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The Once and Future King Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1987
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“A fierce and damaged man, T. H. White wrote about fierce and damaged people—and children, and animals—with a brilliant, painful innocence that has no equal in literature. He is so good at hurt and shame—how did he also manage to be so funny? I have laughed at his great Arthurian novel and cried over it and loved it all my life.”—Ursula K. Le Guin
“Certain books offer pleasures so rich and enduring, they become part of what defines us. The Once and Future King is like that for me. It manages—by some miracle—to be about its own time, and a distant, legendary time, and about today. It mingles wisdom, wonderful, laugh-out-loud humor and deep sorrow—while telling one of the great tales of the Western world. I envy the reader coming to it for the first time.”—Guy Gavriel Kay
“White took hold of the ultimate English epic and recast it in modern literary language, sacrificing none of its grandeur or its strangeness in the process, and adding in all the humor and passion that we expect from a novel. What was once as stiff and two-dimensional as a medieval tapestry becomes rich and real and devastatingly sad.”—Lev Grossman
“Touching, profound, funny and tragic.”—Los Angeles Times
“Richly imagined and unfailingly eloquent and entertaining, its appeal is timeless and universal. If a reader reads only one Arthurian tale, let this be it.”—Booklist
“The Once and Future King is full of insights, scenes and flourishes that are really quite astonishing.”—The Guardian (U.K.)
About the Author
T. H. White is the author of the classic Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King, among other works.
Top customer reviews
White’s classic version of King Arthur is creative, clever, witty and compelling. Sure to please.
Follow young Arthur as “Wart” coming of age with the magic and wizardry of Merlyn, the deceitful and perilous half-sister Morgause, his vision for a better world, the fabled round table, Guenever and Lancelot’s disloyal relationship, son Mordred and the hatred for his father...it’s all here.
Coming in at 640 pages, this is a lengthy read...as are most well thought-out interpretations of King Arthur.
Impressive and enjoyable.
Anyway, the story itself. It begins when the young man who will become King Arthur meets Merlin, goes through his life, all the legends come to life, the sword in the stone, Arthur's eventually fatal misalliance with his sister, Lancelot and Guenevere's betrayal, the Knights of the Round Table, all told with wit, humor, compassion and sensitivity by the great T.H.White. My favorite parts will always be in the first part of the book, when Merlin tutors the young Arthur, or Wart, as he is nicknamed, in the ways of the world by changing him into a beast or a bird or a fish or an insect. Those little vignettes are so charming. Well, I am only halfway through this re-reading, Lancelot just met Guenevere, and, while I know how it will end, I am still absorbed and enthralled, all over again.
But you should above all read it for the characters--they are wonderfully realized. Even the nasty ones are human and recognizable. Of course, my favorites are the warm and generous Arthur, and his part-father, part-curmudgeon Merlin.
Most recent customer reviews
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