The Book of Merlyn Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1987
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“Superb reading.”—The Kansas City Star
“Filled with poignance and marvelous power…Enthusiasts for White’s touching, profound, funny, and tragic story will not want to miss this version, for it is the true and intended ending of the great work.”—Los Angeles Times
“And so the grand epic comes full circle, ‘rounded and bright and done,’ as White had wished it would be.”—Boston Sunday Globe --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
T. H. White is the author of the classic Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King, among other works. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The day before the final confrontation with his son Mordred, Arthur follows Merlyn to the Combination Room, where lives his menagerie. There he listens to the magician and Archimedes, Badger, Urchin and so on, who are in a political debate on how the human way of considering life and the world is different from that of animals.
I was disappointed with the Book of Merlyn, which in fact is hardly a novel. Merlyn's supposedly natural history lesson is but an excuse for discoursing on war and the bellicosity of Man. The only passages where there's an actual story are when Arthur visits the ant nest and travels with the wild geese, but these chapters were already included in The Sword in the Stone. As for what happened to Lancelot and Guenever, it is briefly mentioned in the manner of history books. The introduction on T. H. White's life is interesting, and there are some nice illustrations, but as a whole I found nothing worth recommending this book.
Ok, the first four--definately the Story is the major priority. Focal characters: Arthur, then after "The Sword in the Stone" the focus shifts to Lancelot and the queen, and to a lesser extent the Orkneys, etc. In the final chapter the reader is brought back to Arthur, whose musings on the nature of Man and War also smears our noses in these two essential elements, whose dissection was an important objective in the story for White.
Yeah, yeah, anyone who's read the book knows that. But what about the "Book of Merlyn"?
Well, picture drawing aside the glitter and pizzaz of the storyline that has won over so many people to focus on that teaming world of philosophy and abstract thought that Merlin had shown Arthur as a young king. Take "The Sword in the Stone", a primarily whimsical book in which I believe White first lay the groundwork for the "Book of Merlyn", return an aged, experienced and almost broken Arthur to this sort of setting, and...tada! bring back Merlin and the animals(or rather bring Arthur back to them). There now follows that dissection of War and Man we were talking about.
Yup, the whole book is essentially White's essay on these two subjects, given in a long philisophical discussion between the animals, Merlin, and an older Arthur in the comfort of the Badger's underground burrow(Nimue's cave, ha ha!).
Now for those who are thinking ,"Ye gods, the horror!", I gotta admit, in part, you're right.Read more ›
Of course, there are some chunks of prose that are absolutely brilliant. We're talking T.H. White, after all. Things are enlivened by Arthur's trip to the worlds of the ants and the geese. (However, I feel these episodes functioned better in Book 1.)
Editorially, I found this edition tantalizing but unsatisfying. A highly personal introduction provides details about White, but fails to explain some basics -- how did the goose and ant segments ultimately ended up in Book 1? How and why was the text "lost?" Frustrating.
Most recent customer reviews
It you enjoyed "The Once and Future King" then it is best to finish the last chapter of the story with this book.Published 21 months ago by Ev
I absolutely loved this novel. Yes, it wasn't exactly the most exciting story, but it was very philosophical and satisfying in that way. Read morePublished on April 12 2010 by Brooke
This is the "Lost Ending" to the classic "Once And Future King." Aside from the Disney movie and a quick passage in a high-school anthology, I am clueless to E. B. White. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2003 by Kendal B. Hunter
This is the fifth and final volume in The Once and Future King pantalogy (after The Sword in the Stone, The Witch in the Wood, The Ill-Made Knight and The Candle in the Wind). Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2002 by Stephanie Noverraz
The cover of this book touts itself as the TRUE final chapter to The Once and Future King. It very well may hold that distinguished title, however after reading The Book of Merlyn... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2002 by Zachary S. Houp
If you like the Once and Future King as an amuzing story, then watch out, this book is not for you. Here White elevates his discussions to probe humanity's own lack of humanity. Read morePublished on June 19 2000 by R.B.
"The Book of Merlyn" is about the understanding of how cruel the common man is to nature. The main characters are King Arthur, who depends on other people, and Merlyn the... Read morePublished on March 24 2000 by Corey Gillette
I was rather disappointed at the novel. Not to say that I didn't enjoy it, for I zipped through it that afternoon. But "The Book of Merlyn" is not really a novel. Read morePublished on March 13 2000 by Emily J. Morris