FINALLY finished this a few weeks ago. No exaggeration: I have been reading this book for six months. Not six continuous months, mind you. I kept the book by my bed and would try to read a little bit every night, but I could never manage to read more than twenty pages in a single sitting, and I would usually be reading another book in the meantime and forget about Le Morte d’Arthur for weeks at a time.
This thing is a hell of a slog, in other words. Sure, there are knightly adventures and duels aplenty, but once you’ve read two or three you’ve pretty much read them all. It’s just dudes getting smote off their horses and dudes getting smote in the head and damosels running around being pretty and useless, and wasn’t there supposed to be something about a grail quest? (further research tells me that all the stuff about the Holy Grail takes place in Volume Two, which I have absolutely no interest in tracking down)
It got to the point where I had to invent games to keep myself invested in the story, like “How Many of the Fight Scenes Can Be Interpreted as Gay Sex Scenes?” The answer, dear reader, is A Lot.
“By that Sir Launcelot was come, then he proffered Sir Launcelot to joust; and either made them ready, and they came together so fiercely that either bare down other to the earth, and sore were they bruised. …and so they rushed together like boars, tracing, raising, and foining to the mountenance of an hour; and Sir Launcelot felt him so big that he marvelled of his strength, for he fought more liker a giant than a knight, and that his fighting was durable and passing perilous. For Sir Launcelot had so much ado with him that he dreaded himself to be shamed, and said, Beaumains, fight not so sore, your quarrel and mine is not so great but that we may leave off. Truly that is truth, said Beaumains, but it doth me good to feel your might, and yet, my lord, I showed not the utterance.”
Think I’m exaggerating? Here, have another one:
“And then they hurled together as wild boars, and thus they fought a great while. For Meliagaunce was a good man and of great might, but Sir Lamorak was hard big for him, and put him always aback, but either had wounded other sore.”
And then I realized that I wasted six months reading Thomas Malory’s homoerotic King Arthur fanfiction.
Verdict: one out of five stars