Temple, TX, United States | Member Since 2010
I am no expert on Arthurian history. I did see "Sword in the Stone" when I was a kid, sang songs from "Camelot", saw that movie, and have watched a lot of documentaries on the History Channel (some of them questionable). Just so you know...
There is a lot to like about this book. The author has created some interesting characters, and it will be interesting to see how they fare. The pacing is good, and the story is not so complex you can't figure out who's who and what's what. The narrator does an excellent job.
It has violent stretches, some much too graphic, but you don't feel like you need to wash the blood off you after hearing them. The sex scenes would get a movie version a definite "R" rating. This is a dilemma I find myself in more and more as the years pass. The price of admission for interesting or challenging fiction is enduring more graphic sex and violence than my tolerance. (I’ve been married for 36 years and we raised three boys, so it isn’t like I’m a prude or a bachelor still living with my parents.)
If you have a passing interest in the King Arthur legend, or if you’re interested in a story that takes place in Britain during the last days of the Roman Empire, or you want to try a story that’s just different, this book will satisfy.
Macbeth has always been my favorite Shakespeare work, except perhaps Henry V. The fact that Star Trek spoofed Halloween in their only "holiday episode" doesn't hurt. I felt transported back to those troubled times in Scotland. The weird sisters were spooky, Macbeth a dedicated patriot who went too far. Lady Macbeth, who had personal demons that ripped a hole in her soul that couldn't be mended. The sights, sounds, smells - everything from that time and place are here. The descriptions of the land, the sea, the plant life - outstanding. I do understand those who complained about the length of the novel versus the play. I think some of the aftermath of Duncan's death could have been trimmed, but not a lot. To use the movie rating scale, in case you're not familiar with the story, it is a "hard" R - lots of explicit violence, explicit or implied sex, adult themes such as power and how to hold it. Last but certainly not least, Mr. Cumming's performance was impeccable. Despite its mature nature, I heartily recommend it.
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