Read Knight Life by Peter David Online


The legendary debut novel from "New York Times" bestselling author Peter David has been expanded and updated into a brand new edition. King Arthur, the once and future King, has been called forth by the wizard Merlin to lead a land in turmoil-the United States of America. But with no throne to sit upon, Arthur must run for elective office-starting with the Mayorship of NeThe legendary debut novel from "New York Times" bestselling author Peter David has been expanded and updated into a brand new edition. King Arthur, the once and future King, has been called forth by the wizard Merlin to lead a land in turmoil-the United States of America. But with no throne to sit upon, Arthur must run for elective office-starting with the Mayorship of New York City......

Title : Knight Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441010776
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Knight Life Reviews

  • Jen
    2018-09-15 06:28

    As a medievalist and friend of several Arthurianists, it's hard to find a retelling of Arthur's court that isn't rather stilted or painfully saccharine. Peter David, fortunately, manages to find the middle ground, and without the harsh cynicism of some of his other works (specifically the Sir Apropos of Nothing series).The premise is simple--Arthur (yes, that Arthur) has been resuscitated by Merlin to rejoin society and finds himself running for mayor of a late 90s New York City. The gags are obvious but still funny, and this re-imagining of the relationships of Arthur's fellow characters is actually pretty brilliant. David relies heavily on the dry wit of Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and the literary tropes of T.H. White's The Once and Future King via Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur to build his world, but also has a linguistic savvy for the political realm in which Arthur finds himself. The explanation of how Gwen is that Gwen felt a bit stretched, but I really appreciated where David went with the rehabilitation of that character--Guinevere can be super simpering sometimes.And the finale? Epic. As befitting Arthur, of course. I'll be hanging on to this one.

  • Nicole
    2018-09-19 05:19

    A good depiction of Arthur within the context—-chivalrous, honest, brave, and honorable. I really liked some of his answers to questions posed by the press. It was a neat twist to make Percival both immortal and a Moor. Gwen turned out to be quite a decent character, and I liked the way the story turned out. And some of the pop culture references were priceless.

  • John Kirk
    2018-09-26 04:25

    I've read the original version of this story as well as the revised version. On the whole, I think that the new text is an improvement, and it was certainly necessary in order to set the story in "present day" (c. the year 2000) rather than the late 1980s. It also does a nice job of setting things up for the sequels. However, there are a couple of bits I miss from the original.More generally, I've gone off the book a bit since I first read it, mainly due to real world politics. In the story, Arthur has a bold new approach to politics, e.g. "don't bother me with the facts". Looking at the Brexit campaign in 2016, Michael Gove claimed that the British people "have had enough of experts". Looking at the novel again, Arthur proposes an idea for capital punishment (let the bereaved relatives decide whether the murderer should be executed); another candidate (a former District Attorney) dismisses this as unworkable, because there are legal guidelines for which sentences are appropriate. Compare and contrast that with Donald Trump's claim that he would build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it... Sticking with the Trump comparison, Arthur doesn't have any political track record, but he has a fake history of success in business (courtesy of Merlin).There's an important distinction between flawed characters and bad writing. I've read stories where the protagonist is more of an anti-hero or has a fall from grace. The problem here is that the whole premise of the book is about Arthur campaigning for election. If you take that away, what's left? Having said that, the politics are a bit of a McGuffin anyway. (view spoiler)[He gets elected to mayor at the end of this book, then he moves on to the White House at the start of One Knight Only. (hide spoiler)]On the positive side, I like Arthur's approach of strict honesty (refusing to outright lie), which sets him apart from several real-world politicians. I also enjoyed the debate where he gets frustrated with his opponents. ("They didn't answer the question!")Aside from the politics, arguably the real focus of the book was resuming an old battle between medieval opponents, particularly Merlin and Morgan le Fay. However, I was a bit disappointed by the way that Modred was handled. (view spoiler)[His characterisation seemed to "wobble": was he just acting under duress (fearing Morgan) or did he actually hate Arthur? Looking at his final fate, I also preferred the original text where he reunited with his friends (renamed as Buddy and Elvis in this version). (hide spoiler)]Speaking of Morgan, there's a scene where she sexually assaults (view spoiler)[Lance (hide spoiler)] (bordering on rape). I think that's valid, because she's the villain and she's doing a villainous act. Comparing this to other books I've read, it's closer to Mirror Dance than Fallen Angels, i.e. I don't think that the reader is supposed to endorse her actions. There's nothing too graphic, but consider this a content warning.The writer does a good job of describing each character's physical appearance, so I could picture them in my mind while I was reading the story. I liked the idea that Arthur looks quite short by modern standards, since people have generally got taller over the centuries. However, there were repeated references to Gwen's "strawberry-blonde hair", which seemed excessive; I only needed to be told the colour once, not every time.

  • Mike Koellhoffer
    2018-09-09 03:33

    Another re-telling of the King Arthur legend, only this time it is a modern day Arthur Penn running for mayor of NYC and each of the characters from the original stories make their appearance, tho not as they once were. I had not read this book in either its 1987 or 2002 version, but I thought this 2017 version was a lot of fun. A very quick easy read, but it forced you to slow down to savor and enjoy all the little nods to the countless King Arthur, Merlin and Camelot books, movies and plays and even musicals out there. A King Arthur purist who wants a retelling of the olde days may not appreciate this book, but I found this to be really appropriate the way everyone seems to be remaking fairy tales, Oz, and the classics right now.

  • Lucy Takeda
    2018-09-12 06:30

    Peter David is such fun! Perceval appears at a public event with a joust wearing a Final Fantasy T-shirt, which he claims is appropriate attire for a special occasion. Merlin and Arthur reappear in New York City The intro says Peter decided to rewrite this novel before it was re-released. I did not read the first edition. I completely enjoyed this edition. Mixing Camelot legend with modern slang leads to fascinating and amusing complications. It is interesting to observe how modern New Yorkers react to a politician preaching common sense. He suggests that the survivors when someone is murdered should decide on the punishment.

  • Amy
    2018-09-27 01:25

    Not what I expected. I thought it started out rather silly and I expected it to get better as the plot developed, but it was too sci-fi/strange for me. I did get into it, but it felt too cheesy and really lacked depth. I guess I don't know enough about the legend of King Arthur and reading this made me wish I knew more. Would knowing more make this book less of an eye roller? I'm not sure.

  • Ed
    2018-09-22 06:17

    Got this a loooong time ago as a Book Bub offer. Put it off and kept putting it off but finally sat down and read it. The story was ok and parts of it were funny but it did not hook me enough to keep going with the series.

  • Lynne Randolph
    2018-09-02 06:22

    Reading this again was just as enjoyable as the first timeI wish I knew if I had read the original or the rewritten one. Guess I'll never know!! Now, can I make myself read the next two in, gasp, actual book form??

  • Marianne
    2018-08-28 03:28

    This book spins traditional Arthurian legend on it's head as it bring the very medieval King Arthur into present day New York. Arthur, having been defeated by Modred way back in the days of Camelot didn't actually die, but instead was hidden in a cave. Hundreds of years pass, and eventually he, and an ageing backwards Merlin, emerge from their respective caves and find themselves in a bustling NY city where they have the idea that Arthur should run for mayor. Arthur reclaims Excalibur (a very funny scene where the Lady of the Lake emerges, complete with fish on her head and in front of two homeless men), finds a reborn Guinevere (who is in an abusive relationship with a man called Lance) and a drunk Percival who is down on life as he's never been able to die due to having drunk from the Holy Grail. Throw in Morgan La Fay (at one point a fat, almost suicidal woman depressed because her old adversity hasn't been around for hundreds of years) and her son, Moe Dreskin (a PR guru who changed his name because no one would hire someone called Moe Dread in his line of work.)This is a lot of fun - Arthur trying to build a successful political campaign, Merlin trying to keep Arthur from repeating mistakes while being trapped in a child's body etc and the best thing about it is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. Obviously there are plot holes the size of a small country there, but lets face it - we're dealing with magic, mythical kings, time-travel and re-incarnation, does anyone really care about how they all ended up in NY instead of in Wales or something?Last year I read Helen Hollick's wonderful Arthur trilogy and yes, that was more historically accurate (and avoided the stuff I hate about Arthurian legends once Mallory got ahold of it) but this is a very different kind of book and extremely enjoyable in its own right. Very few books make me laugh out loud, but this one did numerous times and I very much look forward to reading the sequels.

  • Michael
    2018-09-06 23:30

    What if King Arthur came back today? And what if instead of being the king of England, he did something radically different--such as run for mayor of New York City? Those questions serve as the premise for Peter David's first novel, Knight Life. For years, Knight Life was hard to find--its popularity among David fans is well-known. Thankfully, David has ended the long searches through used bookstores by updating his novel and releasing it again in hardcover for a new generation of fans to pick up and enjoy. If you like Peter David's usual writing style, you're in for a treat here. David pays homage to the basic tenants of the Arthurian legend while putting his own, comic spin on a lot of it. David has apparently done his homework and done it well, but he doesn't take it so seriously that he can't have some fun with it. There are a lot of absolutely laugh-out loud sequences in the book, from the Lady of the Lake rising up in Central Park and being covered with trash to the running joke about Merlyn's reverse aging and looking like a teenager. This modern-day retelling of the Arthur story works very well and you can see the joy that David has in writing it. Some passages seem to be in the same vein as William Goldman's The Princess Bride. David pays homage, but also pokes holes in the coventions of the stories he is re-telling, just as he did last year with his great Sir Appropos of Nothing.If you've a Peter David fan, this is a must-read. If you've heard good things about him, start here and then head on to Sir Apropos and Imazadi. All of them are great stories by a great author.

  • Sean Randall
    2018-09-13 05:33

    "Science. Incomprehensible. Give me magic any day." Lacking the verbal dexterity of Sir Apropos of Nothing and the depth of a weighty universe such as Star Trek, this is nonetheless a very enjoyable story and an amazing entree for something written a quarter of a century ago by an author as his debut novel.Looking at the jacket of one of Peter David's recent titles, the "also by" section goes on for longer than most other tables of contents. And yet the "about ye author" (yes, even the real world matter is whacky) only cites his comic work and makes reference to his children and wife (whom he has since divorced, I believe).Anyway, Craig Shaw Gardner called it "a promising first novel" and Christopher Stasheff said ""Enjoyable and intriguing!" I agree with both of those assessments. it's something of an honour, to come to a part of the author's life long gone afresh, and see some of the style and routes that have since made his writings some of the few I'm guaranteed to buy whenever they hit book shops.

  • ***Dave Hill
    2018-09-27 02:40

    (Original review scoring runs 1-3)Summary: [2] This is a revised and rereleased version of one of David’s earlier works, wherein Arthur finds himself resurrected and running for mayor of New York, with a child Merlin as his campaign advisor.Entertainment: [3] Light, airy, and amusing, both on (re)takes on the Arthurian legend, as many of the folks from that saga make appearances in one way or another, and on politics (New York politics in particular). David manages a modicum of suspense, particularly as to the outcome of the renascent Arthur/Gwen romance. But most of the book is easy reading, with plenty of duck-out-of-water chuckles and bad puns. Vintage (literally) David stuff. And a sequel should be released in the near future.Profundity: [2] The course of true love never did run smooth. Obsessions can get you in trouble. Trust your feelings, Arthur. Out of the box thinking can come up with some very interesting — and superfially appealing — solutions to intractable social and legal problems. People like a guy on a white horse — and maybe that’s sometimes a good thing.Re-readability: [3] This could easily become a “comfort book.”

  • Rachel
    2018-09-15 23:30

    Not as good as I remember it. Arthur has been awoken from slumber to run for Mayor of New York, and the gangs' all here-Arthur, Percival, Merlin, Morgan, Mordred and Gwen-even though Gwen will probably bollocks it up again.Arthur's still dynamic and honest, and despite that the citizens of New York rally around him. Could the Once and Future King actually become mayor of the Big Apple?I read this when I was a lot younger, and I understand that Peter David took the original manuscript and tweaked it for a re-issue. I don't remember if it was so...anti-woman the first time I read it, but this time there was definite pause. Gwen goes from an abusive relationship to one with Arthur, where she might as well not have an identity, and the villain of the piece is Morgan LeFay, which is accurate, but she's the only other female character in the book. So there's the virgin (Gwen) and the whore (Morgan). I should read the rest of the series (it's always a series) but this book does not hold up to memory. Still it's pretty good.

  • Dan
    2018-09-24 23:25

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Basically King Arthur reappears in New York in the 21st century and runs for mayor. We get to see Merlin, Mordred, Morgana, Gwen and Percival along with two more Homeless "knights" Buddy and Elvis. The author does put some funny items in this first book of a trilogy. I laughed for a few minutes when I read when Arthur was going to a press conference and his "knight" Buddy breaks out two coconuts and starts clopping them together when Arthur starts walking up to the podium. I am looking forward to reading the next two books in this series. The main reason I got this book to read is because my mom gave me the third book in the series a few years ago. She read it and was telling me that she did not understand it at all so she thought maybe I would understand it. I laughed when I found out that she had read the third book without reading the first two, so I searched off and on for two years before I finally found the first two books.

  • Burt
    2018-09-23 01:26

    This was an entertaining read, lighthearted in general. I picked it as my choice of the month for a book with Arthurian flavor. Again, I refuse to apologize for not being into things Arthurian, and many in my reading circle have threatened to take a corner off my Man Card or to ostracize me from polite society as a result. Putting Arthur into modern day Manhattan in order to take control of City Hall, now that's the kind of thing I could get into.It's a fast read and it's pretty straightforward, putting it firmly in beach read category. It's enjoyable enough and doesn't require a lot of thought to get through. Relaxing in its way, and the modernization and reincarnations of many of the characters meets with the crazy stereotypes generally endeared by most New Yorkers.I advise it for those with an Arthurian bent or those who like to tweak Arthurian noses. Good (mostly clean) fun.

  • Ron
    2018-09-13 03:24

    A reawakened King Arthur attepts to find his place in a radically changed world. What else is there for a former king to do than to strive for public office? Since the presidential election seems to big a challenge for the first attempt a democracy, he settles for mayor of New York.Supremely confident and unwilling to play the game according to the usual rules he challenges the political establishment and gains the voters' approval by telling the truth. Shocking!Despite his lack of experience, his tendency to admit it if he does not know something and decried by his rival as a dilettante he nonetheless wins the election. Oh, and the continuous interference by reincarnated versions of his old gang, a prebuscent Merlin and an immortal Morgan Le Fey keep it from being a complete cakewalk.

  • Kim
    2018-09-03 04:26

    I was absolutely delighted by this book! I snickered, I outright laughed, and just generally had a good time while I read it.The idea of King Arthur in the modern world is by no means an original one, but Peter David put a fascinating spin on it and really brought the characters to life. I loved the banter between Arthur and Merlin especially. Though they are very different characters from their counterparts in the BBC's series Merlin, one can hear the similarities in the way they speak to each other at times. Quite amusing.Buddy and Elvis were also hysterical. Great comic relief there. I nearly died laughing when they called the Lady of the Lake Arthur's "submersible girlfriend". All and all, a very enjoyable read! Definitely worth your time!

  • Stacielynn
    2018-09-07 02:35

    This is a book that is simply fun, if you let yourself enjoy it and not think too much. I had such a good time seeing Arthur and the gang romping their way around the Big Apple. The Arthurian legend is fascinating in its flexibility. I can revel in all of it - from the epic poems to an absurd modern day tale. There is no one story. It is many stories with many different heroes and villains, so it is perfect for playful interpretation. Peter David has a nice way with words -- in a modern, snarky kind of style -- that helps to show each character's personality.I know many would find it too silly and that's okay. This is for you quirky readers who don't mind taking a different path.

  • Brian
    2018-09-26 01:45

    After a very literary turn with my last book, this was just the book I needed to read. Very quick read, entertaining and funny. I simply had to read the description and I was hooked: King Arthur comes back after being trapped in a cave for centuries, to save the world by... running for Mayor of New York! And somehow, many of the characters from his past (Merlin, Morgan, Modred, etc) all show up to help or hinder him in his campaign. Peter David manages to combine the fantasy and magic of Arthur's world with the absurdity of a 21st century political campaign to hysterical effect. The result is simply awesome.

  • Arthurianmaiden
    2018-09-23 05:40

    First: I've read the old version, the nonrevised version of this novel. So my review is really on it and not on the revised version.I didn't like it. It was awful. Maybe it's also because I don't live in US and I am not familiar with US politics, but I didn't find this novel particularly funny. I usually love Arthurian reincarnation novels when they are done well but here everything seemed to fast. It looks like reading a comic but without pictures and only dialogues and descriptions with no introspection. Plot devices to make the plot go on, evil characters that are cliché-evil and only superficially described characters. Unoriginal ending. Fat shaming for Morgana. And much more.

  • Ben Goodridge
    2018-09-20 01:25

    I haven't gotten to "The Once and Future King" on my list yet, and I think the Arthur legend as it stands owes more to White than Malory, so there may have been some references in this that I missed.Here are some things never said by readers of Peter David: "Gosh, I wish I'd chosen a different book." "I just can't bear to turn another page." "I think I'll turn out the lights and go to bed before I finish it." Also "Hibble bibble dobble dibble," for some reason.Anyway, read it.

  • Amanda
    2018-08-31 00:15

    An interesting concept, but the writing just wasn't strong enough to support it. Arthur was mostly a caricature of the noble king and I just didn't really believe he had the charisma and heroism to be a good politician. The jokes were pretty stale, and Merlin was annoying. However, I found Morgan Le Fay and Mordred to be fun twists on the legend and Percival was an interesting and smart invention. But still, the Arthur on the page just wasn't leadership material.

  • Lydia
    2018-09-24 01:39

    I always love almost anything I read from Peter David and this was no exception. I need to get my hands on the other books from this series. I don't like it quite as much as the Sir Apropos series, but they're hard to top, and I really liked this one. I really need to update this site more often, I finished this over a year ago at least.

  • Karen
    2018-09-16 01:28

    I had been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while so I finally decided to read it. And I wasn't disappointed at all. Loved it. The idea of Arthur returning to NYC and becoming mayor is a perfect set up for both a humorous story as well as one that contains some social commentary about our own time. Very good book.

  • Scott
    2018-09-04 00:42

    This is a rewrite of Peter David's first novel. The original was the start of a promising career. The rewrite has the benefit of his years as a novelist.The story itself is a new look on the story of King Arthur. Arthur finds himself in Modern Day New York and decides to restart his political career in America.

  • Z
    2018-09-23 02:29

    An amusing, rather lighthearted, Arthurian read. Arthur attempts to become mayor of New York, accompanied by some familiar face. Merlin, in particular, is priceless in this one. What with the whole aging backward thing, he looks like a child at this point, and of course they have to explain what he's doing wandering around with the campaign sans parents. The explanation is hilarious.

  • Jenn
    2018-09-25 04:43

    This was a good one! I'm a fan of Arthurian legends. I haven't read a ton of them because after a while, they all start to run together. But I enjoy them! This one is different, though. It's sort of a reverse of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. This has at least 2 sequels I think and I do believe I'll eventually read them, though not right yet.

  • Jessi
    2018-09-01 04:20

    Wow politicians are such pricks.... but yeah I had to pick this book up because, come on, King Arthur running for mayor. AWESOME!!! and who knew Gwen would be so feisty? and of course Morgana was hiding away in New Jersey, go figure.

  • Alison
    2018-08-29 07:45

    It's been a while since I've read this book, but I remember liking it a lot. King Arthur, imprisoned in a cave with Merlin for an ungodly amount of time, arrives in present-day New York. Hilarity ensues.

  • Ron
    2018-09-27 02:41

    King Arthur and company in 1980's New York City. He runs for mayor! what could possibly go wrong? Well, Morgan Le Fey and Mordred are back as well. Will Merlin and modern medicine be enough? Read and find out!