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Download The Once and Future King Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Once and Future King (Unabridged) Audiobook, by T. H. White
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (49,388 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: T. H. White Narrator: Neville Jason Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2011 ISBN:
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The stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table have enthralled man since they were first handed down in oral form thousands of years ago. Early versions of these tales were written in poetry form and any of these tales have been difficult for beginning readers to understand. "The Once and Future King" brings the tales to listeners in an easy-to-understand audiobook format that maintains the authenticity of the original tales.

One of the greatest writers in fairly recent British literature has been T.H. White, who was able to write his own version of the Arthurian legends and put it into a form that audiences, especially younger audiences, could find interesting and understandable.

"The Once and Future King" is part of a series of a longer work that centers around the young lad, Wart, who became King Arthur; Merlyn, the magician and Arthur's teacher and the stories of Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur. What is unique about White's version is the relationship between Arthur and Merlyn.

Imagine having a teacher who not only was knowledgeable about the future, but, because he was living backwards in time, he didn't remember what had happened in the past because he had not been there yet. Thus developed the confused, teacher-genius who became the absent-minded professor.

Merlyn's methods of teaching will capture the minds of even reluctant listeners as they listen to how he taught the young Arthur by turning him into various creatures of Nature so that Arthur could learn what innate lessons each animal had to teach.

Terence Hanbury White (1906-1964), more commonly known as T.H. White, was an English author best known for the sequence of Arthurian novels he published based on the Arthurian legends. His most famous work remains "The Once and Future King," which was published in 1958.

T. H. White was born in Bombay, British India to a British couple who were living there. He attended college in England and became well versed in the stories of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He earned a first-class degree in English and eventually taught. It wasn't until later in his life that he revisited Malory's versions of the Arthurian novel and began writing his version, bringing the beloved tales to a modern audience.

The complete box set of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: The Sword in the Stone, The Witch in the Wood, The Ill-Made Knight, The Candle in the Wind, and The Book of Merlyn.

Merlyn instructs the Wart (Arthur) and his brother, Sir Kay, in the ways of the world. One of them will need it: the king has died, leaving no heir, and a rightful one must be found by pulling a sword from an anvil resting on a stone. In the second and third parts of the novel, Arthur has become king and the kingdom is threatened from the north. In the final two books, the ageing king faces his greatest challenge, when his own son threatens to overthrow him. In The Book of Merlyn, Arthur's tutor Merlyn reappears and teaches him that, even in the face of apparent ruin, there is hope.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil Pearson | 2/18/2014

    " This collection of books is a mixed bag. The sword in the stone is good childish fun, while "the ill made Knight" and "Candle in the wind" are excellent tragedies. "The witch in the wood" suffers the most as it is very childish in parts (every scene with Pellinore) yet very grim in others (Morgause killing a cat and the unicorn scenes). The final book "Book of Merlyn" is essential a long rant by White on war and while interesting adds little to the overall story. Despite it's ups and downs I'd reccomend it even if you were only to read "the ill made knight" and "candle in the wind" as they are excellent in their telling of lancelot and how the round table fails. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess Dunton | 2/16/2014

    " I said everything I had to say about this in my blog post on perfect books, but to sum up my main points: this is a perfect book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dick Hamilton | 2/11/2014

    " First, there need to be a few words on order. Prior to reading The Once and Future King, you should read Le Morte d'Arthur by Mallory. After reading The Once and Future King, you should read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Count by Twain. Mallory sets the stage with the more serious tone, then White follows with a story that flows as if it were told by your grandfather as you were going to sleep. Twain concludes by giving you the satirical version that fits in perfectly. But White's story is the most pleasant reading. He gives us the story of Arthur, shows him as he goes through the stages of life we all must pass through, and in the end brings him to a brave finish. Lancelot is not the handsome, wonderful singer we know from Camelot, but the grotesque warrior who is never confident in himself except in battle. Guinevere ages gracefully through the story, always strong as any queen should be. In the end, White shows a remarkable understanding of politics and war, sharing this in the words and thoughts of Arthur in the last few pages. A wonderful book and one of my favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne Barrett | 2/10/2014

    " I absolutely loved this book. The morals and lessons Wart learns in the Sword in the Stone blew me away. Especially the one with the ants. It was deep and thought-provoking and I'd recommend it to anybody. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JR McCravy | 2/7/2014

    " Agreed with what many other reviewers have said: this is a fantasy standard in terms of pure storytelling. Regrettably, I was not exposed to it until an undergrad Arthurian Legend course. My children will be as familiar with this as Narnia or Middle-Earth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Villate | 2/3/2014

    " Stately and beautiful retelling of the Arthur legend. A little slow at first, and there is a bit more description and listing than I think is absolutely necessary, but still exciting and interesting. WAY better than "Ivanhoe." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosy Hill | 2/2/2014

    " I can't wait to read this to my kids (as soon as they develop an interest in stories unrelated to the weather fairies, the color fairies, Batman, Spiderman, the mermaid fairies, the Hulk, you get the drift...) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lora | 1/27/2014

    " Well, I haven't found many King Arthur books that hold me, but White has done it more than once. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 KatieSuzanne | 1/18/2014

    " Wow that was good! The part when Wart pulls the sword from the stone was so much better than the Disney version. Lancelot was amazing the whole time and I think if I ever have a son I'm going to name him Arthur. Left me feeling like no matter how bad the world gets as a whole, there's always hope that we'll come out ok in the end. The description of the geese flying through the clouds was possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever read. I didn't want this book to end. And to think, the reason I read it was because they're always reading it in X-Men and because my copy of it has an awesome cover. I had no idea it was going to be that good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 C.P.D. Harris | 1/16/2014

    " Brilliant and nuanced characterization. White creates the best versions of Lancelot, Arthurs, and Guinevere that I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheryl | 1/2/2014

    " One of my small people was assigned this in English class. I somehow missed it in high school myself, so I read it, too. Although it is a good story, I cannot agree with the cover blurbs calling it a classic. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Robin | 12/26/2013

    " Book club selection that took willpower to finish. I just couldn't stay focused. Too much detail about nothing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beatrice | 12/25/2013

    " This is one of my favorite books from all time, and I go back and reread it every few years. Truly a classic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christi | 12/16/2013

    " need to reread it! Excellent story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine Robertson | 11/20/2013

    " Once you get over the slightly odd style of narration - it's rather like being told a story by an eccentric and mildly delusional great-uncle - these books are magic. I come back to them time and again, and love them anew. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 6/11/2013

    " Read this in high school and found it just a bizarre now as I did then. In a good way, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 1/9/2013

    " Somehow heartbreaking, infuriating, and hilariously funny all at once; makes tender and sensitive individuals - never good or bad but always lost floating in between like all of us - from mythological beings that existed only as stone idols before. Brilliant and beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reed Gilbride | 12/4/2012

    " White does such a good job of humanizing the figures of the original Arthurian legend that his version became the "traditional" version. I'm a sucker for medieval settings anyway, so this book was heaven. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam Sanford | 12/4/2012

    " I love the idea that Merlin was a time-traveler, but its implications are not explored much here. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julia | 11/20/2012

    " I really enjoyed the first part of the book. But toward the middle it really slowed down and I didn't finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cyndy | 3/30/2012

    " I love almost all King Arthur books, but this one stands out for both its humor and its pathos. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Childers crouse | 1/3/2012

    " One that is due for another reading "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 12/22/2011

    " meh, bleh, eh.... I can't get into the Arthurian legend no matter what I try. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristel | 11/12/2011

    " A rewrite of Arthurian Legend combining other works into one great book of 600 plus pages that traces Arthur through childhood to old age. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom Meade | 9/5/2011

    " I described this to someone the other week as "Every horrible thought I've ever had - but in a good way". Having now finished it, I think that holds "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nonamestreet | 8/7/2011

    " one of the most wonderful books I've ever read. A book which enlightens,brightens and changes your day. Lovely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 6/15/2011

    " I wasn't the into the Sword in the Stone part of the book, but I dig the parts about Lancelot. Fun fact, my friend has a quotation from this book tattooed on his feet. True story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 6/15/2011

    " I was unable to read the whole thing back in the summer of 1960(?). It
    was I believe a summer reading assignment for prep school. In those days it was a hit or miss thing for me whether I could finish a book.
    Date (half) read is approximate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marita9955 | 6/15/2011

    " I read this book a long time ago and loved it!! Couldn't stop thinking about it. I'd like to read it again and see if my reaction is the same. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 6/12/2011

    " Loved this book in junior high. Read it about 1988 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vivian | 6/8/2011

    " The ultimate Arthurian legend. The best of the best of the books about King Arthur and his cohorts. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheryl | 6/1/2011

    " One of my small people was assigned this in English class. I somehow missed it in high school myself, so I read it, too. Although it is a good story, I cannot agree with the cover blurbs calling it a classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennie | 5/30/2011

    " L-O-V-E this book!!! I read it a few years ago when I saw Magneto reading it in his plastic jail at the end of X-men. It's about King Arthur and even though it gets a bit tedious in the first part when the author goes into far too much detail on medieval life, it's definitely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ayshe | 5/10/2011

    " My favorite book of all time. "

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About the Author

T. H. White (1906–1964) is the author of the classic Arthurian fantasy The Once and Future King, among other works. He was born in Mumbai, India, to English parents and educated at Queen’s College, Cambridge. His writings have had a strong influence on both J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman.

About the Narrator

Neville Jason is an award–winning narrator, as well as a television and stage actor. He has earned eight AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He is a former member of the Old Vic Company, the English Stage Company, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Birmingham Repertory Company. While training at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, he was awarded the diction prize by Sir John Gielgud.