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The Book of Merlyn Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1987

3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, Sep 1987
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Harry Potter Book Boutique
--This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Pub Group (September 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425103242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425103241
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,531,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
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).
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.
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By A Customer on July 17 1997
Format: Paperback
The marvelous 5th book of T. H. White's incredible Arthurian saga. This one, in it's complete lack of swordplay and thrill, is set apart from the preceeding four.

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.
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Format: Paperback
So, we learn that T.H. White's ultimate design for his saga was to bring things full circle. The final book takes Arthur underground to meet with Merlyn, and some animals for a grand debate about the nature of humankind. This is a pretty tedious read...long on ideas and short on action. This certainly doesn't come across as a final version of the text. Things that White normally nails, like characterization, aren't always on the mark here.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Professor/author T.H. White wrote a powerful work that provokes inquiries from the reader. The complex characters serve as backboards for the major themes that vary from war to humanity resorting to primitive ways. White constructs a simple plot and adds layer upon layer of wordplay, philosophies, political views, and much more to transform the basic premise into something magical. The most warped character of all, the bumbling eccentric Merlyn, serves as White's voice throughout. The weary Arthur's gripes seem so genuine that the reader may empathize with the lonely soul. White's work contains some of the only material that can be compared with that of fantasy master J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien and White both utilized dead Anglo-Saxon languages' roots and base words to the maximum, mixing Old English prefixes with Norse suffixes. This is a brilliant work, I highly recommend it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Book of Merlyn was an incredible book, once again proving the genius of T.H. White. This book is the only sensible conclusion to the Once and Future King and should have been included in the original printing. In The Book of Merlyn, we revisit King Arthur on the night before his final battle with his son, Mordred. Feeling dejected and alone, Arthur's mentor, the lovably eccentric and ingenious Merlyn, returns and whisks the king away to learn two final lessons from the animals he knew as a child. This book is not merely a childish fairytale, but rather an in-depth dissection of human nature in which the human condition is explored in depth and the ever-elusive meaning of life is hinted at. A book for the serious reader or any serious fan of Arthur and Merlyn, The Book of Merlyn is a masterpiece from the mind of one of the greatest writers of the past one hundred years.
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