Just about everyone knows who Mark Twain is. Most of us have read or seen Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, at least. In 1889 Twain released a book with a very long, very specific title: A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court. Now, Audible has released a audiobook of it, narrated by Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation).
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court tells the story of a Yankee engineer from Connecticut who is accidentally transported back in time to the court of King Arthur. The man is captured by one of the Knights of the Round Table and would be held in the dungeon until he is ransomed, except he has no friends. So he uses his knowledge of the past (now the future) to convince everyone that he’s a magician. He would bring forth modernization well before it’s time, showing them demolitions, fireworks and how to shore up a well — but he can’t prevent the death of Arthur.
The book is often considered one of the founding trilogy of books that created the time travel genre, along with HG Wells‘s 1888 The Chronic Argonauts and Edward Bellamy‘s 1888 Looking Backwards.
Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a new release of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court as narrated by Offerman. The actor’s natural mid-western accent and easy style serves the story very well. Twain is the quintessential storyteller, and Offerman moves through the text like he’s sitting around a campfire telling the story to old friends. There is a natural flow to the performance that brings the book alive.
This is the second Twain novel that Offerman has narrated, previously performing The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which I’ve now put on my to-read list. The pairing of Mark Twain and Nick Offerman may be the most perfect coupling in a long time.
This is an Audible.com exclusive release.