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Paperback King Book

ISBN: 1564784134

ISBN13: 9781564784131


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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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List Price $12.95

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Book Overview

In The King, a retelling of Le Morte D'Arthur, Donald Barthelme moves the chivalrous Knights of the Round Table to the cruelty of the Second World War. Dunkirk has fallen, Europe is at the breaking point, Ezra Pound and Lord Haw-Haw are poisoning the radio waves, Mordred has fled to Nazi Germany, and King Arthur and his worshipful Knights are deep in the fighting. When the Holy Grail presents itself--which is, in this version, the atomic bomb, "a...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Witty, original and easy-to-read

I was assigned this book to read for a class on Arthurian legends as part of one of the units entitled "The Arthur We Inherited." Because the book's been out of print so long, the professor had to photocopy it for all of us. Having read it, I can say that I'm so glad it seems to be back in print! I read it in one night. The characters are fantastic, the dialogue is literally laugh-out-loud funny. It's such an original plotline. I can honestly say it's the best reading I had to do for that course, and certainly among the best novels I've ever read!

Read this.

I paid a dollar for this book. God Bless used bookstores who carry out-of-print titles on clearance. The King is probably flawless - I've read it 10 or 11 times now, and each time the language is always as fresh as the previous reading. Donald Barthelme is indisputably the Alpha and Omega of contemporary American short fiction, and this is his very best. If you're not familiar with his stuff, go grab one of the anthologies (60 or 40 Stories), find a good place to read, and become quietly enthralled. The fact that this book is out-of-print either testifies to the current lifeless state of the publishing industry, or the existence of a cold, malevolent trickster-god. If you have personal contact with ANYONE involved in the publishing industry, PLEASE encourage them to read The King, to reproduce it, to lavish it with praise and vigorous marketing, etc. D.B. has slipped out of the American literary consciousness - if that isn't an oxymoron - these last ten years, being instead cruelly relegated to the pomp and ineffectual circumstance of that icy ninth ring of hell, THE LAND OF GRADUATE STUDIES. Unacceptable. Find this book, pay the search fee, abuse the mass-quantity machines at Kinko's, and leave copies on the street corners. Brighten a stranger's day.

I annoyed everyone around me with this book!

Donald Barthelme's "The King" is the loudest laugh I've ever had from a book! It is the tale of Arthur and his knights fighting World War II, though the tale is told primarily through these characters' sad and outdated dialogue. I read this book almost non-stop through breakfast at a coffee shop, a trounce through my favorite bookstore and then dinner, all the while grabbing anyone close at hand to read passages to. Nasty looks and possibly even violent reactions would not assuage me, for the humor, joy and pure inventiveness of Barthelme's writing kept me as humble and courteous as a chivalrous knight

You absolutely must find and buy and -- finally -- READ this

Hitler and King Arthur come to blows in this, a virtually dialogue-only novel. Absolutely incredible. Will be one of the top five novels you've ever read
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