The reason I didn't enjoy this book is that it seemed to be going nowhere. It was a series of adventures, like a bunch of short stories, but there was no over-arching plot that kept me wanting to move forward. The little adventures were all pretty silly, and I did not like the portrayal of Merlin.
Neville Jason does a delightful job with the narration, and is good at differentiating characters through voice and tone (which is helpful in some of the dialogue-heavy passages). He also has exactly the right sort of voice to communicate an aura of chivalry in his reading.
T.H. White wrote The Once and Future King in five distinct parts -- The Sword in The Stone, The Witch In The Wood, The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle In The Wind and The Book of Merlyn. Before compiling these into a final volume, he made significant edits to the structure and story -- especially in the first two books. This collection presents the five books as they were originally written, NOT in their final, edited form. This means, for example, that the Sword in The Stone preserves episodes such as the battle with Madam Mim and the stories of the Snake and the Trees, but omits Arthur's encounters with the Wild Geese and the Ants (which do appear in The Book of Merlyn). I honestly prefer this format, because while it is a bit structurally muddled, and forgets to present its central thesis in the first book, it preserves some very charming episodes that are cut from the final volume. (Some of the more objectionable language of the final edition is also lacking. I don't know if this is the narrator's choice, or reflects White's text ... either way, it is a welcome change.)
Avid listener. Lover of stories and story tellers!
This one is hard to review as it's pretty classic and my opinions on the books themselves are basically pointless. So I will try to keep my review limited to the narrator's ability to tell the story. I give him 5 stars! His voices are fantastic! He has such a wide variety of characterization that each of the many characters stand out as individuals. His women are totally believable as female, and his children are too. I think he adds a level of humor that other narrators could miss, and during particularly dry sections, of which there are many throughout each book, he perfectly expresses the import of why the information is important to know to better understand the whole tale. Lastly, there is a lot of moments of wisdom, and also moments of darkness and melancholy, the sensitivity that the narrator brings to these moments is a key feature of his success, as it allows these moments to resonate in your heart, taking these books to a deeper level, and solidifying them as classics. So basically what I'm saying is, Neville Jason gets two thumbs up from this listener!
Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!
After purchasing, you can download the guide, which explains how this collection was edited. I think they made good choices. The narrator is excellent.
Very happy with this purchase. A classic tale, entertaining, strong characters, well written. Worth the credit.
My son liked that the story had so many animals that Arthur got to experience.
The jousting, the knights, the friendships, the blacksmiths.
The jousting scene between King Arthur and Lancelot
Not a one setting book it is very long.
Cool ideas about education from Merlin. Loved the ideas of how to think about humanity, and political science.
Fun, funny, pleasant.
An enjoyable, wholesome, familiar tale that is so much funnier than I ever had expected.
All the heaps of praise here are true.
This is one of my all time favourite books. I have read it over & over since I was a teenager & was thrilled to find it here. The narrator is a treat to listen to. Go ahead, buy it, you won't be sorry.
I have an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a Master's Degree in Professional Writing from Maharishi University of Management, am author of THE RELUCTANT VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK, and am an avid reader/listener.
I kept thinking this was going to be a children's book, a story to be told to children, but not so! I often found this book stunning in it's depth, amazingly creative, extremely well read, colorful and interesting beyond description.
This is the most amazing story. Neville Jason does an amazing job narrating White's incredible take on the Arthurian legend. You come to know and love each character by their distinct voices and the beautiful way in which White introduces and describes them. An unmatchable audiobook. My favorite.
One of the most memorable moments in The Once and Future King would be when Sir Ector and Kay realize that Arthur is the true king of the Britains. They each take a knee to bow before the new king and Arthur begs them to stop because he loves them both and does not feel above them. It was a beautiful and breathtaking moment.
Possibly my favorite scene was when Lancelot was able to heal the knight cursed with the wounds that would not heal. God finally allowed him to work another miracle... I wept.
The greatest medieval tale in the history of the world
Please, please, please read this book and enjoy the enchanting story of King Arthur and his knights of the round table.