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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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