by T.H. White
If ever a book was destined to made into a Disney movie this book is it. It was funny and corny in the same way that the Disney version is. I haven't seen the movie in a long time but there are scenes that popped into my head as I read them and made me smile. All the humor and fun were a pleasure to read. It starts to feel sluggish about 200 pages in but in the end it is all brought back together beautifully.
More than telling a story about the beginnings of King Arthur, I think this book was a treatise about the importance of learning. The Wart could not have become King Arthur without all that he had learned from Merlyn, no matter how silly or boring the reader may find it. Here is a quote that I think encapsulates this message perfectly:
"The best thing for disturbances of the spirit," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love and lose you moneys to a monster, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then-to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the poor mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the thing for you."
I happen to agree with that. And I offer my recommendation of this book to anyone 10 and older.