Hank Morgan is a modern man, given to modern mechanical thinking. One day, however, a blow to the head accidentally sends Hank back in time 1300 years to the age of Camelot.
In Camelot, Hank avoids execution by proving himself to be a powerful magician. Once spared, Hank puts all his energy into making a life as an assistant to King Arthur. This involves many adventures and misadventures. He also attempts to introduce education and technological innovation to dark ages England.
I noticed . . .
I noticed that Hank is quite aggressively attempting to bring nineteenth century life to the sixth century.
I also noticed that Hank completely takes Merlin’s place in this story. Hank, rather than Merlin, becomes the power behind Merlin’s throne.
I noticed that everyone knows about Lancelot and Guinevere–except Arthur.
I wondered . . .
I wondered how long Hank was in King Arthur’s court. It really sounds like he spends a good ten or more years there, but it’s hard to tell the passage of time.
I wondered how it was possible for Hank to get the raw materials and produce the products that he needs for his innovations. The infrastructure and factories that he needed would have changed the whole landscape of England. I know I’m splitting hairs since this is a fantasy novel, but I found this to be more than a little unrealistic.
It reminded me of . . .
Twain is truly brilliant at snarky social commentary. The snarky social commentary reminded me a little of Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation. I’m not saying that Vowell’s commentary is the nearly as good, but they have a similar tone.
We listened to the wonderful Audible narration from Nick Offerman. He also did the narration on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and it was great too!
This was a listen-to with the kids, and all four of my children (even the nine year old), really enjoyed it.