The Once and Future King

The Once and Future King

by T. H. White

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The Once And Future King (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 216 reviews.
KrishnaP19 More than 1 year ago
Most fantasy books have taken a back seat these days. Small-time books are overshadowed with the ever so popular fantasy books of Harry Potter and Twilight. However, I came across a book on my family's bookshelf that revealed to me that small-time fantasy books can provide just as many hours of entertainment as any other popular book. T. H. White's "The Once and Future King" is a book I recommend for a great read if you want a simple yet fantasy based tale. "The Once and Future King" is a fantasy book based on the young King Arthur and his magical world in Camelot. What I liked most about this book is its use of perspective. The book is surrounded with characters of all types and personalities. The book contains four parts and each part is presented from the view of a different character. All four parts of the book depict King Arthur's rise to power all the way to his death. However, the different characters that present the story are both friends and enemies of King Arthur. For instance, the third part is read through Lancelot's life, who is King Arthur's most trusted knight and protector of Camelot. On the other hand, the fourth part of the book is presented through King Orkney's four sons Gawaine, Gaheris, Gareth, and Agravaine who all wish to see King Arthur lose his throne because of Arthur's past history. This four-part perspective book is flooded with characters that all have their unique personality. I found this most enjoyable as I made my own opinions about characters. I found it almost like a movie with characters I highly respect and others that generally irritated me. While characters are a central part of the story, the fantasy elements to the story add a little bit of comic relief to the book. From magical animals to wizardry to even war, this book is filled with both a dramatic plot and side humor all surrounded by its unique characters. I recommend this book not for those who wish to learn about King Arthur and his Round Table, but for those who want a simple and easy read for the sake of plot and entertainment. This story to me does not have the extreme insightful and enlightening themes that most of us enjoy in books. To me, it is just a straightforward story where you learn to love and hate the characters. "The Once and Future King" is just pure entertainment for an escape from reality. It is the epitome of a small-time fantasy book.
empeegee More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Is it the easiest book to read? Maybe not, but the complexity of the plot and the richness of the characters, is not easily told. The first book in the tetralogy is light while each of the following books become darker and more intense. This story stays with you long after you turn the final page. There's a lot to learn about life and humanity here. I always found the usual King Arthur stories too romantic, too artificial, but T. H. White wrote this story of King Arthur for adults and those who want to think.
Luminaria More than 1 year ago
I first read this in hardcover, ohhhh..... I'm not telling you how long ago - long enough that I had to get a new copy because the cover fell off! I loved "Arthur" stories as a kid, and the historical novels and variations that came out in the 70's and 80's as I grew up. When I stumbled across this one, I was both enthralled and vastly amused. I actually didn't realize that Disney stole the plot and twisted a chapter or two into their cartoon.... silly me! The Book Is Always Better! It's a great read that has a really "chatty", conversational tone, that assumes that you not only know a lot about King Arthur, but a little about history as well, or else you miss a lot of the jokes. But even if you do, the wizard who lives backwards and knows the future because it's his past, and the boy who turns into a fish and becomes king of all Briton will steal your heart. Enjoy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is now one of my favorites of all time. Yes, at first, it was very confusing and kind of hard to keep reading. Once you read the first or second book, it gets much easier to finish and to fall in love with. It also had alot of twists and things that you werent expecting, which is one thing that I love in books. The only thing that I had a problem with was that there were some points where it would spend way too much time describing one thing, and it also skipped over about six years of Arthur's life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i love the king Arthur story's and i love this book i recommend this book to people who enjoy fantasy and myth type of tales!!:)
Avidreader1LC More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. I saw the movie that was based on this book and was able to imagine the cartoon characters along with the book. I higly recommend it to literature and history students and teachers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book ever, and has been for some time! The writing style is endearing and comfortable; the characters are extremely varied and lovable; and the plot is meaningful and thought-provoking, regardless of whether or not you agree with the morals presented. It does, however, take some concentration to read and it is absolutely not a book to breeze through while multitasking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love, love, LOVE this book and have for 50 years. Do yourself a favor, though: spend the extra money to buy a different version on e-book. The formatting is terrible: hanging indents, returns in the middle of the lines, etc., making it simply impossible to read. Wish I could cancel the purchase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read the first part, but it wasn't for me. It was confusing to me. There were many characters introduced, too many to remember. There were also many old words that didn't make sense. Since it takes place many years ago, they didn't really use proper grammar sometimes. Not for me. :)
Dirigible28 More than 1 year ago
I haven't finished it yet, but as of now it is definitely one of the better books I have read. It adds a lot more to the Authur story than most people know.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book consists of four different books, which is why it ends up being 700+ pages long. I only read The Sword in the Stone, and it was great. It was the story of Wart, who ends up seeing adventures in the point of view of animals, vegetables, and minerals. Blow ever, it was written in an older English, with accents and dialects written in so that way when you read it would sound just like he character. Some words were made up, and were parts of King Arthur stories, so the dictionary wasn't as helpful as usual. I would recommend this book to people who want to learn lessons through animals or want to see how we are in their eyes. It really is quite interesting and I hope that when you read it, you will understand it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great classic that belongs with Alice in Wonderland, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain. A must read for everyone.
jp0 More than 1 year ago
The Once and Future King was written by T.H. White. The book is sometimes called the world’s greatest fantasy classic. The book is historical fiction with fantasy mixed in. I think this book is mostly for people who enjoy fantasy. The book wasn’t really written to teach us anything, just for pleasure. The title, The Once and Future King, was a perfect choice for this book. This is because future kings will try to be like Arthur. It’s almost like he is the king of the future. The cover relates to the book with the knight in armor. Although it didn’t make me want to read the book, it was a good choice. The font size and the book were too small. The two main characters are the Wart and Merlyn. The Wart is King Arthur as a child and Merlyn was his tutor. Merlyn was secretly trying to teach the Wart to be a good king. He taught him by turning him into different animals to learn about how they work together to survive. In my opinion, this was not the greatest book. However, I am not a fan of fantasy books. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy, but discourage it if you are more of a scientific reader. It would just be a waste of time and unenjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book made me feel emotionally for the characters of Camelot as I never have before. It organized the tales of La Morte D’Arthur in a way that was easy to understand, and gave poetical explanations and depth to characters and their intentions that endeared you to the most ignoble of them. This series is precious to my heart, and I can’t wait to read it with my sons one day, or at least send it with them as they go to their tree house refuges.
jason.goodwin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only novel about King Arthur you'll ever need. Brilliant and weird, like its author.
labdaddy4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Simply the GOLD standard of Arthurian tales
gtskhaki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Didn't get it at all and enjoyed it even less.
jddunn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a sad, beautiful, funny retelling of the Arthurian myth from an anachronistic, modern standpoint. Another of those great books that uses the framework of a well known story or mythos to go well beyond it, and explore ideas, history, and many of the great questions(and wonders) we all encounter in life. The characterization of Lancelot is also one of the most genuine, complex, tragic examples I have ever read.
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent, engrossing book. What can I say that has not already been said? T.H. White has a love affair with words, at parts his language is simple, at other moments ornate. All I really can say is read this book and, hopefully you will fall in love/adore the characters as I did.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This beautifully written book is one of two golden standards I use to measure Arthurian books. Mary Stewart's Merlin Trilogy for the historic approach, and this one, White's The Once and Future King, for the full-on fantasy approach. (The book was the basis for the musical Camelot.) The first three parts weren't originally written as part of the integrated novel but published separately. The best known of those was the first part, The Sword in the Stone, a great coming of age tale that was turned into a film by Disney. I loved that first part of the book especially--full of wisdom and whimsy as Merlyn--who lives backward in time--turns Arthur into different animals in order to help him gain wisdom, and the characters are truly endearing and the story full of humor that makes this part stand alone as a classic children's book. The next parts are very much adult and much darker, particularly the final and poignant fourth part, "The Candle in the Wind," dealing with the fall of Camelot. The Once and Future King has the most complex depictions of Arthur, Lancelot and Guenivere I've read and I think no matter what version of them I read afterwards, these are the ones I imprinted on--this is my Arthur, my Guinevere and my Lancelot. After White's death a connected novel called The Book of Merlyn was published, but I don't find it as engaging.
debnance on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the definitive book about King Arthur, first published in 1939. All the characters in this book are seen with soft eyes, the eyes of a forgiving man, who finds ways to explain even the most cruel of actions. A few depictions seemed surprising; Lancelot, for example, is portrayed as an ugly man. It is the big view of the author that I found most compelling. The author looked at Arthur¿s reign as a major change in the way humanity lived, not living to take revenge on its enemies, but attempting to settle squabbles with diplomacy.
bill_reyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book offers a very readable, entertaining version of the Arthurian legend. It is not a book for purists--C. S. Lewis thought the book was an abomination, especially in its treatment of Palomides. But for the uninitiated or those who choose not to plow through the Mort D'Arthur, this is a very happy alternative.White captures both the humor and the pathos of the legend. There were places in the first section, The Sword In The Stone, where I actually laughed out loud. Later in the book, I felt the ache at the inevitability of the downfall of Camelot.The one real drawback--although an entertaining one--is the caricature of Merlin. He appears to be a lovable hayseed with a bad memory who happens to be able to turn the Wart (Arthur) into different kinds of animals during his education. We experience none of the wizard's real power of presence.I've read the book four times and still find it entertaining.
jenreidreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I feel like I should have enjoyed this book more than I did. It consists of four books: The Sword in the Stone, The Queen of the Air, The Ill-Made Knight, and Candle in the Wind. I kept falling asleep during the first book, even though (or perhaps, because) I'm most familiar with that story (i.e., the Disney movie of the same name). Honestly, I kept checking the Spark Notes for this book to make sure I wasn't missing something important¿I figured I had to be, since I wasn't swooning like everyone else about it. I liked the romantic storyline between Gwenevere and Lancelot best. I still don't understand why this is considered a fantasy classic¿what about this is fantasy? Sure, it's the Arthurian legend, but it definitely reads more like historical fiction, in my opinion.
hockeycrew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Classic book, basis of the Sword in the stone
amandrake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hands down, one of the best books to give to a young adult. A classic in the best sense of the word.