Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Dragon and the Unicorn by A.A. Attanasio

I still don’t quite understand how or why I read the entire book. The Dragon and the Unicorn begins with a ‘Prelude’ that is about 50 pages of incoherent rambling about life, the universe and everything – it was utterly painful to read. Then we get to the actual story part of the book – which turns out to be just another version of Arthurian myth.

A majority of the story follows Merlinus (Merlin) who searches for, finds, and raises Uther Pendragon to be King of the Britons in the age after Rome has left the land and invasions by the Angles, Saxons, and other tribes begin. The story is pretty standard with Ygrane, Queen of the Celts eventually marrying Uther to ultimately give birth to Arthur – this is not the story of Arthur, but his parents (I assume there is a sequel but don’t care to look it up).

Generally speaking this book is just painful – it attempts to be philosophically universal in the origins of the universe, earth, and religion. This is something that should appeal to me, but it just never works, coming across as New Age crap rather than anything meaningful. A few places in the book become compelling to read and that magical Celtic feel is achieved, but these are exceptions rather than the norm. In the end, I didn’t care for a single character in this book and it took an extreme exercise in will to reach the end of the book.

I can only recommend The Dragon and the Unicorn to the most hard core fans of Arthurian myth; everyone else should give it a wide birth. 4/10.


Joe Sherry said...

Ouch! I'll pass.

Neth said...

You're not missing anything.


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