Monday, October 6, 2014

Classics Club: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain was my Classics Club Spin List book. The illustrations were by Daniel Carter Beard, one of my favorite authors. (He wrote The American Boys' Handy Book; his sisters wrote The American Girls' Handy Book. Both are great books!) The illustrations add a lot, but at times detracted from the story because the words wrapped around the illustrations and thus were greatly separated, making it hard to read.

Lots of stuff gets blown up!

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I don't enjoy stories about knights, in fact, those parts of the book were the boring parts. But I love stories like Robinson Crusoe and The Swiss Family Robinson, stories where people make a civilization. In a way, I guess you could say that this was that kind of story. A hard-working, industrious Yankee gets transported back to the time of Camelot, and through his "magic" becomes THE BOSS (I love this name!!) The basically brings Camelot to the nineteenth century, while battling Chivalry and the Church.
One of Daniel Carter Beard's illustrations

Beware, this book is American, thoroughly American. But then again, so is Mark Twain. However, if you get annoyed by Americans and American stereotypes, you might not like this book.

Because I once mixed up Joseph Stalin and Samuel Clemens

I really agreed with most of Twain's thoughts on political and religious freedom. Only Mark Twain can make political and social commentary enjoyable to read. Because Mark Twain is sooo quotable, here are some quotes that I don't remember reading, but according to Goodreads come from this book:

“My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.”



“Unlimited power is the ideal thing when it is in safe hands. The despotism of heaven is the one absolutely perfect government, and earthly despotism would be the absolute perfect earthly government if the conditions were the same; namely the despot the perfectest individual of the human race, and his lease of life perpetual; but as a perishable, perfect man must die and leave his despotism in the hands of an imperfect successor, an earthly despotism is not merely a bad form of government, it is the worst form that is possible.” 
WHAT!! There's a Bing Crosby movie of this!!!

“Training- training is everything; training is all there is to a person. We speak of nature; it is folly; there is no such thing as nature; what we call by that misleading name is merely heredity and training. We have no thoughts of our own, no opinions of our own; they are transmitted to us, trained into us.” 

Which is why parents should discipline their kids!!! BTW man does have a nature, a sin nature.

I really enjoyed this book! It would be perfect, but that ending.... 

4 comments:

  1. A book I've always wanted to read. Sounds interesting. Emma

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  2. It is quite the interesting book. :) Overall I liked it but yeah... that ending. :)

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  3. I loved Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer, but always felt wary about this one!

    What's wrong with the ending? Can you explain without spoilers?

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  4. Emma- It is interesting! You should check it out!

    Lois- I know! I was reading like "What!!!"

    Brona- I haven't completely read Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer, but I'd say it probably has a different feel. It's a good book though!

    The ending is reallly depressing and sad. It's also very unexpected.

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