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.
I read the Once and Future King many decades ago and loved it along with Mallory's rendition. I don't remember it being so funny, so that was a pleasant surprise. I expected it to be very good and it met that hands down. I, unlike many, didn't mind the last book. However, I did find it more preachy. I can only suggest that T.H. White was looking back on his life and times when he wrote it and juxtaposing it onto his previous work. I appreciate it more for a look at the man than for a climax of his tale. In some ways it might serve as a way to reflect back on the four books and view them within the context of the themes of book five. This would probably be more helpful for younger readers (listeners)as the themes are not very veiled by T.H.White and more often than not are hammered into us time after time.
Like most people, I've only ever had a passing familiarity with Arthurian legend. I got curious after this book was recommended to me, and gave it a try. I'm so glad that I did!
The narrators (written and voice) are incredibly engaging. The story is a brilliant, elegant character study without all of the snobby you often find in more complex works. I've had trouble stifling my laughter while listening to this book at work--it's often as hilarious as it is moving. I went in expecting to enjoy Merlin as a character and that's about it, and came out with emotional baggage. Now I'll always have an especially soft spot for Lancelot, Pellinore, Guinevere, the Orkney brothers, and many more.
This book gets described as a classic, but more importantly, it's the kind of classic that really is timeless and has a powerful emotional impact. Highly recommended.
Long commute = Lots of time for audiobooks
What is there to say about this amazing story that hasn't already been said? This is a must-listen for fantasy lovers or anyone who has ever been even remotely interested in the Arthurian legend. White's story is full of wit and humor, and every word is perfectly chosen. Neville Jason's narration is flawless - I was in awe of his ability to capture each character's personality with his voice, and then to switch between the (many!) characters so effortlessly. I'm hard pressed to think of a better use of an Audible credit.
I had high expectations for this, having always been fascinated by the Arthurian legend and being a huge fan of Lord of the Rings.
There were parts of it that were as solid as expected, but they're sandwiched in between some of the most boring passages I've ever read.
Imagine watching the pre-game warmup to the superbowl, where the commentators discuss all aspects of the game down to an insane level of microscopic detail and then instead of showing you the game itself they just skip over it and tell you the score at the end.
Imagine listening to people drone on for pages and pages discussing their favorite kind of bird and why.
Most of the attempts at humor were best suited for a 5-year-old. It just fell flat.
Overall about two-thirds of it were a waste of time and the remaining third should've been expanded. Only my own curiosity and the strength of the guy reading it made it possible for me to finish.
My reaction was a series of yawns with brief moments of actual interest.
Tried three times to listen to this story but could never stay focused on the story. Did not enjoy this one at all. Too back because I usually love this type of book. Could not get into story.
I dont normally write reviews....based on other reviews and my interests I used my credit for this horrible book. The narrator was annoying...the story was difficult to follow and boring. I love fantasy...and the Authurian Ledgends....this one just didnt do it for me.
The first book the "Sword in the Stone" is very much like the Disney movie. I suppose the movie was adapted from this book. With the exception of some cursing, this first book would be acceptable for children and hold their interest. This first book is magical and full of childish adventure. I would attribute this to Mr White's writing style rather than the actual legends of Arthur. The other books which follow are much more adult in content and story line and seem to follow the traditional accounts of the Arthur stories. It seems that many adults are writing reviews which indicate they enjoy these books themselves.
I did find the Arthur saga interesting and an older child (teen) who is particularly curious about the legends would find this writing more entertaining. I found it enlightening, being an American, to gain a greater understanding of the coming together of the diverse influences which formed the culture of the British Isles. I began to wonder what role the Arthur stories might have played in bringing these people all together as one nation. Arthur belonged to the people; his character is noble while not infallible.
There is debate as to whether these stories are purely legend or if they are rooted in any real truth. I began to wonder about the original writers and their purposes if they be historical fact or to write for a different purpose.
Some of the stories even bear similarity to biblical stories. With Arthur being similar to King David and Lancelot similar to Samson. Most writers of the dark and middle ages. were religiously trained. Was this a creative way to train the people in catechism or make them more accepting of Christianity.
Don't pass this up. Love the performance, the book is a classic. Witty, engrossing.