Wastrel's Reviews > The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King by T.H. White
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's review
Oct 10, 2011

bookshelves: r-ss, z-2000, fantastika-neoromantic-fantasy
Read in January, 2000 — I own a copy


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Reading Progress

09/02/2013 "Cons: the highly episodic nature of The Sword and the Stone is not making it easy to get into.

Pros: it does use the phrase "a'flibertigibetting about with a lot of want-wits" at least once."
09/11/2013 "I'd forgotten just how political (and racist) this was. With "why socialism is evil" out of the ay, we're now on to a long lecture on "why the Irish are evil (and mentally deficient, the poor things)". With a nice long discourse on "why the world would be better if only peasants still knew their place" in between, and a detour into "why it's wrong to be a pacifist during WWII, but not being one was bad in WWI"..."
09/15/2013 ""Even in the miasma of her Gaelic mind, she had come to recognise that..."
09/24/2013 page 310
48.0% "Such a galling book. Half stunning, half infuriating. Still, now that I've gotten to the tragic parts, hopefully there'll be more of the former and less of the latter."
05/05/2014 page 525
82.0% "There are a bunch of problems with this book, and I'm thinking now that maybe I should have read/reviewed it as the four novels it originally was, rather than as a single volume.

That said, it's reassuring to me to discover that I hadn't imagined the strengths of the book in a haze of nostalgia. To wit: the back half of "The Ill-Made Knight" is much like being unexpectedly eviscerated by a small child." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Lieberman Ha! I'm kind of afraid to reread that one, having read it for the first time some forty years ago. Did you get to the end and, if so, what's your final verdict?

message 2: by Wastrel (new) - added it

Wastrel Sadly I didn't/haven't. I've read three of the four books - I should really have reviewed them separately.

But as a sneak preview, my general attitude is:
- The Sword and the Stone is probably great for children, and has good bits to it, but I found it too prone to political preaching, and too slow in pace

- The Queen of Air and Darkness is just strange - two independent short stories, really. I found it beautifully written and occasionally insightful, but also preachy, and frankly offensive in its racism

- The Ill-Made Knight starts off intentionally deceptively slow and pleasant and becomes an emotional trainwreck, and it's just brilliant.

message 3: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Lieberman Hmmm. Probably should stick with my memories.

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