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The Once and Future King Paperback – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Trade; 1ST edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441020836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441020836
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (480 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Magnificent and tragic, and irrestible mixture of gaiety and pathos' The Sunday Times 'This ambitious work will long remain a memorial to an author who is at once civilized, learned, witty and humane' Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

T.H. White was born in Bombay, India in 1906. He began to write after graduating with distinction from Queen's College, Cambridge. In 1938, he published The Sword in the Stone, the first volume in what would become his epic retelling of Arthurian legends, The Once and Future King.

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Customer Reviews

You will laugh, you will cry, you will be better for reading this book.
"arlovegas"
I read this book for the first time 45 years ago, and every time I read it, it has something new to offer me.
Mel Johansson
Don't get me wrong, this is a really good book and I enjoyed it thouroughly..
"conjuresomething"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

438 of 461 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
As this is my favorite book, I couldn't help but take a look at all the reviews. It seems to me people either love it (4 or 5 stars) or hate it (1 star to remarks of minus 50). This may be very confusing to prospective buyers. It's very simple, folks:
if you're looking for accurate, 'historic' information on King Arthur or the Middle Ages, if you're the type that likes to finish a book in an hour's reading, if you're only interested in fantasy/action packed novels of the 'Lord of the Rings' type (also an excellent book by the way), if you don't like vast, almost poetic descriptions of landscapes, seasons, moods, etc., or if you simply don't like complicated storylines, then steer clear of this book. There are many other novels which will give you far better value for money. For the others: it takes empathy and erudition to fully grasp the depth of this book. Empathy will make you love it when you're young and erudition when you are older and wiser. Added plus: each time you read it you'll discover something new. For the details, I refer to other reviews...
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143 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Lee Wesselmann TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Somehow, I missed this classic when growing up, so when my daughter was assigned this book for her eighth grade honors English course, I eagerly picked it up. I was well rewarded for my efforts.
The Sword in the Stone, the most famous of the quartet and the first, was for me the least interesting, perhaps because of its lack of driving conflict. It concerns the education of Arthur, called The Wart, in often hilarious scenes as Merlyn sets out to instruct him in the way of all creatures.
The Queen of Air and Darkness is a better story than the first, though it lacks the substance of the two later books. It tells of the history and childhood of the Orkney clan (Sirs Gawaine, Gaheris, Agravaine, Gareth, and Mordred) as well as preparing for the emotional battles about to begin.
The Ill-Made Knight is simply brilliant, giving Sir Lancelot a humanity I never thought possible, not for a knight living in legend. The love triangle of Arthur, Lancelot, and Guenever (called Gwen by Arthur and Jenny by Lancelot) is given life and understanding, real force. When I finished this book, I had to stop and swallow all the angst and love before I could continue.
A Candle in the Wind begins with some of the most monotonous descriptive writing possible, with White devoting ten solid pages to Lancelot and Guenever looking out a window onto medieval England. I began to believe that White was desperate to incorporate all his research. Once the story got going, however, I couldn't put it down as the tragedy of King Arthur's life unfolded.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By not4prophet on October 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Once and Future King" is children's fantasy as it should be, a delightful read for both kids and adults. Author T. H. White manages to mingle the humorous and the sad portions of the King Arthur story successfully, and he never talks down to his audience or tries to oversimplify the events. The result is a wonderfully entertaining book that never slows down, one that's both amusing and serious.
I won't try to summarize the entire book. Suffice to say, White covers the entire story of King Arthur's life and remains pretty faithful to the traditional version of events throughout the book. What's really amazing, though, is the way that he captures the spirit of the times, making you feel like you're actually in England during the Middle Ages, watching the tournaments and quests and battles yourself. His descriptions are beautiful without ever being unnecessarily lengthy, his characters seem to come alive (especially Arthur, Guenevere, and Lancelot), and his handling of some of the classic scenes is unforgettable.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Oakes (michaelo@sandycorp.com) on November 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book when I was 14 years olds in 1963. Since that time, I have reread it six times, the last being c. 10 years ago. I now feel a need to read it again as I approach my 50s. First time I read it, I read it much as a fairy tale. In latter readings, it came across very much as an adult novel. Something for everyone in it -- love, war, good, evil, quest for the Holy Grail, etc. My readings of the Once and Future King caused me to read Mallory's Le Morte de Arthur, Tennyson, as well as some of the original French and English legends about the subject. So, it incited a life-long passion in Arthurian drama although I don't think any of them ever approached the majesty of The Once and Future King.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By MONTGOMERY on October 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I read this book in my mid-teens, I absolutely LOVED it, because it nurtured and excited my imagination.
"THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING" combines all the elements of Arthurian legend, adventure, and history in describing the lives of Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and some of the other notables of Camelot. (This is the novel, some of whose elements were later adapted to the screen as the Disney movie "The Sword in the Stone".)
White has written a delightful, entertaining story not without its harrowing moments. We first see Arthur as a boy ("The Wart") living with his adoptive family and serving as a page to his older brother. Merlin's role at the beginning of the novel is as a teacher for Arthur. (Note. Merlin had been entrusted by Arthur's real father with protecting his son.) He leads Arthur on a variety of adventures, which I won't go into here, except to say that the reader will be amazed with the rich imagery White creates.
The novel progresses through Arthur's life, his reign, his sorrows and joys, and the perils and highpoints of life in an England mired in upheaval and turmoil. White shows the reader how the forces of light and darkness interplay in the shaping of a society where magic can be a real factor in everyday life. It's a long novel, so brace yourself for a healthy sprint.
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