The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King #1-4)
The whole world knows and loves this book. It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlin and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly, of wizardry and war. It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad. It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.
Besides that, I am just not a fan of "Authur" stories, despite my deep love of the Disney movie The Sword and the Stone, of course. Ever since I saw the musical "Camelot" in the theater when I was in high school, the story just didn't appeal to me. Then my book club chose this as our month...more
Somehow, T.H. White takes the legend, undresses it, and gives it a new kind of dignit...more
Since it's a big monster of a book, I took a steak knife to it, as I often do, and cut it in half so I could carry it about and read it on the subway without breaking my back. Here's the new cover I put on my DIY'd "vol 2," from Vice magazine. I find it creepy & rath...more
Way back when, I took a college class in Arthurian literature. This book was not included in the course which had us read just about everything else written about the legendary king. By the end of the semester I was sick of King Arthur, the round table, the Holy Grail and knights in general; as a consequence, I didn’t bother reading this book until now. Before I finally picked it up I assumed it would be something like Camelot (a crappy musical); I heard Lerner and Lowe based the music...more
A complex and multi-tiered depiction of the epic Arthurian legend. This book is unlike any other I've read either focusing on the myth or simply in terms of fantasy writing.
While the story begins with The Sword in the Stone, a novel I had already read years ago it was refreshing to re-familiarize myself with T.H. White's eccentric and unique style of portraying the character of King Arthur as a child. In fact I believe The Sword in the Stone is the deepest depiction of the childhood Arthur I ha...more
This novel is actually divided into four 'books' within itself, and while you can read the four books out of order, it really is meant to be read from front to back.
The first book, "The Sword In The Stone", is much like the Disney animated movie that was adapted from it. There ar...more
I had never heard of the book until it was mentioned in Bryan Singer's X-Men movies. Xavier talks about it with his students and Magneto can be seen reading it while in his plastic prison. Because all great works of art are connected I had to read the book. I didn't even know it was about King Arthur and his knights until I found it on Amazon.com.
Like most people I was familiar with the...more
1) See here for the association of the musical Camelot with the Kennedy Administration.
2) Here's an extended quote from the first page of the book, to indicate the flavor ... (don't confuse with Harry Potter, this was written in 1938).
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays it was Court Hand and Summulae Logicales, while the rest of the we...more
The first book, "The Sword in the Stone," follows Arthur's childhood, and it's dippy, whimsical, and laden with fantasy. It is, in fact, not too far from the Disney cartoon adaptation of the same name. Arthur has all kinds of adventures...more
I love this book so much, you guys. I feel like I can’t even articulate it. It is possibly my new favorite book.
The Once and Future King is a book about nostalgia, though not in the typical sense. It’s hazy and dreamy and romantic, and it has some of the loveliest prose you’re going to find anywhere, but it’s not about the idealization of the past. If anything, it can be read as an examination of its failure: all throughout the book,...more
This is a sad, sad, sad, sad book. And also very funny. The first book is the funniest, and then they get sadder. It's like White took the Malory Morte d'Arthur and sucked all the silly stuff out of it so what's left is the essence of the Arthur legend in all its tragedy and glory.
And it was written at a horribly sad time. After two World Wars, things weren't looking too bright around Europe and that outlook colors EVERYTHING that was wri...more
Questa saga mi ha davvero sorpresa. Eppure ne ho letti di testi arturiani. Chrétien de Troyes, Thomas Malory, 'Il Cavaliere verde',varie reinterpretazioni ...sono arrivata a conoscere la storia praticamente a memoria.
Beh,non solo il nostro Terence la conosceva ancora meglio, ma l'ha compresa così a fondo che ha ridisegnato le dinamiche e i personaggi con una scioltezza ed una sensibilità uniche. Fra tutti i volumi della materia di Bretagna che mi sono capitati...more
The story benefits greatly from White's knowledge of medieval culture, Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (review here), whose influence is credited directly in The Book of Merlyn, occasional...more
There is so much wrong with this book I cannot understand why it is so popular.
Firstly there is virtually no action, adventures or quests that you would expect from a King Arthur book. It plods along painfully slowly with little or nothing going on for pages and pages at a time. Every thing is described in huge detail, even really mundane activities that are going on t...more
This book is divided into four books. They all go together but they are also all different in focus and have a growing change in mood. White is using Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur as the outline for his story. He writes in a very anachronistic and witty manner. He also vaguely dates the story as...more
If you hunger for the story of Arthur there are better, even if Disney didn't use them as the source of a movie. Try Mallory, or one of the hundreds of other re-tellings out there on the shelves told...more
Anyway, I think White perfectly captured the magic, power, fears and the joy of both youth and myth with this retelling of early Arthurian legend. White's theme of power and justice ("Might Makes Right") seem to perfectly capture the political Zeitgiest of now. Perhaps, White like Merlin wa...more
Best of all is that I have had this book for ages and it has that wonderful smell of having sat on my own bookshelves for ages. This smell is nostalgic of the way books smelled in our house growing up. My mom has always had loads of books here, there, a...more
Okay. Take the best book you've ever read. Multiply how much you love it by ten. Multiply its brilliance by a million. You're halfway to imagining The Once and Future King.
There's so much here. Love stories. Rich men. Poor men. Virtuous men. Evil men. Beautifullest women. Adve...more
Although I much enjoyed Graves' novels and made a term...more
Here are some passages that stood out to me:
"For her, hoever, as for all women, the dreads were in advance of the male horizon. Men often accuse women of driving them to unfaithfulness by senseless jealousy, before there ahs been any thought of unfaithfulness on their part. Yet the thought was probably there, unconsciou...more
It's hard to know how to review this. The Sword in the Stone is quite good; The Candle in the Wind is an absolute punishment to read; the other books are somewhere in between, but mostly on the bad side.
Let's start with the good. The Sword in the Stone gives us a young Arthur who's not so much king material; he's content to tag along behind his older foster-brother, Kay, and more or less accepts that it's Kay's destiny to be a knight and his own to be a squire. And then...more
It's also a perfect example of the fix-up. Originally 4 or 5 separate novels, White rewrote them all to get them to be this one volume, and in the effort a great deal of self-indulgence and general not-quite-right went away, so th...more
|Fantasy Book Club: * The Once and Future King Sideread||10||138||Jun 26, 2014 12:17PM|
|Reading the Chunk...: 3/31-4/6 Book III, Chapters 28-36||5||19||May 26, 2014 02:30PM|
|Reading the Chunk...: 3/24-3/30 Book III, Chapters 20-27||11||21||May 24, 2014 10:50AM|
|Books2Movies Club: EPICS 02.0 - The Once and Future King -- Introduction||5||16||May 16, 2014 06:51PM|
|Reading the Chunk...: 3/17-3/23 Book III, Chapters 13-19||5||15||Apr 12, 2014 03:28PM|