6.30.2010

Wednesday Book Recommendation: June Booking It Update


Yes, I'm still Booking It with Jessica over at Life as MOM...but today I feel like a bit of a fraud. You see, I was supposed to easily finish my June Booking It choice, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, but I got sidetracked by a rather large project as well as one of my supposed-to-be-beach books. You can see what I thought about Beach Book #1 in my earlier post, but now I'm here at the end of the month and I'm only halfway through my June Booking It selection. Oops. So let me tell you how I feel about the book up to this point and I promise I'll finish it before I move on to my July choice!


A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

In many ways I'm not surprised my Booking It choices had been dust collectors on my book shelves all these years. I have struggled to stay interested in The Lost World, Taliesin, and now A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. However, unlike the first two books, there have been some redeeming aspects of the story line, and as I have gotten deeper into the plot I have found some grand passages and have caught myself chuckling a time or two. One such passage is found in Chapter 13, "Freemen!" and I'm using it in a pre-July 4th post this coming Friday. Another passage, which directly follows the aforementioned paragraphs, is also where President Franklin D. Roosevelt claims to have gotten the term, "New Deal". In describing certain a group of wandering freemen, Twain has the Connecticut Yankee offer up his take on the situation:

"And now here I was, in a country where a right to say how the country should be governed was restricted to six persons in each thousand of its population. For the nine hundred and ninety-four to express dissatisfaction with the regnant system and propose to change it, would have made the whole six shudder as one man, it would have been so disloyal, so dishonorable, such putrid black treason. So to speak, I was become a stockholder in a corporation where nine hundred and ninety-four of the members furnished all the money and did all the work, and the other six elected themselves a permanent board of direction and took all the dividends. It seemed to me that what the nine hundred and ninety-four dupes needed was a new deal." (Pg. 85, Signet Classics edition)

I would not say that A Connecticut Yankee is in the same league as Tom Sawyer or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, but the more I read of it the more interesting it becomes. Some of the language still causes my eyelids to become quite heavy - okay, okay, I've fallen asleep twice while reading this book - but as the story progresses it gets more interesting. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started it, and I certainly didn't expect for the Yankee to make all the political and social changes to King Arthur's court and realm, but it makes for some funny reading. There are times when I have found myself amazed that Mark Twain was writing this over 120 years ago as much of his humor seems very modern. This, more than anything else, makes me appreciate (once again) Twain's talent as an author.

Overall Opinion of the Story: 4 Stars
Plot: 3.5 Stars
Humor: 3 Stars
Recommendation: 3 Stars (if you just want to read a Twain novel, start with something else)

I'll be linking up to Jessica's Booking It post when that next comes around. In the meantime, happy reading!

All Amazon links are part of the Amazon Associates program. All opinions are my own.

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