RUDE TALES AND GLORIOUS: A Retelling of the Arthurian Tales by Nicholas Seare

RUDE TALES AND GLORIOUS: A Retelling of the Arthurian Tales

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sophomorically rude, anything but glorious. Supposedly the contents of a secret old manuscript written by Seare's distant ancestor, Davydd ap Scare, these half-dozen tales are narrated by the aged Launcelot du Lac and his aged Lady Elaine--who turn up one night, as pathetic, smelly beggars, at the castle of the coarse Baron of Dolbadarn. First there's a story tracing King Arthur's lineage back to the Trojan War--with Hector biting ""Sir Achilles"" on the heel and crying: ""There! . . . Take that, thou lickshit perfidious bastard!"" Then comes a tiresomely predictable gag-version of The Sword in the Stone: Merlin's a traveling con-man with a fake sword-in-stone show; Arthur's his assistant; ""Gwen"" is their whore; and the Big Moment is stale slapstick. Next: a smirky one-joke story about handsome ""Sir Gay"" and handsome Sir Lionel, who do battle--but then take off their helmets, are smitten, ""retire a little ways into the wood and there did they confirm their friendship in many and pretty ways."" (It's been done before, and better, as a 30-second vaudeville sketch.) Equally obvious: the old locker-room routine about the knight with the huge member. And so on--sans wit, sans style, sans point. Read Thomas Berger's Arthur Rex--or watch Monty Python, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, et al.--instead.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1983
Publisher: Potter--dist. by Crown