Parzival and the Stone from Heaven: A Grail Romance Retold for Our Time

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9780007109296: Parzival and the Stone from Heaven: A Grail Romance Retold for Our Time

A wonderful retelling of the legendary story of Parzival, the knight who is given the task of finding the Holy Grail. In the same vein as Seamus Heaney's Beowulf but written as magically as The Alchemist. "If you are to appear before the High King in his court, you'd better have the proper finery," his mother said craftily. "Let me see what I can do." So she cut a tabard out of old sackcloth and a rough pair of buskins out of calf-skin. "And you must have a plume, such as knights wear on their helmets," she said, threading the stems of holly leaves through the crown of his cowl so that he looked like a savage green man from the woods. And so, Parzival arrives at King Arthur's court: a holy fool whom all the knights in that glittering company will mock.' Yet in a world ravaged by war, a world in which men are ruled by fear, hatred and distrust, there is a need for a champion who is innocent of heart and pure of spirit. Arthur's knights are proud and corrupt: none has yet succeeded in finding the Grail, the stone of healing which has the power to make life whole again. But Parzival's destiny may prove greater than that of any other knight!

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About the Author:

Acclaimed author Lindsay Clarke won the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Fiction with Chymical Wedding and is also well-known for Alice's Masque. He has an extensive knowledge of mythology and legend and runs workshops in the UK and abroad.

From Publishers Weekly:

The story line may be familiar, but Clarke does a solid job of bringing to life the world of the Arthurian legends in this retelling of Parzival's quest for the Holy Grail. The story opens with a brief account of the adventures of Parzival's father, a war-happy knight named Gahmuret who forsakes his new bride to go in search of conflict and glory, only to be killed in battle. From there, Clarke shifts to the son's tale, alternating accounts of Parzival's initial encounter with the Grail with the lusty meanderings of Gawain, a knight whose desire for romantic adventures is just as strong as his yearning for battle and recognition. Parzival's first encounter with the Grail throws his family into temporary disgrace and, when a witch curses him for his folly, he must go back and find the Grail a second time to square his accounts with the magic-oriented morality of the medieval world. Clarke, a scholar who provides a lengthy and thoughtful afterword to fill in the blanks for modern readers who are unfamiliar with Arthurian culture, certainly knows his material as well as his audience. But the nature of the story limits him to a wearisome alternation between battle scenes and love conquests, the one intriguing exception being Gawain's adventure in a house of horrors called Castle of Marvels that is controlled by an invisible evil magician named Kilgore. The craft and research that are obvious behind the writing will ensure Clark an audience among aficionados of medieval fiction, but there's nothing compelling enough in this particular retelling to earn him a wider audience.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Clarke, Lindsay
Published by Voyager (2003)
ISBN 10: 0007109296 ISBN 13: 9780007109296
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Lindsay Clarke
Published by Voyager (2003)
ISBN 10: 0007109296 ISBN 13: 9780007109296
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