Margaret Rowlands, July 15, 2010 (view all comments by Margaret Rowlands)
This is the best book in the world! I've read it eight times and I will continue reading it throughout my life. One of the best aspects is that as Arthur grows, the writing style changes. When he's a young boy, the book is written as though it's for young boys, instead of just as a prelude to the important stuff later on. I love this book.
Cioccolata16, December 23, 2009 (view all comments by Cioccolata16)
This epic telling of the story of King Arthur, based on the Morte d'Arthur, is entertaining and thoughtful. I liked how the focus of each of the four books changes slightly. A little slow at times, it is generally captivating and made me want to read further, despite already knowing the tragic end of this tale.
cknu, April 5, 2007 (view all comments by cknu)
This exciting, adventurous novel can also be described as one of the best-known classics of all time. The Once and Future King, by T. H. White, is about the life of the famous King Arthur. The book starts when Arthur was a young boy called Wart, rhyming with his shortened name, Art. In the second section, this book tells us of the adventures of Sir Lancelot, his relationship with King Arthur, and his struggles against temptation. In the third and fourth sections (and second), the book describes Arthur's lifelong quest to prevent war, and him getting in the middle of it, due to traitorous characters such as Sirs Mordred and Agravaine, his son and nephew.
This book is a great read, and here's why: It's exciting, funny, and has deep characters. For instance, though it is 677 pages long, it took me less than a week to read it because it was really exciting. Also, there are many plots and a lot of action to help you fly through the pages. One example of humor in this book is when King Pellinore is lovesick and Sir Grummore and Sir Palomides decide to dress up as the Questing Beast, who King Pellinore is constantly hunting. As they are hiding in a cave, waiting for Pellinore to hunt them, the real Questing Beast comes and falls in love with the sham. She then lays siege to a castle nearby after seeing her Questing Beast enter. The characters are given life and depth because you see inside their heads so often. After reading the book, if they were placed in a situation, you would be able to say exactly what they would do (excepting Guenever, who is completely unpredictable most of the time).
Another good thing about this book is that it is also historically accurate. It describes the realistic struggles of peasants, has lists of foods they really did eat, and describes a castle's defense extremely accurately. I have seen many things that I also learned in class inside this book's pages.
In conclusion, I want to say that this is a great book, and anyone who loves a good, long read should get this book.
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waitingtoleave, February 7, 2007 (view all comments by waitingtoleave)
You might take one look at the book blurb and write T.H. White's masterpiece off as just another fantasy novel, but the themes White deals with in "The Once and Future King" are so vital and timeless that you will quickly realize that you are applying them to your own environment. As King Arthur fights to establish Right by Might, how can you help but wonder if he will succeed, and more importantly, if his result is the only possible one?
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by Erwin D. Canham, Christian Science Monitor,
"[W]oven together with literary genius, archeological authority, and a freshness which is as bright as the dawn and the memories we associate with a golden age. It is hard to say at which level White's greatness is most special."
by Humanities Association Bulletin,
"White's book is an extraordinary achievement in that he has told the familiar story with almost complete fidelity to the main plot and characters of Malory, and yet has made the well-worn Matter of Britain more exciting, and the tragedy more apparent, than they have ever been before. His success is due to a happy blend of imagination, scholarly research, psychological insight and humor."
by Times Literary Supplement,
"This ambitious work, so long in the building, now stands complete. It will long remain a memorial to an author who is at once civilized, learned, witty and humane."
The whole world knows and loves this book. It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlin and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly, of wizardry and war. It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad. It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.
T.H. White's masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance, and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.
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