The Once and Future King
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The Once and Future King

4.08 (80,370 ratings on Goodreads)
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Description

The whole world knows and loves this book. It is the magical epic of King Arthur and his shining Camelot; of Merlin and Owl and Guinevere; of beasts who talk and men who fly, of wizardry and war. It is the book of all things lost and wonderful and sad. It is the fantasy masterpiece by which all others are judged.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 639 pages
  • 106.68 x 170.18 x 43.18mm | 181.44g
  • Penguin Publishing Group
  • Ace Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0441627404
  • 9780441627400
  • 9,827

About T H White

T. H. White is the author of the classic Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King, among other works.show more

Review quote

"A fierce and damaged man, T. H. White wrote about fierce and damaged people--and children, and animals--with a brilliant, painful innocence that has no equal in literature. He is so good at hurt and shame--how did he also manage to be so funny? I have laughed at his great Arthurian novel and cried over it and loved it all my life."--Ursula K. Le Guin "Certain books offer pleasures so rich and enduring, they become part of what defines us. The Once and Future King is like that for me. It manages--by some miracle--to be about its own time, and a distant, legendary time, and about today. It mingles wisdom, wonderful, laugh-out-loud humor and deep sorrow--while telling one of the great tales of the Western world. I envy the reader coming to it for the first time."--Guy Gavriel Kay "White took hold of the ultimate English epic and recast it in modern literary language, sacrificing none of its grandeur or its strangeness in the process, and adding in all the humor and passion that we expect from a novel. What was once as stiff and two-dimensional as a medieval tapestry becomes rich and real and devastatingly sad."--Lev Grossman "Touching, profound, funny and tragic."--Los Angeles Times "Richly imagined and unfailingly eloquent and entertaining, its appeal is timeless and universal. If a reader reads only one Arthurian tale, let this be it."--Booklist "The Once and Future King is full of insights, scenes and flourishes that are really quite astonishing."--The Guardian (U.K.)show more

Review Text

"A fierce and damaged man, T. H. White wrote about fierce and damaged people-and children, and animals-with a brilliant, painful innocence that has no equal in literature. He is so good at hurt and shame-how did he also manage to be so funny? I have laughed at his great Arthurian novel and cried over it and loved it all my life."-Ursula K. Le Guin "Certain books offer pleasures so rich and enduring, they become part of what defines us. The Once and Future King is like that for me. It manages-by some miracle-to be about its own time, and a distant, legendary time, and about today. It mingles wisdom, wonderful, laugh-out-loud humor and deep sorrow-while telling one of the great tales of the Western world. I envy the reader coming to it for the first time."-Guy Gavriel Kay "White took hold of the ultimate English epic and recast it in modern literary language, sacrificing none of its grandeur or its strangeness in the process, and adding in all the humor and passion that we expect from a novel. What was once as stiff and two-dimensional as a medieval tapestry becomes rich and real and devastatingly sad."-Lev Grossman "Touching, profound, funny and tragic."- Los Angeles Times "Richly imagined and unfailingly eloquent and entertaining, its appeal is timeless and universal. If a reader reads only one Arthurian tale, let this be it."- Booklist " The Once and Future King is full of insights, scenes and flourishes that are really quite astonishing."- The Guardian (U.K.)show more

Our customer reviews

Fantastic book, exceeded my notion of what a medieval or fantasy novel can be. The first part of the book is such a sweet and rich telling of Arthur's boyhood, with knights being depicted as almost ridiculous caricatures, and comaprisons between jousting and cricket. The latter half maintains this almost light-hearted writing style but manages to draw the reader into quite complex characters and themes of morality, chivalry, law and ethics, and this recurring notion of 'generosity' of heart that eventually leads the characters to assorted ruin. Ultimately it's such a tragic story on more than a story-telling level, but also the moral ramifications are so saddening. There were passages here that I read and re-read and left me reflecting for days, so much so I think it's actually almost impacting the way I think about 'fairness' and actions against others. But themes aside, it's the writing style that absolutely charms and there are parts of this book that absolutely have to be savored.show more
by Alice Montes
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