Bryn's Reviews > Le Morte d'Arthur

Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory
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's review
Nov 24, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: gave-up

I got about a third of the way through, and to my considerable shame, ran out of steam. It's a huge tome of a book. It has that classic story telling style, light on the emotional detail we take for granted in mnodern writing, heavier on who smited whom, and with what. The stories come thick and fast - if you get on with that sort of style - heroic, fable type writing - you may enjoy it. I struggled.

There are some great stories in here - the one with Gawain and the Invisible Knight is like something Monty Python would do. There were bits that I really enjoyed, but too miuch of it I found a grind, and so gave up.

However, it's one man's take on the myths. Some of the characters are so far frm how I imagine them that I found it hard going - the Merlin and Nimue stuff didn't really work for me and I don't like how he characterises Gawain - as rather an evil bastard!

It's a veyr male dominated version of the stories, very mediaeval in its naming of characters (intensley post-Norman) and in its social structures, and whatnot. I suppose it's the fantasy fiction of its time.

If you are an Arthurian nut, interested in writing from the period, or seriously into that bare bones 'heroic' story telling style that you get in very old texts, it might be worth giving it a go. If your tastes run somewhat softer and more romantic, you might find it hard going.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Old-Barbarossa Did you give up in the epic that is the book of Tris and Izzy? Common enough as Malory does drag it out a bit.
The Winchester is a good edit of the manuscript version that differs a wee bit from the printed (Caxton) edition.
But in many ways all Malory is fan fiction for joust geeks tacked onto the idea of Arthur.
Do you have a favoured telling of the myth?

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