The Once and Future King

Has anyone out there read T.H. White’s The Once and Future King? It is one of the books I brought on the trip to read but I’m about 80 pages into it and I’m finding it pretty dull. Does it get better over time?


August 2009-04-22 04:10:07

It does get better. The story of Arthur growing up seems to be written as if it is a children’s book. As he gets older, becomes king, etc... the book becomes much more adult. It seems like two different books in some ways.

Eric 2009-04-22 04:11:08

Then it sounds like I need to persevere. I will try! Thanks for the comment.

Wm Tanksley 2009-04-22 04:29:21

I really enjoyed it -- but unlike the previous poster, I found the middle-to-end much harder going. It gets extremely dark.

It’s definitely three distinct books -- I think it was actually written as a trilogy.

The first book was clearly the basis for Disney’s "The Sword in the Stone".

Eric 2009-04-22 04:30:19

Dark I don’t mind. It would be a nice change of pace for me after the beginning.

Carl Conrad 2009-04-23 08:33:44

Unquestionably it is uneven, but there are some gems of reflection at several points. I do think that Lerner & Loewe did a fine job of concentrating and refining the elements of the novel so as to highlight both the idealism and the tragic futility of the endeavor to engineer ideal conditions for human happiness: real human beings just can’t conform to the ideal patterns.

Eric 2009-04-23 03:49:39

Thanks, Carl. Being the uneducated fellow that I am, one of my first impressions on reading your comment was from one of the Matrix movies where someone (perhaps Morpheus) told Neo that the Matrix had originally created a perfect world for people but that was rejected by the human psyche. Perhaps they had read White, or perhaps some of the same philosophical literature. Regardless, interesting shared theme.

Roger Pearse 2009-04-24 03:11:24

I found it very dull, I must say.