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The Arthur Trilogy, Book One: The Seeing Stone [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio Cassette]

Kevin Crossley-Holland , Michael Maloney
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 2 2001 Arthur Trilogy (Book 1)
Read by Michael Maloney
Approx. 7 hours, 30 minutes
6 cassettes

It is 1199 and young Arthur de Caldicot is waiting impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives him a shining piece of obsidian and his life becomes entwined with that of his namesake, the Arthur whose story he sees unfold in the stone.

In this many-layered novel, King Arthur is seen as a mysterious presence influencing not just one time and place but many. The 100 short chapter are like snapshots, not only of the mythic tales of King Arthur, but the earthy, uncomfortable reality of Middle Ages.

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From Amazon

Young Arthur de Caldicott is anxious to grow up, spread his wings and become a knight. But for now he must content himself with the life he has in the bosom off his family and friends. One day one of these friends, the old and mysterious Merlin, gives Arthur a special stone, and from that moment his life becomes entwined with that of King Arthur himself...

Arthur:The Seeing Stone is an extraordinary novel, contemporary in feel but with its roots deep in the past. One hundred short chapters give snapshots of both the mythical world of King Arthur and the day-to-day existence of a young boy growing up in 1199, and as the two begin to touch on each other's lives the story develops into a multi-layered novel with a depth and intensity that maintains a page-turning, easy-to-read--yet at the same time challenging--quality that is somehow unique.

Arthur: The Seeing Stone is an absolute must-read, written with a rich and earthy gusto that, combined with Kevin Crossley-Holland's authorative attention to the details of the Middle Ages, quite simply takes the breath away. (Age 9 and over) --Susan Harrison --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

"In the first volume of the Arthur Trilogy, the author inventively reworks the legend of the Round Table through the diary of 13-year-old Arthur, living in an English manor in the 12th century," said PW in a starred review. "Readers will be itching for the sequel." Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unimpressive Oct. 22 2001
I've been on a bit of an Arthurian reading binge, and this one in particular looked like an interesting telling, possibly a counterpoint to TH White's "The Sword in the Stone" which was historically hideous but a read of great fun. This one, however, can't be described as fun -- or even very good -- by any stretch. Imaginative, yet flat.
Arthur de Caldicot is a teenage boy living on a rather sickly manor in Wales, whose diary this book supposedly is. (Is it just me, or are the pages kind of thick?) His father's friend Merlin gives him a piece of stone (hence, the title) that gives Arthur flashes of times past--of another Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, whose life as the "once and future king" was eerily similar to Arthur'as own.
Why are they so similar? What is the meaning of this? What is the present Arthur's destiny, is it linked to the man who was so like him in prior eras? These questions are partly addressed in this book (since it's a trilogy, this book really cannot stand alone) amid a bog of historical details, and the resolution just doesn't feel satisfying to me.
This sort of storyline was the reason I read this in the first place. It's imaginative, intelligent, has never been done in such a manner before, and definitely deserving of a look. The problem is that the author doesn't flesh out his prose or characters well. He TELLS rather than SHOWING. I know this is a diary, first-person format but it is possible to have Arthur describe things well.
Characterizations are all kinda flat. I didn't really feel drawn into any of the characters present. In addition, the parade of historical facts, politics, and interactions are impressive. Perhaps a little TOO impressive.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Magical Arthur Stone Jan. 8 2003
By A Customer
Magical Arthur Stone
The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley- Holland is a magnificent book providing numerous details about King Arthur. It takes place during the crusades and displays many characters plus it has a good plot behind it. Arthur De Caldicot is 13 and is named after King Arthur. Merlin, who is Arthur's father's friend, gives Arthur a black stone called obsidian. The stone starts to tell stories about King Arthur that is Arthur De Caldicot's namesake. When Arthur first received the stone, he does not know what it means and is very confused.
The stone plays an important part. Only Arthur can see stories in it though. The stone has a mind of its own and is mysteriously unusual. Sometimes the obsidian shows smoke and other weird thoughts and pictures inside it at different times. When Arthur is confused about his stone he tries to ask Merlin what everything but Merlin can't tell anything. Arthur has to figure it out his self. In one point in the book he sees his good friend Gatty in the stone. All through the book Arthur tries to figure out what the stone means to him. Merlin is the only person who knows about the stone. Arthur can't tell anyone though or else the magic doesn't work. Arthur has the only power in his warm palm to see the King Arthur stories.
I would highly recommend this book for a fun read and to people ages 12+. Although it contains violence sometimes it still is an incredible book. The book goes by in a snap. It is also easy to understand.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Seeing Stone Oct. 30 2002
By Katrina
Katrina Clancy October 24, 2002
The Seeing Stone, Kevin Crossley~Holland, 0-439-43524-2
Having your wrist cut of for stealing doesn't seem fair. But for Arthur de Caldicot it is part of growing up in his country manor in England, 1199. This realistic fiction novel takes Arthur on an adventure as he tries to unlock his future, past, and present through a gift given to him by his dear friend Merlin.
The Seeing Stone was a roller coaster of emotions until the very end. Felling sympathy for the characters and also hate towards some. You can't be afraid of terrible things happening because this book is just like normal life. This book is also an extremely interesting book because the genre is realistic fiction. This genre seems to appeal to a lot of people because it allows you to use your imagination all the time. This story basically takes you on the ups and downs of the life of a family who lives on a manor and all their occupants. You won't want to put it down and you won't want to stop reading. While reading this book your understanding of how life was during the middle ages will increase but also the respect you had for people who lived during that time.
The Seeing Stone held my attention until the very last page but I wouldn't recommend it to people who don't really enjoy this genre because it would seem confusing at some points for them. It's also important to remember that life was very different for the characters of this book and they did undergo strong emotional a physical changes. The Seeing Stone is a thought provoking book and anyone who reads it should be proud of their newly acquired skill because this book was not that easy to understand at first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A WELL READ ADDITION TO ARTHURIAN LORE Nov. 4 2001
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
The first of a promised Arthurian trilogy by British author Kevin Crossley-Holland is inventive and entertaining. Stage and film actor Michael Murphy gives apt reading to this tale of young Arthur de Caldicot who lives in an English manor during the 12th century.
His dream is not unlike the dreams of many boys his age - he yearns to grow up and be a knight, very much like his namesake. Young Arthur's father has an intriguing friend - Merlin who gives the boy a magic stone. When the boy looks deeply into the polished stone he can see the life of another Arthur. The puzzle is what is in store for his life and is it, by any chance, reflected by the events he sees unfolding in the stone?
"The Seeing Stone" is a choice piece of historical drama which will be particularly enjoyed by all Round Table aficionados. Details of medieval life, codes of chivalry, and court etiquette abound.
As this story closes young Arthur de Caldicot is to achieve his ambition of becoming a squire and he will go with his father on a crusade to Jerusalem.
Listeners will eagerly await the next in this trilogy, a welcome addition to Arthurian lore.
- Gail
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, not great...
We read this book aloud as a family while driving on vacation. Unlike some books we've read, we never really "connected" to it. It was interesting, but never riveting. Read more
Published on July 7 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Harry Potter...
My 13 year old son had a great time reading this book. He was very fond of Harry Potter and Lords of the Ring. I am glad we found another series that he will enjoy reading. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great
It's interesting, but very,very slow.
It mainly predicts what's to come, not what's happening right now. Okay, but I'd stick to Harry Potter.
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by Nadia Hutton
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Look at King Arthur Legend
I wasn't sure I would like this book, becauase i knew it didn't actually take place in Camelot with those characters. But I am very glad I read it. Read more
Published on March 2 2002 by Amelia M
3.0 out of 5 stars engaging but lacking that certain spark...
This is a most entertaining and engaging book which is well constructed and cleverly pieced together but it lacks that certain something which makes a book a classic. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2002 by Scott Pack
5.0 out of 5 stars a superb mix of fantasy and history
a brilliant and inspiring book, superbly written and a balance of the mind and fact. I would reccomend it to anyone who likes history and good fiction, as this book offers... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars George's Review
This was a very good book!! I would have given it a 5+ if it were available!! It is the best Historical Fiction book I have read in a long, long time.
Published on Jan. 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!!!!
The novel The Seeing Stone (Arthur Trilogy, Book One)
by Kevin Crossley-Holland was one of the most amazing that I have ever read. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2001 by "soccer2002"
The first of a promised Arthurian trilogy by British author Kevin Crossley-Holland is inventive and entertaining. Read more
Published on Nov. 4 2001 by Gail Cooke
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