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The Camelot Papers
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The Camelot Papers

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A revisionist, politically satirical history of Camelot told through the stories of a young slave
Paperback, 456 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Second Age, Incorporated (first published June 5th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Sylvia Becker
When I picked up Peter David’s The Camelot Papers, I expected a short and humorous tabloid-like book. Imagine my surprise when I realised that it was a journalised narrative of life at Camelot told by the most unexpected character. David provides a believable and enjoyable view of many well-known characters that will keep Arthurian fans hooked. While reading this book, I giggled, laughed out loud, and almost choked on my drink at least twice, so I definitely regretted that it ended.

I rarely laug...more
Wow, does this have a deceptive cover.

The tabloid parody cover image combined with the author, who often indulges in madcap humor and bad puns, led me to expect a comic romp. This is...not that. Deeply cynical, this has more in common with David's bitter Sir Apropos of Nothing, minus the puns. It's pretty much devoid of humor, in fact.

It's a clever enough retread of the rather worn Arthurian legend, though. I particularly liked the complicated relationship between Morgan and Guinevere. Other cha...more
Having read Peter David's previous variations on the Arthurian cycle (Knight Life, One Knight Only), I found myself drawn to this book. Having the cover look like the cover of a tabloid magazine certainly helped my decision to purchase it, as I knew something amusing was within.

On the surface, you have Viviana, a slave, writing about the goings on in Camelot, and all the behind the scenes goings on. And on that level, this is an amusing story.

It's also a satire of how modern popular and politica...more
These 'found' papers run a bit chaotic and forced, with some coincidences that force the reader outside the world too many times to count.

Viviana is a slave who has had a really educational upbringing but her father sold her into slavery for some reason never fully explained. While she has adopted the survival mindset of a slave, she still had enough spunk to attract the attention of the royalty and ultimately find herself the handmaid of the queen.

Viviana develops nicely throughout the length o...more
Cristi Wilcox DiGenova
This was entertaining, though the cover is definitely misleading as to the style of the book. The book consists of excerpts from the journal a slave girl in Camelot, so doesn't read like a tabloid or newspaper at all.

However, the cover does clue you in that, for whatever reason, the author decided to get into some very thinly veiled 9/11 commentary in the second half of the story. I mean maybe the first half was some other type of commentary on the civil war that I didn't get, but when an assass...more
First of all I must admit that I don't know the legends of King Arthur and Camelot very well, so quite sure there were many details missed on me. Nevertheless the concept is entertaining enough even for people with superficial knowledge of the stories.

On the other hand, when the book presents itself as the "real" history, it would be much more impressive if it actually read as historical fiction, not just another retelling of the legend. Some of the ideas expressed by the characters are much too...more
Peter Ravlich
I purchased the ebook as part of a fantasy bundle, and wasn't expecting much, based on the cover art: maybe a slightly amusing parody, at best.

I opened it for a casual browse (after finishing the books I'd bought the bundle for)... and put it down a few hours later, having devoured every word.

Vivid, accessible characters, a great narrative voice and an amazingly fresh treatment of Arthurian myth, the only fault I could ascribe would be in common with all great stories: it ended far too soon.
Phil Giunta
Vivianna is certainly a rare commodity in the days of Camelot--a literate woman. More, a literate woman sold into slavery by her father. Upon her arrival at Camelot, however, her life as mere chattel begins to take some amazing, compelling, and at times disturbing twists that allow her to rise to the status of the the queen's handmaiden.

Of course, the very fact that she can read and write immediately places her under suspicion from the other slaves, making her pariah even among the lowest class...more
The story of King Arthur and Camelot are so well known that another mere retelling seems completely superfluous. Fortunately, Peter David seems to agree, and instead gives us the "true" story, as told through the diaries of Viviana, Guinevere's slave/handmaid. Through her point of view, we see a Camelot that is very different than the traditional version, and yet one that feels very plausible.

In the end, the story is a commentary on how public perception, historical perspective, and the media pu...more
Shiromi Arserio
The Camelot Papers follows Viviana, a young woman sold into slavery and brought to Camelot. As a servant who can read and write, Viviana (at least initially) goes unnoticed by those of rank in the castle, and is thus able to record the “true” events of Arthur Pendragon's rise to power. For those that are familiar with his Knight Life series, this book is not in any way related to that earlier series.

I am a huge fan of Peter David's work from way back when, so I was pretty excited when I learned...more
A fascinating look into an alt-history of er.. well.. the Camelot legend. The story is told from the point of view of a slave's journal in Camelot. Her observation on 'station in life', the interactions of the knights, court intrigue, and ultimately falling up the ranks into better lot in life, but pulled into the suck for aristocratic life. There's quite a bit of allegory on modern politics, women’s rights, discussion on the nature of perception based on where in the heap you are, treatment of...more
Juli Monroe
As several reviewers have mentioned, it's not what you expect from the cover. I was expecting light parody, and it was more dark satire. That said, it was excellent. I can see the parallels to modern politics, and, while that's not ordinarily my thing, I enjoyed it here. I have read many Arthur reinterpretations, and this one was quite different, but I wasn't always sure where David was taking it, and I enjoyed the uncertainty.
It's hard to believe my motivation in buying the book was to support the author's recovery from a stroke, but there you have it. Would that I was introduced to this masterpiece in another way, though, because I absolutely adored it. Even without understanding the political satire laced within, the story stands strong on its own as ostensibly yet another Arthurian tale. Viviana as our narrator and literate slave carries us through the day to day workings of the castle through her eyes. Normally I...more
I enjoyed this short piece of fantasy. It was very balanced. Good background, character development, humor, violence, romance, plot twists, set up for more stories to come. It wasn't as epic (in terms of "goodness" or quality, not length) as some of the books that I've read, but it just felt extremely balanced and, because of that, fun to read.
I thought it was rather funny. It got a bit long-winded toward the end, but an ok read for leisure. Don't expect much though, it is more the author's attempt to twist everything you thought you know about the Arthurian legend on its head.
A very tongue-in-cheek look at the story of Camelot and King Arthur as told by a slave maiden in the castle. Very funny at times and also very poignant. This exactly what I would expect from the twisted skull of Peter David. Fun read.
This was probably my favorite of the book-bundle.

A bit cheeky, definitely quirky, and a fun twist on the traditional Arthur tale. Who'd have thought Lancelot was afraid of blood, Galahad was a mute, or Arthur was dim-witted?
I very much enjoyed reading this. I've always been a sucker for anything "Arthurian", and I love how this story has combined the familiarity of the legends with a new point of view and some interesting and often amusing twists on the characters.

I'll be reading more of Peter David's work :D.
Patricia Ferreira
A lot of fun this book, extremely well humoured and entertaining, telling the story of King Arthur and his court from the point of view of someone who saw all that as absurd and not in the least heroic.
The cover is wildly inappropriate. I don't know the Arthurian legends very well, so I'm sure I am missing a lot when reading this. It is acceptable, but uninspiring.
A very clever take on the Arthur legend. Funny and smart. Laughed out loud several times while reading it. Not at all what I expected.
Emily Leathers
Just not very interesting. I far prefer Marion Zimmer Bradley if I'm going to read alternate Arthurian legend.
David Williams
This is a lot of fun. So glad the journal of Viviana was discovered so that we can get the true version if what happened at Camelot. Writer Peter David gives us a funny and yet serious view of world of Camelot seen through the eye of the slave Viviana. All of the usual suspects are here. There are times where it gets a bit silly, particularly if you've ever read any actual medieval history. It was not meant to be a realistic portrayal. Instead it is a thinly veiled piece of political humor. For...more
In spite of the cover and Peter David's typical style, this book is not a comedy. It's a unique perspective on the typical story.
Funny and also very smart. It is a clever twist on the King Arthur legends, and very enjoyable.
Joshua Berman
I really enjoyed this take on the authorial legend. Really changing up the usual perfection of the characters to make them human instead of archetypes. The style of the book to be a journal written from a slave's point of view really made the book interesting.
Somewhat diverting. A quick read.
***Dave Hill
Despite the rather garish "cover" and teaser, this is a (relatively) straightforward Camelot tale, told from the perspective of the slave Viviana, inadvertent confidant to the major players (Arthur, Guinevere, Morgan, Mordred, Merlin) of the Arthurian cycle.

Mordantly entertaining, and (with a few not-so-subtle references to modern political affairs) an entertaining and engaging view of Camelot and its denizens.
Dean Garrison
Dean Garrison is currently reading it
Oct 01, 2014
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aka David Peters

Peter Allen David (often abbreviated PAD) is an American writer, best known for his work in comic books and Star Trek novels. David often jokingly describes his occupation as "Writer of Stuff". David is noted for his prolific writing, characterized by its mingling of real world issues with humor and references to popular culture. He also uses metafiction frequently, usually to humo...more
More about Peter David...
Imzadi (Star Trek the Next Generation) Q-Squared Q-In-Law (Star Trek: The Next Generation, #18) X-Factor: The Longest Night Vendetta (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

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