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3.9 out of 5 stars42
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 December 2011
The title of this book encouraged me to send for it although I didn't know whether it was going to be interesting for an elderly lady of nearly 86.
Although I have it on Kindle I also sent for the book as I wanted a written record.
I found it thoroughly interesting. Factual, and in some places really funny. The personal experiences related within the book take you back years and yet it is also full of geographical, historical and other data. The author's grasp of human nature was really good too. I could see the old steamboats in my minds eye -0 I wish I could now!! I was completely absorbed with it until I regretfully finished it!!
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on 8 September 2010
This book loosely follows a trip taken by Twain along the length of the Mississippi. The story of the journey is constantly interrupted by short, entertaining tales related to Twain's prior career as a steamboat pilot. I am always impressed with Twain's storytelling abilities, and though this is not like his typical novel, I quickly devoured it. This book may have had additional significance to me considering I spent a decade living along the banks of the Mississippi. Nevertheless, Twain is always great and timeless.
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on 20 August 2011
I am nostalgic about this book, and therefore purchased it. The Kindle edition is nice to read and I liked the pictures. This is a great book, masterly yet entertaining and I enjoyed reading after twenty odd years. In short this is a book about life as well as about one of the greatest rivers in the planet.
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on 8 September 2015
I read this book each year and enjoy my few hours of wonder with the book.

Yes, there are lots of things that seem just silly. One example is that the main character has knowledge of solar eclipse over hundreds of years which aids him in the story. But, putting this aside, it's a lovely social commentary of civilisation and a good fun read.
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on 7 December 2011
In this, his fifth novel, Mark Twain satirises Arthurian romance with his inimitable wit. The eponymous Yankee, Hank Morgan, suffers a blow to the head and is sent back in time to sixth-century England. There he learns that the members of Arthur's court are naive, deluded idiots who choose to believe in fantastic deeds and embark on pointless quests simply because it is de riguer to do so.

Turning this perceived idiocy to his advantage, Hank attempts to modernise the culture with the eventual aim of overthrowing the monarchy and installing a democracy. He plans to achieve his goal by subtly subverting and eventually destroying the order of knights and the outdated code of chivalry by which they live their lives. The premise of an invading American forcing his beliefs on an underdeveloped culture is one which seems more relevant today than the day it was written.

Twain uses this time-travelling adventure as a vehicle to criticise facets of Medieval British society, such as the Catholic Church (which he believes hinders technological and social progression), the monarchy and the aristocracy, and to espouse the American ideals of freedom and democracy. 'A Connecticut Yankee...' is an enjoyable and amusing parody of Medieval Romance which doesn't require a knowledge of the genre in order for the reader to enjoy it.
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on 28 August 2006
In a lecture at Harvard in 1967, Borges said that over the years, fueled by his enthusiasm for Huckleberry Finn, he had read and re-read Life on the Mississippi. I also started reading this book because I wanted to return to Huck's world, but do not think I will ever re-read it, though undeniably certain passages are evocative and memorable. I did find it tiresomely factual in places. But if you have time to kill and long for Old Man River, there are certainly worse ways to pass the hours.
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on 11 November 2013
A book showing its age, whilst not becoming a classic to be read always. The plot comes across as too fabricated and episodic. There is a well-drawn imaginary picture of the times of King Arthur (whatever they were), but his prejudice against The Church is too much a 19th century American Protestant raging against European Religious dogma, and not enough of a balanced view of the 1st millennium in post-Roman Britain. The tale does move along, but seem to get nowhere. And there is some very funny dialogue, such as when the Yankee is talking completely across his female guide; very Groucho Marx!

So, perhaps worth reading, but only if you can't find something more useful to read, or if you have never read any Twain beyond Tom Sawyer.
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on 7 May 2014
I could not put it down. The language itself takes you to another era. I love travel but in this age, travel like that of Mark Twain is no longer possible. Nowadays speed is of the essence. Then it was accuracy and devotion to a craft. Even the attention to detail is that of a craftsman.
I knew another Mark Twain (I didn't realise till I began reading of his diverse acheivements).
Set aside some precious time. Relax in a peaceful setting and enjoy this wonderful book.
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on 26 August 2014
Surprisingly good, with lots of thoughtful insights about religion and class. I've never read much of Mark Twain - the orthographic representations of dialect speech always puts me off. But I really enjoyed this, which I downloaded to my Kindle almost by accident. No romanticism of chivalry - quite the opposite. Twain is on the side of the poor and the oppressed, and he makes clear the relationship between serfdom in sixth-century England and slavery in his own time.
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on 31 December 2013
A humorous romp through Medieval England with a 19th-century American who has been transported back in time. Twain's humor makes this story easy to breeze through, but you'll keep coming back for the powerful social commentary, and you may even wonder how fast Clemens is spinning in his grave today to see his beloved country going off the rails. Great read.
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