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The Once and Future King Audiobook

The Once and Future King

Regular Price:$48.99
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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

4.0 (2282 )
5 star
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4.0 (1980 )
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Story
4.3 (1969 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Josh 02-01-15
    Josh 02-01-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "First publication was the wisest."
    What made the experience of listening to The Once and Future King the most enjoyable?

    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.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill 01-13-15
    Jill 01-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    19
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    "Great, great book! Well worth your time."

    Take the time to listen to this book. You will wonder how and why you haven't before now. Did not want it to end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary 01-11-15
    Mary 01-11-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic reading of the best story ever!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    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!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane-in-Colorado 12-29-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    15
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    "Never found a plot"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. J. Golden, CO USA 09-29-14
    L. J. Golden, CO USA 09-29-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    4
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    "Collected books ... not The Once and Future King"
    What does Neville Jason bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy H. North Hollywood 09-29-14
    Teddy H. North Hollywood 09-29-14 Member Since 2013

    Avid listener. Lover of stories and story tellers!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "*****Great Narrator*****"

    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!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Japan 09-05-14
    T. Japan 09-05-14 Member Since 2010

    Reading is one of life's greatest pleasures...and, now that I've found audiobooks, I can read even while performing mundane tasks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    235
    ratings
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    424
    25
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    "Satisfyingly comprehensive and well edited"

    After purchasing, you can download the guide, which explains how this collection was edited. I think they made good choices. The narrator is excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Barlow Portland, OR, USA 08-13-14
    C. Barlow Portland, OR, USA 08-13-14 Listener Since 2005
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
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    "Kids had a hard time following"

    I'm sure it's a good series, but my kids had a hard time following it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsey 08-05-14
    Lindsey 08-05-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Review"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about T. H. White’s story?

    Whites story was slow and sometimes hard to understand because of the old English and all the names.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Neville Jason?

    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.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was a little disappointed with the story. It was also hard to follow so I often got distracted.


    Any additional comments?

    It would be great if this book could be returned.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 07-18-14
    Mark Tulsa, OK, United States 07-18-14 Member Since 2011

    My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine; (fortunately) everybody drinks water. - Mark Twain

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Fantasy"

    Very happy with this purchase. A classic tale, entertaining, strong characters, well written. Worth the credit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • W. Reid
    7/5/11
    Overall
    "Magical"

    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.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • J
    Ellesmere Port, United Kingdom
    7/26/12
    Overall
    "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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Victoria
    Oxford, United Kingdom
    7/26/12
    Overall
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • m
    London, United Kingdom
    12/28/11
    Overall
    "Spellbinding"

    Absolutely magical! The story is fantastic and the narration is perfect. I enjoyed all the books equally, well worth the buy.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    London, United Kingdom
    12/30/11
    Overall
    "Let Down"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. K. A. Carr
    UK
    1/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The all encompasing Arthur"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Neville Jason – was your favourite?

    Lancelot - he was ugly, lovable, completely moral (that should go first) and just GOOD.


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

    No - it was so long and intricate it had to be taken in bites (whilst I was ironing - I grew to love ironing).


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    pre St Clar, France
    12/30/12
    Overall
    "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

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    walsall, United Kingdom
    2/13/13
    Overall
    "Disappointingly dull"



    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • MaDr8y
    Cambs., UK
    6/30/16
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C
    4/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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