: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments Heather wrote: "and who could forget Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
I'm sure the European swallows would like to forget it. ;)


message 23: by Mary (last edited May 06, 2015 01:07PM) (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments My book is actually my favorite because it was my intention to write a version of the story that pleased and entertained me.

A King In Time


message 24: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments Mary...I thought your book looked interesting and I even bought the kindle version yesterday.

However, I asked a question on it's GoodReads page, if you could answer.

The title shows "King of Time", though on both Amazon and GR, it lists it as "King of Time II". Is there another book before this one to give it the "II" moniker?


message 25: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments Chris wrote: "Mary...I thought your book looked interesting and I even bought the kindle version yesterday.

However, I asked a question on it's GoodReads page, if you could answer.

The title shows "King of Tim..."


Hi Chris,

Thank you so much for purchasing A King In Time II. Yes, it is intended to be a "sequel". I know it seems odd and certainly not the usual, but I decided to change the first novel so it would not be so long. Splitting up a story into two books is sometimes necessary when you want to keep the page count around a maximum of 300. I believe that would make the first one a "prequel".


message 26: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments Mary wrote: "Chris wrote: "Mary...I thought your book looked interesting and I even bought the kindle version yesterday.

However, I asked a question on it's GoodReads page, if you could answer.

The title show..."

I'm still confused then. Your GoodReads page only lists that book and Amazon doesn't have another under your name either. Where might one find the first book?


message 27: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments Chris wrote: "Mary wrote: "Chris wrote: "Mary...I thought your book looked interesting and I even bought the kindle version yesterday.

However, I asked a question on it's GoodReads page, if you could answer.

T..."


The prequel has not been published yet. There is a lot more work to do on it. I didn't decide to write that one until after the #II was published. I do believe the one you have stands alone and I believe there is nothing you would have missed by not reading them in sequence.


message 28: by W. (new)

W. Lawrence | 106 comments Publishing a sequel before the original... That's bold!


message 29: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments W. wrote: "Publishing a sequel before the original... That's bold!"

They do it in film all the time. Star Wars for example. :)


message 30: by W. (new)

W. Lawrence | 106 comments As I said, BOLD. Think about how original that was for Star Wars to do. Maybe it's been done before that, but not to the same effect me thinks.


message 31: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments W. wrote: "As I said, BOLD. Think about how original that was for Star Wars to do. Maybe it's been done before that, but not to the same effect me thinks."

Well thank you W. I think.


message 32: by W. (new)

W. Lawrence | 106 comments :)


message 33: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments W. wrote: ":)"

I've just thought of another series of novels known by most readers and writers. Before I mention this I would like to emphasize that I can only hope to be half as good as Tolkien. The Hobbit was published after The Lord of The Rings. I suppose that may have set the precedent for putting the cart before the horse, so to speak.


message 34: by W. (new)

W. Lawrence | 106 comments The Hobbit was written and published before LoTR, at least according to this...
http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/The_Lord_o...

My 'bold' comment was a compliment; hope it didn't come off as anything other than that.

And we've completely derailed this thread. :)~


message 35: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments It's not about the order as much as the naming to me. I would generally avoid anything with "II" until (or unless) I've read the first book.

I think the confusion is in the name only.


message 36: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments There was also something I thought of when I did that. I realized I could change it and I nearly did. However, if you read the story, you will learn there are two Arthur's.


message 37: by Chris (last edited May 10, 2015 05:38PM) (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments OK. I finished the book this morning. It took longer than it should have, but the format threw me off my game a little. I rated it 3 stars. I really, really wanted to rate it higher, but that's all I could muster.

I think it's great for what it is. It's a satire, as Mary pointed out. If you go into it knowing it's satire and that it's written in the style of those old tales (like Canterbury Tales or Le Morte De Arthur)...more like many short stories than one long one then maybe you'll be fine.

I wanted a 'book' because that's what I like to read and the format was off-putting to me. That being said, the satire was great and there was definitely some anti-slavery allegory thrown in. I liked the symbolism contained therein.


message 38: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments Chris wrote: "OK. I finished the book this morning. It took longer than it should have, but the format threw me off my game a little. I rated it 3 stars. I really, really wanted to rate it higher, but that's all..."

I believe your take on this book is right on. It's just a great difference in the time when it was written and how things are today. I too find it hard to read many of the classics when there are so many more written that relate to our times. I believe this is one reason why it is said often not to write dialog with accents or attempt to mimic how they talked in the past. How do we really know what they sounded like?

I'm glad you got something from the novel, Chris.


message 39: by Heather(Gibby) (new)

Heather(Gibby) (heather-gibby) | 421 comments I just started Part III of the book, and it is starting to pick up-I had tears rolling down my face with laughter (view spoiler)


message 40: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) So, I haven't had any time to read last month's or this month's, but I'm getting a kick out of reading everyone's posts. I was excited to add Timeline to my TBR, but based on everyone's feedback, I took it off. Now, it seems like it might be the same for this month's. I've never been a fan of Mark Twain, but this is a book I've always wanted to read. Maybe I'll keep this one on my TBR. At least this one is a classic, and I'll know what to expect with the satire and style of writing.

I have high hopes for June's read, and I think I'll be able to participate in that one. If not, I'll keep checking into these threads. Very informative, and I enjoy peeking at all the spoilers!


message 41: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 109 comments Quoleena wrote: "I've never been a fan of Mark Twain, but this is a book I've always wanted to read."

I've always been a big fan of Mark Twain. Some of his interviews have me rolling on the floor. In addition his criticism of James Fenimore Cooper is hilarious. (If it makes you feel better Quoleena, I am also a diehard Broncos fan.)

I started listening to an audio version of this book yesterday and I am uncertain as to how I feel about it. In places, Twain's satire shines through and it is priceless. In other places it has all the grace and poetry of a phone directory. On the upside, William Dufris is a great reader and puts a lot of Yankee charm into his rendition of the story.


message 42: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Tom wrote: (If it makes you feel better, Quoleena, I am also a diehard Broncos fan.)"

Nice! Stoked for this season now that Kubiak is back in town.


message 43: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Amy wrote: "Pre-Reading Question 3:
Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?"



Blow me to Bermuda! -Merlin in Disney's Sword in the Stone.


message 44: by Tom (last edited May 13, 2015 10:17AM) (new)

Tom Mathews | 109 comments Pre-Reading Questions:
2. Tell us your fondest Mark Twain anecdotes or quotations.

There are so many gems that it is hard to pick my favorite. Three that I really like are:
"I did not attend his funeral; but I wrote a nice letter saying I approved of it."

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21 I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."

"Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals...The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."

3. Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?

There are a lot of good ones but none surpasses The Once and Future King.


message 45: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) 3. Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?

I was first introduced to the legend of King Author from the movie, Excalibur. I watched it many times as a kid.


message 46: by Mary (new)

Mary Enck (maryenck) | 34 comments Quoleena wrote: "3. Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?

I was first introduced to the legend of King Author from the movie, Excalibur. I watched it many times as a kid."


I love Excalibur, the film. The actor who played Merlin did a magnificent job of conveying his mystique. The settings were so very close to my minds images and the music, Carmina Burana was so perfect.


message 47: by Tom (new)

Tom Mathews | 109 comments I just finished the scene where Sir Boss encounters the slave caravan. It's a fascinating scene in light of the fact that there are people who are trying to get Twain's work banned because of his use of derogatory racial identifiers. Nobody who reads this scene will have any doubts whatsoever as to where Twain stood on the subject of slavery. It is a heart-rending scene and he does nothing to soften the ugliness of it.


message 48: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments Tom wrote: "I just finished the scene where Sir Boss encounters the slave caravan. It's a fascinating scene in light of the fact that there are people who are trying to get Twain's work banned because of his u..."Absolutely true!! I thought that stance came out quite clearly in this book.


message 49: by Chris (new)

Chris (kingtermite) | 51 comments Lincoln wrote: "Amy wrote: "Pre-Reading Question 3:
Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?"


Blow me to Bermuda! -Merlin in Disney's Sword in the Stone."

Blow me to Bermuda!


message 50: by DL (new)

DL Orton (dl_orton) 2. Tell us your fondest Mark Twain anecdotes or quotations.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

(I read the book when I was in high school and didn't like it. Maybe I should give it another chance...)

3. Through which books/movies do you best know King Arthur?

Camelot with Richard Harris (OMG, he was good as Dumbledore in HP 1& 2 -- the new guy sucks), Franco Nero, and Vanessa Redgrave. There is some serious angst in that movie.

Mordred: [to Arthur about Guenevere] What a magnificent dilemma! Let her die, your life is over; let her live, your life's a fraud. Which will it be, Arthur? Do you kill the Queen or kill the law?


« previous 1
back to top