Cara's Reviews > The Book of Merlyn

The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White
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's review
Oct 19, 13

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bookshelves: fantasy, arthurian
Read in January, 2010 , read count: 1

Although I'm glad I read this posthumously published final book in T.H. White's extraordinary Arthurian cycles, I'm relieved that, due to wartime paper shortages, The Candle in the Wind ends the Once and Future King. The questions raised by White about the nature of humanity are interesting, but the conclusions appear simplistic. What White railed about in the Book of Merlyn is captured in other ways throughout the preceding four books, but in ways that are more subtle and, therefore, more thought-provoking. By spelling out his philosophy, White exposes its flaws.

The most powerful part of the Book for me was Arthur's reaction to the geese and his "friends" failure to understand or even empathize with him until they've put him through a great deal of suffering. I wish the Book had spent less time on naked philosophizing and more time on Arthur, his struggles, his pain, and, in the end, his acceptance of his life.

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