The King

By Donald Barthelme; Barry Moser (Illustrator)
(Dalkey Archive Press, Paperback, 9781564784131, 158pp.)

Publication Date: April 2006

List Price: $12.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.

Go


Description

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 superweapon if you will, with which we can chastise and thwart the enemy"--they must decide whether to hew to their knightly ways or adopt a modern ruthlessness. Barthelme makes brilliant comic use of anachronism to show that war is center stage in the theater of human absurdity and cruelty. But Arthur, in deciding to decline the power of the Grail, announces his unwillingness to go along: "It's not the way we wage war. The essence of our calling is right behavior, and this false Grail is not a knightly weapon.




About the Author
Donald Barthelme was one of the most influential American novelists of the 1970s and 1980s, bringing a unique postmodern voice to his novels, short stories and essays. He died in 1989.

Barry Mosher, one of the foremost illustrators working today, has illustrated many books for adults and children, including The Pennyroyal Caxton edition of the King James Bible and Lewis Carroll's Alice: Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.
Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound






Update Profile