Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee At King Arthur’s Court”

The name Mark Twain, along with Hemingway, is the most recognizable name in American Literature for people who read…and even more amazing for people who do not. Twain’s life, like Hemingway’s, very often eclipsed their literary brilliance, but hopefully their writing genius will out live the myths they left behind.

Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court” is one of the most imaginative, satirical, political, and brilliant novels that I have ever had the pleasure to read. It’s a precursor to Mel Brooks’ films, a precursor to many of Woody Allen’s brilliant films and amazing screenplays. It’s a blueprint for “1984” and nearly a century ahead of Gabriel Garcia’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” I was so moved by this book on so many levels that it is almost impossible for me to categorize it in any way without diminishing its scope and grandeur.

The transportation of Hank Morgan of the late nineteenth century back to the sixth century is an odyssey like no other and Mr. Twain’s ability to draw parallels between the thirteen centuries that separate the two planes of existence is nothing short of pure genius. The writing is sublime, at times reminding me of Joyce, and at other times reminding me of William Faulkner…two men I have no doubt were in some ways influenced by Mr. Twain.

Any student of literature will at some point be introduced to Mark Twain’s works, but not necessarily to this book. I would strongly suggest to all students, and book lovers, to read this amazing work for it is as relevant today as the day it was published and as magical as the characters of Merlin and King Arthur which Mr. Twain so wonderfully envisions. (less)

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