Jason's Reviews > The Lancelot-Grail Reader: Selections from the Medieval French Arthurian Cycle

The Lancelot-Grail Reader by Norris J. Lacy
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's review
Dec 17, 12

bookshelves: read-2009
Read in September, 2009

I gave this sucker 4 stars, but that's for a reason other than enjoyment. Simply put, The Lancelot-Grail Reader is the best summary of the original cycle of the Arthurian legend out there. It summarizes a great deal, but it is mostly tedious things like battles, etc. while keeping in what we all know and expect, as well as the things that we thought we knew and didn't expect. For those looking for a good, simple and (blissfully) condensed version of the massive french tales, this is for you.

That being said, the Arthurian legend is stupid. You heard me right. Sure, there's plenty of great stories, epic battles, love triangles, chivalry, etc. but really, it's a soap opera. There are more plot threads in ten pages than most novels can cover and none of it is fully explored. You have never seen such a conglomeration of emotional infants outside of As the World Turns as you will see in Arthur stories.

Yeah, yeah, hate me for it if you will. I must say, reading this book really improved my opinions of King Arthur movies. They're mostly terrible, but they do a surprisingly good job condensing (and making readable) the mess that is this text. Sure, you could always read Mallory or White, but they're only mildly better (and equally long winded).
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