Twain—Episode One hundred eighty-eight (pts 1-2)–The End is Nigh

Heather

Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

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19 Responses

  1. Diane Stevenson says:

    I agree. This was an ending I hadn’t expected. I kept waiting for the boss to get whisked out of Camelot back into his own time, but not with such a nightmare of tragedy.
    Every Arthurian tale ends Camelot. The bright shining hope gets tarnished by the weakness of men and women, and then is engulfed in a wave of darkness. The only thing remaining is a faint memory of the dream. Twain remains true, and his is the only ending that would make the whole tale plausible.
    I think I would love this book if only for that.
    The dark ending makes the lighter moments all the more precious.
    Thank you for passing Twain’s gift on to all of us.

  2. Heather P (not O) says:

    Oh Heather…you know my love for you is strong…very strong…I mean..us Heathers gotta stick together, but oh my. I’m very sorry, but the ending didn’t even do it for me. I was just horrified by all of it, from beginning to end…and I normally really enjoy Twain and enjoy his humerus ways. I just couldn’t do it. I slogged through and just finished it today…since I’ve been avoiding the podcast entirely until this week. This is the first one you’ve picked that I just couldn’t like, no matter how much you tried to get me to.

    Sorry 🙁
    But…going through Christmas Carol now! YAY

  3. Kidnurse Cindy says:

    Whoa!I am pretty much stunned at the ending of this book. It strikes me right there in my almost a complete pacifist heart. I see parallels between the Boss and his hubris in his thinking that his beliefs and his small band of handpicked young men are “right” in going against all of England and the current mess of wars we are sending handpicked young men and women off to fight. No one wants to say these are wars about religion or belief but … I can understand that those we are fighting against see it as that. ( I say I am almost a complete pacifist because I just cant resolve the whole Hitler thing in my head but anyways…)
    Thank you Heather for your thought provoking presentation of this book.

  4. Kathryn says:

    Loved the ending. I like how Twain allows the Boss’s arrogance to become hubris (just as we learn that our Boss is just a guy named Hank). I like how the adventure-comedy turns to horror. I like how we learn that, although the Boss has believed all along that he’s bringing civilization to the 6th Century, in the end, he’s bringing a more terrific type of barbarism.

    Heather, I would not have enjoyed this book without your witty, weighty, and wonderful contextualizing. Thank you!

  5. Taphophile says:

    What Ehren said. I was transported by this book and got lost in its many, many layers. I’ll be back for more Twain.

  6. Jen says:

    I’m in the “thumbs up” group for ACYIKAC. I’m ashamed to admit that I hadn’t read much Twain. I enjoyed Twain’s word play in this book, his subtle humor, sarcastic and self-deprecating.

    I even enjoyed the subject matter – well, not enjoyed as much as felt a kinship to his subjects. My husband and I are “in service” in England to an Earl & Countess and let me tell you that the feudal system is not dead. I have experienced the ridiculousness of the class system first hand. It was cathartic to see Twain hold it up to examination.

    Thank you for reminding me of a solid author whose work I’ve overlooked for too long.

  7. Katerina says:

    Heather – I am a few weeks behind and am trying to download episode 188 part one – and can’t seem to get it to download, either on iTunes or on this page – any assistance/suggestions?

    iTunes says ” There was a problem downloading “188-pt1–The End is Nigh”. The URL “http://traffic.libsyn.com/craftlit/CraftLit_18_111410.mp3” could not be found on the server

    And when I click on the links above it takes me directly to part 2

    I was hoping to catch up over the Thanksgiving holiday!

    Thanks
    K

  8. Jocelyn says:

    Heather, I’m so, so glad that you picked Twain, and this Twain in particular. I’ll admit that I was really excited with the decision to read Twain, especially one that I was unfamiliar with. I got so much out of listening to your insights into the language, elements of satire, etc. I know that I would have had a much different (and poorer) experience with the book if I had read it on my own, or as a younger student. Thanks so much for sticking with it — I loved it!

  9. Stephanie says:

    Wow. So often this is all I can say for a while after the end of these books. As usual, thank you so much for bringing the joy of literature back to me. You are truly a blessing in my life.

    oh, yeah. The book may have been long and at times tortuous but it ended as all great comedies do; with reality.

  10. Josie says:

    I really enjoyed the book. I have no problem with mixing comedy and tragedy. Although in modern literature we’re not used to reading large chunks of each but rather having ‘comic relief’ within tragedy and tragic episodes in comedy. I do wonder whether the book would be published today in our formulaic literary world, even if it were seen as breaking the mould most publishers wouldn’t take the risk which is a shame.

  11. Thanks for writing this article. Though it do not seem to me the way I truly think about it.

  12. Bonnie says:

    I read this book years ago and it helped me get an A inSocial Studies when we had to set up a developing society. Yay, Twain.

  13. penny says:

    oh heather, thank you. ACYIKAC is the one book in my life i pretended to read — in 8th grade… and it’s definitely not a book that 8th grade me would enjoy or get. i didn’t get humour then. i didn’t get the subtlety. i did not get a lot of things even though i was in all the honours classes. or probably because i was. i think i made it about 10 pages in … but i skimmed the cliff notes and wrote a good enough paper and just didn’t care. 😉 but it’s bothered me, and the book has been on the list since college. and 31 yo me is very happy you did it and i really enjoyed it. there will be a second read. and a third. in time. i have a few others i’ve been meaning to get to ….

  14. Brenda says:

    Ok, I was seriously getting tired of ‘The Boss’. He was arrogant, foolish, and just not a likeable character. Yes, I get what Twain was going for, to show us what a buffoon the man was, but I was really not liking him. Sort of how I would leave the room when my husband watched ‘House’,because no matter how brilliant, he’s a jerk(House,not my husband). I am really glad that I stuck with listening to the story-I have faith in you, Heather! His love for Sandy was redeeming and the end…jeez it soo sounded like WWI, and like Ehren Z. said, what a kick in the stomach! Thank you for making me (and probably others) stretch a little, as good teachers always do.

  15. Emily says:

    I was absolutely ready to be done with ACYIKAC but because listening is often a more passive activity than reading and Heather was there to walk me through even the most dragging of sections, I made it through. I don’t think I ever would have if I was reading this on my own but in the end I enjoyed the total experience. I am an absolute sucker for anything involving Twain’s life as a husband and father because it is obvious that there was such a deep affection, love and respect on his part so with Heather there to point that out, I fell a little in love. I’d still like to give the Boss a good talking to at times but “perfect” characters are boring and he came around in the end.

  16. penny says:

    re part I–Do you know about inkscape for vector? I am not a graphic designer, but I can do quick things in it. I love my Tom Bihn Co-Pilot bag. It was pricey, but totally worth it. They make really really good stuff. I am drooling over the Field Journal. ok, now onto Twain …

  17. Sandy says:

    Wow, just wow! Totally unexpected and heart-wrenching. Thanks for bringing us to the end in one episode like this. Very thought provoking.

    I’m looking forward to Dickens, again. I had started listening to A Christmas Carol last month, but I will wait and listen to it with you.

    Thanks!

  18. Heather, Brilliant! I just finished listening to the episode, and am beside myself with a hoard of conflicting emotions. I am amazed and angered that this book has gone out of common knowledge, and so thrilled to have been brought to it again by your show. The vague knowledge I had, regarding this book, was of fluff and little substance- oh how wrong I was. It is a crime it’s no longer taught in schools! All at once so clever, humorous, satirical, and in the end how devastating and heart wrenching. I’ve read some Twain before, and knew he was good… but this book has kicked me in the stomach. Thank you. Thank you, and again, thank you!

  1. November 29, 2010

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