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The Once and Future King | [T. H. White]

The Once and Future King

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".
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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©1939, 1940, 1958 T. H. White (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

  • AudioFile Earphones Award, 2009

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1794 )
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3.9 (1519 )
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4.2 (1511 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ken Mercadante 11-02-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Not as epic as we were led to believe..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This book has a lot to recommend it. If you're looking for a dry, overly-minute examination of the benefits of "Rule of Law" over "Might Makes Right." It's fascinating on one level from the cultural impacts of trying to change the way the world works. But from a narrative standpoint, the story is very dry, overly-long, and very difficult to get through.


    Has The Once and Future King turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I don't judge a genre by a single book. I will definitely second-guess getting another book by this author.


    Have you listened to any of Neville Jason’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not sure if I've heard this performer before. There was nothing wrong with the performance, per se, it was the material that turned me off.


    Did The Once and Future King inspire you to do anything?

    Move on to another book while I was only half-way through. It was a struggle to finish this.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not an account of Arthurian legend (myth?). It's a political treatise on different forms of government. And while that's a part of Arthurian legend, it occupies waaaaaay too much of this book to make it a pleasant listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ros hack Padstow, NSW Australia 11-01-12
    Ros hack Padstow, NSW Australia 11-01-12

    A SAHM who loves books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent listen"
    Would you listen to The Once and Future King again? Why?

    Yes I think I will again one day


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Once and Future King?

    When The Wart was turned into a bird and spent the night with the castles hunting birds.


    Have you listened to any of Neville Jason’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first time I have listened to this narrator. But I find him excellent he makes the book so easy to listen to. It is nice to hear someone who can use such great intonation.


    Any additional comments?

    I have found this a very entertaining book. The characters all are very interesting.
    The story of how The Wart meets Merlin is sad yet funny.
    I find Merlin to be an extremely likable character, he really lightens the book.
    It is interesting to hear the early years of Arthur (known as The Wart) in this book.
    Definitely looking forward to the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alice 10-29-12
    Alice 10-29-12 Member Since 2011

    I don't try write a review as if it were the only review a potential reader will see. I write things that I noticed.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book would get 5s if not for unicorn section,"
    What made the experience of listening to The Once and Future King the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed revisiting a book I read in high school with the help of excellent narration.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Once and Future King?

    I like the first section with Arthur as the boy "wart" and especially the point where he first meets Merlin.


    Have you listened to any of Neville Jason’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Haven't listened to him before.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, partly because of length and partly because of tough sections, but I did always want to get back to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liam Cady 10-29-12
    Liam Cady 10-29-12
    ratings
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    9
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Helpful in Getting Through A Hefty Book"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would. It's a classic, and it uses the classic characters of Arthurian Legend well and effectively.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I have no suggestions. It is a great story. It's just DENSE.


    What three words best describe Neville Jason’s voice?

    Fitting
    Steady
    Talented


    Could you see The Once and Future King being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I honestly could not see this being made into a series effectively because I don't think there would be sufficient actors to effectively portray it.
    Book I is already an animated movie: The Sword in the Stone.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Playa Del Rey, CA, United States 09-10-12
    Seth Playa Del Rey, CA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Great stories, albeit a little meandering."
    Any additional comments?

    All in all, a great listen, although you often wonder what the point of many of the story's diversions are.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda El Paso, TX, United States 09-05-12
    Amanda El Paso, TX, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2015

    Disciple of the written word and Audible fanatic. I am an Urban and Epic Fantasy Fan. I also enjoy some Paranormal Romance.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great classic a must read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Once and Future King to be better than the print version?

    Yes the narrator lends a flare that is lacking in print


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I didn't really have a favorite. The characters are all dear to any Arthurian fan.


    Have you listened to any of Neville Jason’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. This was the first but I look forward to more


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The entire book has a certain whimsy, I felt moments that made me laugh but no deeper emotions


    Any additional comments?

    This is a necessary book if you love the tales of the round table.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynette Johannesburg, South Africa 08-20-12
    Lynette Johannesburg, South Africa 08-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Loving the Camelot story in this fantastical tale"
    Would you listen to The Once and Future King again? Why?

    i have already listened to the story more than once


    What did you like best about this story?

    The absolute abandon of the story teller in bringing the characters to life. Got to love Merlin all over again


    What about Neville Jason’s performance did you like?

    Neville Jason takes you back in time to a childhood of fantasy


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I LOVED it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen Camden, Australia 07-15-12
    Carmen Camden, Australia 07-15-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A brilliant read for those Merlin/Arthur die hards"

    A grest version of events, an enjoyable listen and a brilliant narrator who never forgot his characters voice.
    An excellent comparison between the days of old and today. White also included modern authors into the story.
    In my oppinion a good listen, loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug 06-12-12
    Doug 06-12-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Lives up to its legend"
    What did you love best about The Once and Future King?

    Excellent performance by the narrator. A clear predecessor to some of the great modern authors, such as Pratchett and Adams.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Smart, insightful and cutting.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The finale, where Arthur talks to Mallory.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The subject matter may feel dated. The book occasionally veers into silliness that I found unnecessary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie 04-06-12
    Debbie 04-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    183
    5
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    "Neville Jason brings the story to life."

    Neville Jason keeps the story entertaining even when the end of the series becomes tedious. I would rate books 1&2 with 5 and 4 stars respectively, but books 3-5 become tedious and even boring. I plan to read book 1 "The Sword in the Stone" to my 6th grade class. Mr.Jason has been an excellent example of how to do it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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