Jason's Reviews > The Book of Merlyn

The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White
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's review
Jun 25, 2009

it was amazing

I must admit some bias associated with this unfortunately short novel. Although it is a little weak when trying to read it independently of The Once & Future King, when you read it immediately after that greater work it is pure brilliance.

White's narrative tone draws you into a deceptive bedtime story world that swiftly moves with old/young Arthur through more metamorphic juxtapositions than a week's worth of "Wild Kingdom," as the fabled sorcerer returns on the night before Arthur's fateful confrontation with his bastard son with a singular goal in mind: to return the Wart to the various cultures of the animals to understand the final truth about man's distinction and a little bit more about right and wrong.

The adventure is extremely bittersweet, however, as Arthur learns of the mighty and the militant within the worlds of ants and geese, and unlike the earlier adventures of Arthur's youth under Merlin's tutelage, these world's are now cold and frightening in their comparison to man's distorted attempts to control everything for personal gain. As the conclusion of a complex and timeless saga, it's not as endearing or breathtaking as one might expect, but neither is it anticlimactic. It is, instead, a return visit by a wise old uncle you have not seen since you were 12, and now, 15 years later, you are ready for him to speak to you as one adult to another about the big, ugly realities of the world. A bedtime story it begins, but in the end is a much deeper and moving engagement.
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05/12/2016 marked as: read

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