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By Shelly M. Felton on 07-01-08
I've been waiting for this...
I've been waiting endlessly for this cherished childhood favorite to be released as an audiobook. This edition is the first section of T.H. White's epic "The Once and Future King." This part encompasses King Arthur's early years growing up under Merlin's tutelage at Sir Ector's castle. This book is more lighthearted and joyous than the sections that follow in "The Once & Future King," which are available on Audible as "The Witch in the Wood" and "The Ill-Made Knight." Although this book and the others are meant to go together as an epic work, "The Sword in the Stone" can easily stand alone as an enjoyable novel in its own right.
If I tried to tell you how superbly T.H White writes, you probably wouldn't believe me. The narrator does a smashing job of bringing the dialogue to life. I know I'll be listening to this book again and again over the years.
Sadly, at the time I'm writing this, the final section of "The Once & Future King," which covers the last years of King Arthur, is not yet released in audio format. Hopefully this will be soon be remedied!
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
By Jennifer on 04-27-09
Great! Even for adults
This was super-dooper fabulous!! Ok, I have never seen the whole animated film, so I wasn't "tainted" with the images of the film, but even if you had seen it, the narrator is going to give you a completely new view of it. He was simply wonderful, the different characters were completely brought to life. I wish he would do more "fun" narrations. The story too, oh my gosh, action packed and gets all of your emotions. I laughed out loud too many times to count. The scene with the jousters (well you'll just have to listen to it!!) Give this one a try even if you consider yourself a "serious minded adult" -trust me, you'll love it.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Billybreitling on 05-12-11
Buy it, now!
Anyone who dismisses this as a children's story, fairy tale, or -worse - only knows the Disney cartoon... should be locked up in Galapas's dungeon & made to listen to this fine audiobook until his brains bubble.
There is a tradition of intelligent, absurdist British comedy, which - if you drew a line from Douglas Adams, back through Monty Python & the Goons, would go slap bang through the middle of T.H. White. Not just witty & erudite but laugh-out-loud funny.
Fantasy, Natural History, Science, Philosophy & observational comedy all wrapped up in a whacking good adventure yarn, stuffed with more mediaeval detail than you'd get after an evening drinking mead with an Oxford history don.
I'm going to listen to the remaining 4 books in what began as a trilogy ... now, where have I heard that before? Come back Douglas, comedy needs you. It's all just rockstar stand-ups, now, filling the O2 arena!
Beautifully read, too. Don't ever download the standard audiobook files. I paid £81 for Lord of the Rings & got something that sounds like it was recorded through Tom Bombadil's old sock! That was before Enhanced (CD) quality was available.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Antony on 07-04-18
Beautifully written, if a little silly in places
I loved the style of the writing, which was richly poetic, vivid and witty. The characters are fun, often comical and always likeable. I loved King Pellinore and the Questing Beast. I found some of the transformation stories (where Merlin transforms Wart into some kind of animal), as well as a few other narrative episodes, a bit daft. Overall, a gorgeous read.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 11-11-17
Well worth purchasing.
This has already become a favourite book of ours and we've listened to it several times while traveling in the car. it is a wonderful performance of a great old book. I first read this book as a child and have revisited it many times. This rendition brings another facet to the overall experience of the story. White had a knack of creating such an intimate bond between the reader and the characters so that an.amazing sense of pathos could permeate the story. His authorial style was both light and profound. A lot of the humour derives from the anachronisms that proliferate throughout the text, such as Merlin wishing he was still on the company water, or performing psychoanalysis on the unfortunate Wat. White also had a remarkable way of slipping between tenses, narrative points and prose styles, and thus is an extremely sophisticated piece of writing from a literary point of view. This is something often overlooked by contemporary literary critics who lionise Wolfe or Molly Bloom for much the same thing. Yet White was able to write with as much literary wit
as anyone. His choice of genre, in this case, was both his undoing and his greatest accomplishment, first because the novel falls within the fantasy genre which critics don't take seriously enough; and the second because this genre is immensely popular with people who actually read books for enjoyment and not just for a living. Reading work of this calibre and complexity is a challenge and the producers and Neville Jason have done a fine job. This audio rendition is enjoyable to listen to and manages to convey a great deal of the warmth and charm that undergrids the original text. I highly recommend this audio book. To steal a phrase from Bernard Black, this book will make you laugh - it'll make you cry. It might very well change you too.
By Sophie on 02-27-16
An all time favourite made even better as audio.
A childhood favourite of mine, this book is even better read ( listened to ) as an adult. Enchanting. Reader good, though not exceptional, but the words and characters have their own magic and I loved it from start to finish.