The Mists of Avalon (Avalon, #1) The Mists of Avalon discussion


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couldn't get into it

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message 1: by Tracy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new) - added it

Tracy I tried and really couldn't get into this book. I may try again later. I think I need to be in a different frame of mind.


message 2: by asdfasdf (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

asdfasdf I REALLY REALLY REALLY loved this book. At points, it got a little slow, but it was the first book in a while that had made me stay up late under the covers trying to plow through ten more pages. I LOVE the characters, the intricate, epicly detailed plots, the love affairs and lust and hurt and a wee bit of magic to tie it all together...

Plus it's also a great take on relgion during King Arthur's time, and the feminist version of the King Arthur tale itself.


Heather To Tracy: I understand completely. It can be hard to read. But if you keep with it the book will pay off.

To Maggie: If you love this one, carry on & read the rest of the series. Trust me, it is worth it. Diana L. Paxson worked with Marion Zimmer Bradley before she passed and she continues to work with Mrs. Bradley's son. You can hardly tell that it isn't Mrs. Bradley writing. Or at least I couldn't. I enjoyed all the books.


message 4: by Debra (last edited Dec 26, 2007 03:41PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Debra "Mists of Avalon" was ok as a fantasy novel. It certainly isn't my favorite Arthurian novel. I haven't read it in ages but remember that I totally disliked her treatment of Arthur and the Christian versus pagan themes seemed rather stereotpypical to me. And it seemed like her pagan religion was nothing more than modern day Wicca in Dark Age clothing.


Krystin The movie is one of the few movies that really sticks to the book imo. The narration from Morgaine seems to be straight from the dialog in the book. pick up the DVD on Amazon or check your local listings, I just saw it aired today on TNT!


Heather To Dera: Well, this tale was from the Druid's Woman point of view not from the Arthur or the Christian point of view. As a person who has done serious research into the Druids & Christian religions, Mrs. Bradley was not that far off on how the Druids were treated by the Christian Priests. Sorry, but that is true. Even to this day, Priests do not like the mention of Pagens or Druids.

To Krystin: Yes, the movie was true to the book, but there were some spots that were off. But then I am one of those people that feel that book movies should follow the book word for word and scene for scene, lol.


message 7: by Adornable (new)

Adornable  I read this book in my early 20's and found it to be beautifully written, thoughtful and uplifting for a 20-something woman in San Francisco. I loved it.

Then, about a year ago, I was sitting on BART next to a young woman reading some big tome. Being interested in books, I peeked to see what she was reading. I read a paragraph over her shoulder and in a fit of smugness, thought to myself that she was wasting her time with such drivel. Imagine my surprise, when she closed the book to get off at her stop to see that she had been reading my beloved "Mists of Avalon." That's when I realized that our tastes can change over time.

Tracy: if you can't get into it after 100 pages, put it down. There are too many books and too little time.


Alyssa I don't think you need to get into it. There are so many better things you could be reading. I couldn't get into this book either, but I forced myself to read it and was disappointed. If you're looking for a mystical experience read Neil Gaiman's Stardust. Or The Once and Future King, or just really anything else. I mean, I would consider reading Harry Potter over again to be a much better use of your time.


Sonya S I agree. I couldn't really get into it either. I read the entire thing, but was left wanting. I found myself often skimming over large paragraphs, just in an effort to get through it. I couldn't relate to any of the characters at all, and found it to be terribly heavy handed. It's kind of a pity, as I really love Arthurian legend and fantasy novels. This one was just not my cup of tea. I agree with Alyssa, The Once and Future King was much better.


Leslie I did enjoy this book, although Arthur was too nice and not very human seeming. Towards the end of the book the betrayals just started piling up left and right and it got to be way too much. The whole mind set was the end justifies the means. I really hated seeing what they did to Kevin, it was horrible, just like a lot of other incidents. And then, in the end, it felt like this strange let down when the women of Avalon had worked so hard and then they decided that Mary was just another incarnation of the goddess. It just seemed like something was missing. And I felt like it went overboard in making Genivere's affair with Lancelot not her fault. After all that, though, I did enjoy this book a lot, I am going to read more in the series.


message 11: by nina (new) - rated it 4 stars

nina This book had sat in my cupboard for years, completley untouched, and then the movie King Arthur (I know, utter rubbish) sparked an interest for me regarding the Arthurian times. So, I found myself reading this.
I felt that at the beginning it was a bit slow, but after that I really got into it.

I might read more in the series, if i come across them, but I don't think i would look very hard to find them.


message 12: by Pandora (new)

Pandora Haven't read this one in ages. I do remember after having read it I thought she had done a good job showing Morganie's point of view. I don't remember much of what she said about Genivere but, I do remember still thinking Genivere was in the wrong for what she did to Arthur.

I was in my twenties when I read this book. Adornable does have a point that some books have to hit you at the right moment and time to have an impact. My father love A Fable by William Faulkner but, my mom and I couldn't see what was the attraction was. Then again we weren't young men serving in the miltary during a war.

Mary Stewart has a great King Arthur series.


Kaitie. To Krystin: In my opinion, the movie didn't stick with the book at all. Don't get me wrong, the movie is one of my all-time favourites, as is the book, but they were almost two completely seperate stories. The absence of so many main characters (especially Kevin, Nimue, etc) is very sad, and the transformation of characters like Raven, Mordred, and Accolon from page to screen was almost appalling. There were too many things left out, and too many important nuances were understated.

Also, to Debra: I honestly do not see any comparison of the pagan culture portrayed to modern-day Wicca. In so many cases, modern Wicca is focused on magic and not on the relationship of everything to nature. Bradley did a wonderful job making the importance of nature felt-- the Beltane scene, talking about the lunar cycles, and the various times herbs are being gathered showed the priestesses' reliance upon nature; they could not exist without it, and from it their religion was spawned. Unfortunately (at least from what I have seen) today's Wicca is much more focused on magic coming from human sources rather than an appreciation for nature.


message 14: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne This is actually one of my favorite books of all time. I will admit, however, that the first hundred pages can be a bit of a slow read. But I loved how Marion Zimmer Bradley made the characters so deep that while I reading, I felt anger, frustration, sympathy, and passion for all the characters. It's a different take on Arthurian novels. I think the female's voice is lacking in much of our history- whether they were works of fact or fiction - that reading this was a breath of fresh air. I read it over and over again. (Skimming through the first 100 pages of, course...)


Jacquie I read this book in 1987 and it really opened my eyes to nature based spirituality or "religion" if you want to call it that. I looked up all the books in the bibliography of Mists of Avalon and read many - especially ones by Starhawk, and The Golden Bough - The Roots of Religion and Folklore.

To Kaitie, I'm surprised - the modern Wicca I've experienced is ALL about nature, the importance of the cycles of the earth, the moon, the sun, knowing names of local herbs, and plants to be used as food and medicines, dancing, drumming, singing, chanting to raise energy from the earth and thanking Mother Earth for her abundance. I learned I am a vessel for funneling energy. The earth, the cosmos, and myself are all a part of what I call "the Gods" or the dual male-female "God/Goddess". That's my take on it anyways...some people twist things to take from others and create a big power trip BS. That is unfortunate. It's not the Wicca I know. :-)

I do remember being so sad at the end, that all they were trying to preserve was slowly lost.
I liked the characters, I felt they spoke to me. But again, this was over 20 years ago, and not sure if I'd feel the same about the characters and story line if I read it now. But I'm such a sucker for anything "medievel" or Ren Faire like!

I tried several times to read "The Once and Future King" after reading "Mists of Avalon" - but just couldn't get into it.

I've read a few other of Mrs. Bradley's novels, a few I liked. None as much as Mists.
I have several ones right now but just can't get into them either.
The movie - I hated it. Seemed trivial and blah. "Excaliber" was sooo much better, the one from the 80's. Loved the dancing scene when Uther is seduced by the dancing Egwain (not sure of the name). And the guy who played the Merlin was awesome!!! One of my fav movies. Gotta see it!


message 16: by Dave (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dave I read this as a teenager. The first 500 pages took me 6 months. The last 500 pages took me 6 days - so do try to persist with it!

I found it refreshing and exciting to hear the Arthurian saga and its familiar characters and plots from a Pagan perspective and from a female perspective.

I read it after having read other tellings of the Arthurian sagas - such as those of T.H. White and those of Mary Stewart - which present the more traditional Christian and male perspective.

I'd recommend reading both this and the Mary Stewart series in order to compare and contrast them. As the series by Mary Stewart presents the more 'traditional' perspective, I'd recommend reading this first - I think 'The Mists of Avalon' is more enlightening if you can see it as a contrasting perspective on an already familiar story.

...ideally, of course, if you've got the stomach for 15th century literature, I guess you (and I) ought to go back to the beginning and start with Mallory's 'Le Morte d'Arthur'...but I haven't ventured there yet.


message 17: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Lute I've lent my copy out and now for some reason, I want to reread it again. I think it is a magnificent novel and if you have any interest in Arthurian legend, you should check it out along with Dave's recommendations. (Except Le Morte d' Arthur - someday I'll read that, I swear.


Robin This is a very detailed descriptive book. It took me a long time to finish it. All I remember that it was a good book.


Beverly perry Igraines book is the hardest to get through. I loved it all but when i re read it..I always skip her book.


message 20: by M. (new) - rated it 5 stars

M. Mists of Avalon was the first MZB book I read and it got me hooked on her work. I've read all her Avalon series books. It's a hard book to get into and it's so long. But stick to it and you won't regret it.

She also wrote about Troy in Firebrand which was excellent. However, my favorite series is by far the Darkover series.

I just have to add that I don't think the books written by Diana L. Paxson are of the same quality. So, I would just stick to MZB's original work.


message 21: by Kiki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kiki Hiroku u didn't get it?! it's ok i understand that's very hard for some ppl to not understand it. so...1st thing is that women are portrayed as better than men (not saying that men are wimps! they are awesome too!) so it's kinda weird cuz our 1st books that we have read always contain 'he' which is for men. and then later on it shows how the men are always hopelessly failing in anything, and that the women are there to help solve their problems (except for one girl, she's really stupid in the plot and i have no clue why she is there).


Linda I loved this book, I loved the way in which she portrayed the female characters, and gave a different perspective to the legend. It was the first of Bradley's books that I read and certainly got me hooked!


Robin I liked them too.


message 24: by Lyla (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyla Bellatas I loved them! But I am a Camelot and Arthur fan! I've read a lot of it! Romance novels, literature, MZB and watched all the series on TV as well.


Megan Baxter I made several attempts over many years to finish this, and always enjoyed the Igraine and Morgaine parts, and then *whomp*, hit the Guinevere sections like hitting a brick wall.

It wasn't until I decided to just read 25 pages a day until it was done that I finally plowed through the whole book.

And now? I'm glad I read it. I don't love it - I actually like her take on the Trojan War, The Firebrand, much more. But I am glad I finally took the time to get through it.


William C. Tracy wrote: "I tried and really couldn't get into this book. I may try again later. I think I need to be in a different frame of mind. "

I am a stubborn reader and do not quit but came real close on this one. It took about 200 pages and then it became interesting enough to read.


message 27: by Molly (new)

Molly I didn't mind it. It's been years since I read it, but I enjoyed it enough at the time to get through it in about at week. I tried rereading it not too long ago, but I just couldn't get into it again. I think it's one of those books that will be a one time only thing for me.


William C. Tracy wrote: "I tried and really couldn't get into this book. I may try again later. I think I need to be in a different frame of mind. "

My reading progress was very slow, maybe 20 pages a day until I reached a point in the book where it got interesting to read and I was vested in the story.


message 29: by Ruby (new) - rated it 1 star

Ruby Hollyberry As a Pagan and a voracious fantasy reader, I know I am supposed to like this book and author, but I can't stand either. This book causes steam to come out of my ears with all that is wrong in it, above all the horrible portrayal of Morgan. Morgan LeFay would not be such a spineless whiny bitch, I am positive!


message 30: by Tim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tim Hey! Fun thread! I finished this book a couple months ago, gave it five stars, a slow go (took me a year or so), but well worth the effort. Have the movie on order from the Library, but considering some other posts, I'm gonna order "Excalibur" too. Interestingly, I'm about a quarter of the way through "A Game of Thrones," which also involves medieval intrigue and politics and violence and infighting, also with underlying magic (I'm told the magic becomes more overt as the series unfolds). Nonetheless, while entertaining on several levels, it doesn't have the depth of "The Mists of Avalon," a much better work in my opinion.


Melissa It was about 300 pages too long!


message 32: by Leonor (last edited Nov 26, 2011 02:29PM) (new)

Leonor Hev I disagree with you on the writing of Diane L. Paxton. I read Ravens of Avalon and found it really boring. Then I realized it wasn't Marion's writing...It may be that story in specific...I don't know. Was that the one you read?

The Mists of Avalon is a great series. Give it a try! ;)


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