The Death of King Arthur eBook æ Death of King eBook

The Death of King Arthur eBook æ Death of King  eBook This was my first sally forth into the Arthurian legend and it was absorbing, surprising, and absolutely lovable This is a very different picture of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table than I got from Disney s The Sword and the Stone For one thing, it is much, much darker Arthur is a very Oedipal character, going to extreme lengths e.g drowning a shipful of infants to avoid Merlin s prophecy that he would be murdered Fun fact did you know that Excalibur was not the sword that Arthu This was my first sally forth into the Arthurian legend and it was absorbing, surprising, and absolutely lovable This is a very different picture of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table than I got from Disney s The Sword and the Stone For one thing, it is much, much darker Arthur is a very Oedipal character, going to extreme lengths e.g drowning a shipful of infants to avoid Merlin s prophecy that he would be murdered Fun fact did you know that Excalibur was not the sword that Arthur pulled from the stone Nope, the sword from the stone broke after a bit and he just threw it away Excalibur was a sword that was offered up to him from an arm that came out of a mysterious lake.It s a fount of delightfully messed up characters There s the aforementioned Arthur, the star although he is in the background of most of the book, playing second fiddle to some of theactive noble knights His most beloved knight Lancelot, who in a very unchivalric manner spends years cuckolding the king Arthur s sister, the powerful sorceress Morgan le Fay, who serves as this universe s mischievous Loki She buried Merlin alive with spells as far as I can tell, he s still somewhere in the belly of the earth, subsisting on earthworms Sir Brewnour, a colorful antagonist who established teh custom of dueling to the death every man who visits his castle and killing every woman who is less beautiful than his own wife Of course, it all ends tragically and nearly every character meets an unhappy end And that s all just part of the fun I can t wait to delve deeper into the Arthurian world.A note on this edition This is a retelling of Malory s Le Morte d Arthur King Arthur and the Legends of the Round Table by Peter Ackroyd and by the look of the other reviews of this book, it s not even a great one The naysayers posit that Ackroyd made the legend seem bland I found it anything but bland If I were to do it over again, I d probably start with a different book, probably Malory or White sThe Once and Future King or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight But as it is, I am very pleased with this book I ve been a huge fan of the Arthurian legends since childhood, I read Malory s Morte d Arthur till it literately fell apart I m also a fan of Peter Ackroyd his books on London, Dickens and Blake are memorable in bringing their subjects so vividly to life so The Death of King Arthur was doubly disappointing to me Malory s stories are already so well known, I was expecting an imaginative, inventive re telling, somethinglike Seamus Heaney s Beowulf, but this was a stodgy, stolid transla I ve been a huge fan of the Arthurian legends since childhood, I read Malory s Morte d Arthur till it literately fell apart I m also a fan of Peter Ackroyd his books on London, Dickens and Blake are memorable in bringing their subjects so vividly to life so The Death of King Arthur was doubly disappointing to me Malory s stories are already so well known, I was expecting an imaginative, inventive re telling, somethinglike Seamus Heaney s Beowulf, but this was a stodgy, stolid translation rather than an interpretation, a Malory with all the magic beaten out Really old stories tug on your suspension of disbelief in a way that probably bugs modern readersthan it bugged readers of the time, but this reselling of Malory manages to capture what appeals to people even now about Arthurian legend It s cool to get swept up in a story that s so old. Peter Ackroyd s retelling of Malory s tales purports to be a modernisation, a revivification, even I don t think it really achieves its goals Flawed as Malory s work is, to the modern reader at least, I think there s a passion there and a meaning that slips through Ackroyd s fingers He cuts liberally from the text, so that it certainly doesn t hold the richness of Malory if you re looking for something simplified, abridged, I might even venture to say dumbed down, then Peter Ackroyd s rete Peter Ackroyd s retelling of Malory s tales purports to be a modernisation, a revivification, even I don t think it really achieves its goals Flawed as Malory s work is, to the modern reader at least, I think there s a passion there and a meaning that slips through Ackroyd s fingers He cuts liberally from the text, so that it certainly doesn t hold the richness of Malory if you re looking for something simplified, abridged, I might even venture to say dumbed down, then Peter Ackroyd s retelling might save you the long but rewarding, in my opinion job of reading Malory s original text On the other hand, I don t think it adequately captures the original text, so perhaps you d be better reading one of the countless modern retellings, or one of thedynamic texts in translation Simon Armitage s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is fun Malory s work was itself a retelling, after all.I didn t find it enthralling, as you can tell I didn t find it here, let s find some quotations from the blurb and such a magical and moving evocation of humanity s endless search for perfection, nor did I find it a dramatic modern story , or that it brought new life to the story for our times.One thing I did appreciate was that the introduction and even the dust jacket acknowledge that Malory was no paragon of virtue how ironic that he wrote about chivalry and the finest knights in the world.While this review seems fairly scathing, I didn t hate the book, either I simply found it completely unremarkable.I think I might start rereading Malory, nowWait The GR blurb says, This title presents readable accounts of the knights of the Round Table Readable, yes That s about the most positive I can be about it, too An immortal story of love, adventure, chivalry, treachery and death brought to new life for our times The legend of King Arthur has retained its appeal and popularity through the ages Mordred s treason, the knightly exploits of Tristan, Lancelot s fatally divided loyalties and his love for Guenever, the quest for the Holy Grail Not so much a retelling of the Arthurian legends,a new translation and abridgement Ackroyd has taken Malory s text and retold it in the modern idiom, along the way removing much of the contradictions and superfluous descriptions of battles that clog up the original text However by doing so he has lost some of the poetry of the language To be honest the first part of the book is a bit of a slog and it is only when the Quest for the Grail begins that things take off we are carried along t Not so much a retelling of the Arthurian legends,a new translation and abridgement Ackroyd has taken Malory s text and retold it in the modern idiom, along the way removing much of the contradictions and superfluous descriptions of battles that clog up the original text However by doing so he has lost some of the poetry of the language To be honest the first part of the book is a bit of a slog and it is only when the Quest for the Grail begins that things take off we are carried along to the inevitable doomed conclusion to the story Much of it reads like notes for a fuller retelling of the legends, or a simplified version for young adults This is not to detract from Ackroyd s achievement he is to be applauded for keeping the legends alive and if people go on to tackle Malory s original text that can only be a good thing Personally I prefer my Arthurian reading to be a bit fuller and I d recommend Marion Zimmer Bradley s Mists of Avalaon but not the sequel prequels and T.H White s The Once and Future King to those who seek a reinterpretation of these classic doomed romances This is one of the many works that is referenced in art and poetry, which I ve been meaning to read to furnish my understandings of those works better.I d kind of heard of King Arthur but until now I ve never made the connection to Guinevere, Lancelot, Sir Galahad, Sir Gawain, Merlin, Tristram, Isolde, connection to Christianity and the Holy Grail This is a modern retell of Malory s text thought to be first published in 1485 , which is available in two volumes on Gutenberg and written in Old E This is one of the many works that is referenced in art and poetry, which I ve been meaning to read to furnish my understandings of those works better.I d kind of heard of King Arthur but until now I ve never made the connection to Guinevere, Lancelot, Sir Galahad, Sir Gawain, Merlin, Tristram, Isolde, connection to Christianity and the Holy Grail This is a modern retell of Malory s text thought to be first published in 1485 , which is available in two volumes on Gutenberg and written in Old English, making this Ackroyd s retell an easier read Before reading this, I did compare the two Ackroyd s book has 6 main chapters headings, where 5 are divided further with snappy sub headings to find that story easily Malory s 2 volumes are divided into 21 Books, which are further divided into chapters with long headings that describe the story to come In comparing these, overall, I got the sense that Ackroyd covered all the important parts of the tale His book is considerably shorter I can only guess that his modern retell had trimmed out all the extra quests the knights venture on Maybe Ackroyd thought it was enough to say that this happened by a quick mention rather than describing it in depth I didn t feel I had lost anything for this, as I still managed to come away with a clear grasp of the duty and honour the knights live by, and also Ackroyd s retell showed me clearly how love and romance operates differently in King Arthur s world I came to this realisation without needing to look anything up or read about it When I finished, I was given a distinct impression that this was a moral tale by how Sir Lancelot does not achieve his quest of the Holy Grail It also a tragic tale in how the love Lancelot and Guinevere have brings down the fellowship of the round table, the end of Arthur s reign and Camelot I m not sure if reading Malory s tale would have given me this same understanding to see the difference it has made when I now look at art works that give a nod to this story This year I intend to read other stories around the myth of King Arthur and now feelconfident that I can do this Does the world need a new retelling of the Arthurian saga Particularly one that, and forgive me for this, feels so dumbed down I have read many of Ackroyd s non fiction books and I have always been very impressed with him as a writer, but I couldn t help but be disappointed with this It smacks of those modern revisions of the Bible, where it may beaccessible and how I hate that word in connection with literature but much of the beauty and majesty of the language is lost This book Does the world need a new retelling of the Arthurian saga Particularly one that, and forgive me for this, feels so dumbed down I have read many of Ackroyd s non fiction books and I have always been very impressed with him as a writer, but I couldn t help but be disappointed with this It smacks of those modern revisions of the Bible, where it may beaccessible and how I hate that word in connection with literature but much of the beauty and majesty of the language is lost This book left me cold, alas.This is marketed as a new translation of Malory, but if Ackroyd has changed so much of the language to make it accessible and eliminated much that he feels is extraneous, is it really Malory at all Isn t it just Ackroyd s own take on the legend I might give this to a child to read, but it s not for adults, in my mind, and if I m honest, if I was recommending an Arthurian tale to a child I d usher them in the direction of T.H White I can t count myself in the ranks of fans for King Arthur stories They should be exciting or adventurous even though I have never read the originals , but instead they seemed rendered dull by this version This thing is over 300 pages the plot line pretty much repeats every three pages or so I guess that makes it about 100 times I read a similar scenario over over over It becomes rather mind numbing after a point.A slog, but as a good knight or lady , I stayed the course, fought th I can t count myself in the ranks of fans for King Arthur stories They should be exciting or adventurous even though I have never read the originals , but instead they seemed rendered dull by this version This thing is over 300 pages the plot line pretty much repeats every three pages or so I guess that makes it about 100 times I read a similar scenario over over over It becomes rather mind numbing after a point.A slog, but as a good knight or lady , I stayed the course, fought the battle, have emerged on the other side Not sure if I made it through the reading battle scathed or unscathed.Good luck, dear reader Ackroyd s retelling of the Arthurian legend lacks the magic I was hoping for Well written but it s missing somethingI much preferred Simon Armitage s version aswell as the classic by T.H White.

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