The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five 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".
Merlyn instructs the Wart (Arthur) and his brother, Sir Kay, in the ways of the world. One of them will need it: the king has died, leaving no heir, and a rightful one must be found by pulling a sword from an anvil resting on a stone. In the second and third parts of the novel, Arthur has become king and the kingdom is threatened from the north. In the final two books, the ageing king faces his greatest challenge, when his own son threatens to overthrow him. In "The Book of Merlyn", Arthur's tutor Merlyn reappears and teaches him that, even in the face of apparent ruin, there is hope.
©1939, 1940, 1958 T. H. White (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks
"For those who have never read these five books, prepare to be surprised by their adultness, their laugh-out-loud humor and tongue-in-cheek commentary on modern life; for those who know them well, prepare to be delighted with Neville Jason's transcendent reading. The lovely timbre of his narrative voice, his rhythmic, easy pacing and host of individual characterizations transport listeners into White's weird and wonderful otherworld as quickly as Alice slipped through the looking glass. This long production is so entrancing that one wishes it would never end." (AudioFile)
Neville Jason does an excellent job narrating this beautiful book. My only qualm here is that this audiobook contains "The Book of Merlyn" as it's final portion. I think this is a mistake, and that the original publishers were in the right, and the book as a whole worked better without the addition of Merlyn's final lessons.
This was the first book I had ever read on my own at the age of 14 and I only remembered how much I loved it. This audiobook rendition brought it to life beyond what I could have hoped for. I wish everyone could have the chance to listen to this story as told by Neville Jason because not only has it has brought me to laughter and tears within minutes but tells a profound story and philosophy that should be required reading for a full and meaningful life!
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.
The fact that I couldn't listen to the story on my computer lowered the expirience for me. Also it would have helped if I was able to see what I was listening to st the same time.
Whites story was slow and sometimes hard to understand because of the old English and all the names.
I don't know many narrators so I wouldn't be able to cast any one else for the reading of T. H. Whites book.
I was a little disappointed with the story. It was also hard to follow so I often got distracted.
It would be great if this book could be returned.
My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain
Very happy with this purchase. A classic tale, entertaining, strong characters, well written. Worth the credit.
Though I liked all the books, the first was my favourite. Captivated from the first words and the narration is excellent; as good as Stephen Fry in the Potter books. Neville Jason manages all the parts beautifully and with enthusiasm. Well worth the money.
"An old favourite made even more enjoyable"
One of my favourite books from childhood. When you listen again as an adult you appreciate fully the
wit and wisdom of the author. Neville Jason's narration is delightful, capturing the many characters perfectly.
"Full of delights"
Such a delightful book. Neville Jason is an amazing narrator. His voices are varied and so apt for the characters. Makes me feel like a child again.
Absolutely magical! The story is fantastic and the narration is perfect. I enjoyed all the books equally, well worth the buy.
Knowing the books well I was very let down by the narrator who sounds like Brian Sewell with a sour taste in his mouth.
Be warned, listen to the sample before buying to check you can live with the style of reading.
"The all encompasing Arthur"
I do recommend this but you do have to be dedicated, it is a long "read". The story is of course interesting but TH White's discussions on everything from falconry to warfare, from costume to food, from fortifications to manners are a revelation.
Not sure - Merlin probably; for the humour and his knowledge of the future. The warnings of what was to happen in nazi Germany were fascinating especially as, I believe, it was written around 1938.
Lancelot - he was ugly, lovable, completely moral (that should go first) and just GOOD.
No - it was so long and intricate it had to be taken in bites (whilst I was ironing - I grew to love ironing).
I cried at the end and I don't know if it was the story or the fact that the story had come to an end.
"Historical story but with made up events too"
The Once And Future King is a very interesting story, I would suggest listening to it in little stages so you can come back for more of it later - there is a lot of information to take in! The Once and Future King is a story set in the past, but the story is made up. The tutor is a wizard... which is lots of fun.
Jodie age 14
Be warned, I gave this one star before realizing that I couldn't remove it! Although I wanted so very much to love these books .... If only I'd known how lacking in description and dull these books were I wouldn't have struggled on for so long hoping for some improvement. As it was I became more and more disheartened and frustrated the more I listened.
Love love love it. Everybody should read\listen to it immediately and act accordingly.
It's like listening to Compared to What by Roberta Flack or toast & butter (salted butter, your majesty). It just makes sense. Good and the product of much considered work and ready and fresh and valuable. And beautiful.
"I keep listening to it over and over again!"
It is an interesting book and full of action and adventure.
It teaches you in old language.
But the best thing about it is that it is all fiction.
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