Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
White wrote between 1939-1942 as praise to Arthur and the legends, and an examination of the nature of man and protest against war.
This is my fourth reading. Initially I was in my early teens and had seen the Disney movie "The Sword in the Stone" and the musical "Camelot" and wanted to know more. I was immediately entranced, and this remains one of my favorite books.
If you are taken at all by King Arthur and the roundtable, you must read this book. Each time I read it, I'm taken by the depth - reference to historical events, natural history and literature.
Neville Jason's narration was glorious. I couldn't have asked for more with a beloved book.
I enjoyed this story as a whole, and Neville Jason is a terrific story teller. I enjoyed him even more than the story itself. My favorite was the humor and innocence of "The Sword in the Stone." My least favorite was "The Witch in the Wood" which was dark and depressing. The rest of the series, the story improved, and I had a profound respect for King Arthur's earnest effort to always to the right and just thing. T. H. White sort of made his philosophy on war and the human condition known throughout the series, but he spends an exhaustive amount of time elaborating on his point of view in "The Book of Merlyn." He wrote this series in a post-WWII era where he was contemplating the atrocities of his time and relating back to the era of King Arthur's day, whenever that was. Give it a listen, yes, you will find your mind wander from time to time, but it is worth contemplating the philosophy, if for nothing else than to hear one man's perception.
Incredibly impressed with Neville Jason's performance. His portrayal of the characters took the story to another level. The writing of White was for the most part fantastic. The humor, breaking down the fourth wall, the anachronisms, all made it very enjoyable. The single criticism I have is the final book, The Book of Merlin seemed a little preachy and extraneous. The story could have done without 95 percent of The Book of Merlin and been perfect. It was a final vehicle for the author to get up on a soap box and ruminate on the nature of man and war, which of course is completely understandable in context. He wrote a damn fine story, so we will forgive him.
We love the Sword in the Stone! It is charming, funny, and family friendly. We read reviews for the other books in the series and decided not to listen to the rest of them at this time and keep it light. Maybe later, when our kids are older we will listen to the rest of it.
Fantastic performance! Hard to believe it was one guy reading it. Well done!
... It's a bit of a slog in parts, isn't it? I mean there are some exciting posts in the middle and there's some incredibly witty stuff, too. But it always felt a little bit like homework.
The first section of this book is the inspiration for the Disney movie, the Sword and the Stone. It's a fun read and child-appropriate. The second section of the book is markedly darker--the contrast between the two is disturbing, though both can stand in their own right. The final section is, well, not really worth reading--it's really just a lengthy discourse on political and social philosophy. I read the book cover-to-cover many years ago but could not bring myself to listen to the entire final section again--I started it, remembered how boring it was, then fast-forwarded to the end. I recommend approaching the book with the attitude that the first section is really good, the second section is decent but the final section is better skipped.
A good read that is both entertainingly written and thought provoking about the time it was written. Good also for introspection about today's society and world community.
i think it was a good saga overall i agree it was a book to long but for me ot was the first book i couldn't get into the sord in the stone i found all the kids voices gave me a headache but after thay was great and the last novel is kinda out there some of the stuff thay talk about makes it a must listen