A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

  • by Mark Twain
  • Narrated by Carl Reiner
  • 2 hrs and 59 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this mischievous yarn by Mark Twain, a Yankee mechanic named Hank Morgan is knocked unconscious in a fight and awakens to find himself at Camelot in AD 528. Brought before the Knights of the Round Table, he is condemned to death, but saves himself by using his 19th-century scientific knowledge to pose as a powerful magician.
After correctly predicting an eclipse, Hank is made minister to King Arthur, and goes on to counsel him on such matters as gunpowder, electricity, and industrial methods. But when he attempts to better the condition of the peasantry, he meets opposition from the church, knights, and sorcerers, and finds his efforts at enlightenment turned against him.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Courtis both a rollicking romantic fantasy and a canny social satire that only one of America's greatest writers could pen.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Carl Reiner meets Mark Twain--great comedy team!

Two great comedians coming together to entertain. Such fun! I felt in the mood for something light, and when I saw this Mark Twain classic read by one of the funniest men in present day media, I quickly got it. Alas, I failed to notice that it is the abridged version. However, Twain and Reiner are a rare treat and I might have passed it up if I had realized it was abridged, and denied myself a wonderful listen.

I read the book years ago, and was charmed by the story of Hank, struck on the head in a fight, who awakens in Camelot. (One might say he was the original Time Traveler). He is puzzled by all the simplicity and lack of "modernism" (as Twain then viewed it, during the administration of President Buchanan). But Hank himself is quickly viewed with curiosity and suspicion by the people he meets who are 13 centuries back in time. He is going to be burned at the stake until he comes up with his marvelous trick of knowing how to predict the coming eclipse, to establish himself as an important person in the court. He is able to show the people how to use some labor-saving devices and suggest ideas that are new to them.

This is part comedy, and part commentary on issues such as taxes, that undoubtedly had dual meanings for Twain's readers (and for us, now). His description of wearing a suit of armor is priceless, so funny I was laughing out loud. Twain's charming wit and humor has lost nothing over the years, and is wonderfully brought to life by the great reading of Carl Reiner. And what is equally fun is present day readers looking back in time at someone else looking farther back in time--as we listen to Mark Twain's ideas about what is "modern."

Sure, I wish I had gotten the unabridged version, but this was sort of like having a little gourmet dessert after ingesting lots of heavier meals lately in the book world. This is charming and funny. I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because it should never have been pared down (in my opinion). A great little listen.
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- Kathi "Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-29-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.