A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court–Mark Twain

Robert Pinsky listed A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain in his top ten.

I didn’t like it.  This is actually going to be a short post about it, that’s how much I was eh about the whole thing.

First though, the things I did like:

1.  Many of the things I noticed here, Mark Twain also uses his 19th century narrator who is in Arthurian times to point out.

2.  He does brilliantly at mixing both the langue of Mallory and 19th century language, having both the narrator (a man from the 19th century) reacting oddly to the language and mores of the people around him and the people around the narrator also reacting oddly to the language and mores of the narrator.

3.  This could almost be seen as a forerunner to such books as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Terry Pratchett’s recent books, first titled Long Earth.

Basically, the premise of the book is that a man from 19th century America travels back in time to Arthurian England.  He sets about to abolish many of the things he finds reprehensible, the control of the land by the church, the reverence for a monarchy and nobility that exists, slavery, and knights’ refusal to bathe.

The reason I didn’t like it?  It bored me, to be honest.  Which is sad, because in some ways it shouldn’t have been that boring of a book.  I also know others who really like it.  But, if I had to recommend a Twain from all that I have read (three of them lol), I’d recommend Huck Finn any day.

I could go on in further detail about why it bored me, but there doesn’t seem to be much point to that.  I was reassured when Dave did tell me it wasn’t his favorite Twain novel either.  And, the fact that only one author listed it in their top ten, whereas quite a few authors listed Huck Finn, was also completely reassuring to me.

I’m sorry Mr. Pinsky.


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