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The Camelot Papers [Kindle Edition]

Peter David

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Book Description

A powerful ruler who's considered by many to be simple-minded and vacuous and has serious father issues. A no-nonsense, polarizing woman who favors pants suits and pursues dubious agendas involving social needs. A remarkably magnetic leader of men with a reputation as a skirt-chaser. A scheming, manipulative advisor who is constantly trying to control public perceptions. A man seen as the next, great hope for the people, except there are disputes over his background and many contend he's not what he appears to be.

George W? Hillary and Bill? Karl Rove? Obama?

Try Arthur Pendragon, Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin, and Galahad.

Whatever you think of the state of today's politics, The Camelot Papers shows you just how little matters have changed in the past thousand years or so. The Camelot Papers presents a fresh perspective on Arthurian legend by using modern day sensibility and combining it with a classic tale to bring a new insight into iconic characters.

The story is told from a unique perspective: that of Viviana (a.k.a. the seductress Vivian in other tales), here revealed to be a bright, knowledgeable young woman who was sold into slavery and winds up behind the scenes in Castle Camelot. Just like many incendiary political tell-alls of modern day, no one is better positioned to comment on the foibles of those on high than someone who is far below.

Learn here, for the first time, the down-and-dirty royal secrets that plagued Camelot as told by someone who was actually there, and adapted by acclaimed New York Times bestseller Peter David. Full of sensationalism, startling secrets and astounding revelations, The Camelot Papers is to the realm of Arthur what the Pentagon Papers is to the military: something that all those concerned would rather you didn't see... but you can see it now.

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Product Description

About the Author

Peter David is a prolific author whose career, and continued popularity, spans nearly two decades. He has worked in every conceivable media: Television, film, books (fiction, non-fiction and audio), short stories, and comic books, and acquired followings in all of them. In the literary field, Peter has had over seventy novels published, including numerous appearances on the New York Times Bestsellers List. His novels include Tigerheart, Darkness of the Light, Sir Apropos of Nothing and the sequel The Woad to Wuin, Knight Life, Howling Mad, and the Psi-Man adventure series. He is the co-creator and author of the bestselling Star Trek: New Frontier series for Pocket Books, and has also written such Trek novels as Q-Squared, The Siege, Q-in-Law, Vendetta, I, Q (with John deLancie), A Rock and a Hard Place and Imzadi. He produced the three Babylon 5 Centauri Prime novels, and has also had his short fiction published in such collections as Shock Rock, Shock Rock II, and Otherwere, as well as Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Peter’s comic book resume includes an award-winning twelve-year run on The Incredible Hulk, and he has also worked on such varied and popular titles as Supergirl, Young Justice, Soulsearchers and Company, Aquaman, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2099, X-Factor, Star Trek, Wolverine, The Phantom, Sachs & Violens, The Dark Tower, and many others. He has also written comic book related novels, such as The Incredible Hulk: What Savage Beast, and co-edited The Ultimate Hulk short story collection. Peter is also the writer for two popular video games: Shadow Complex and Spider-Man: Edge of Time. Peter is the co-creator, with popular science fiction icon Bill Mumy, of the Cable Ace Award-nominated science fiction series Space Cases, which ran for two seasons on Nickelodeon. He has written several scripts for the Hugo Award winning TV series Babylon 5, and the sequel series, Crusade. He has also written several films for Full Moon Entertainment and co-produced two of them, including two installments in the popular Trancers series, as well as the science fiction western spoof Oblivion, which won the Gold Award at the 1994 Houston International Film Festival for best Theatrical Feature Film, Fantasy/Horror category. He lives in New York with his wife, Kathleen, and his four children, Shana, Gwen, Ariel, and Caroline.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 801 KB
  • Print Length: 458 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983687706
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crazy 8 Press (5 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005AQ1H5Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #422,685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE CAMELOT PAPERS: The Politics of the Round Table 4 Aug. 2011
By Juniper - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What if Camelot was a land not of magic and nobility, but rather a kingdom of political manipulation and very flawed people? And what if it had more than a few parallels to contemporary history? This is the setting for THE CAMELOT PAPERS, Peter David's behind-the-scenes look at what would become the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

The framework for THE CAMELOT PAPERS are the recently-discovered journals of Viviana, a slave whose keeps a journal of her day-to-day activities in Camelot. For Viviana, Camelot is filled with perils. Initially they come from the brutish king Uther and the animosity of Rowena, who runs the kitchens. Things become more complex -- and potentially dangerous -- as Viviana becomes an observer of, and sometimes participant with, the rulers of Camelot.

Arthur seems nice, but also forgetful (and sometimes stupid), and he is ill-prepared when Uther is poisoned and Arthur is suddenly king. Merlin is a behind-the-scenes manipulator who continually plots and plans -- and who has Arthur's unquestioning trust. Guinevere finds herself reluctantly married to Arthur and sees him as a way to advance her own agendas. (She's also more comfortable wearing mannish clothes than the dresses expected of a queen.) Guinevere's sister Morgan seems nicer than most and more affectionate to Arthur than his queen -- but could Morgan have her own secret interests? Modred, Morgan's adopted son, is a creepy little boy who seems to appear and disappear from the shadows -- and he is a creepy manipulator in his own right. Lancelot is a mighty warrior, a lecherous womanizer, and a man with his own secret. And there's the filthty, mute stable boy who catches Viviana's interest. All these characters seem very far removed from Gawain, Viviana's ideal and imagined embodiment of the best of the knights.

THE CAMELOT PAPERS is an intriguing look at the potential reality behind the legends of Camelot. Viviana is the ideal character to report on what happens, whether she's forgotten about as an "unimportant" servant or spying on the characters through the castle's secret passages (which are also traveled by Modred). She also grows as a character, going from someone interested in surviving to trying to improve things for others: the people she knows, and later her whole country. While Mr. David makes the parallels between the past and present a little heavy-handed towards the end of the book (including a war based on faulty intelligence, with no foreign support, to avenge an attack on a parent and with the spectre of a hated opponent who is never seen used to justify torture and atrocities), his does an excellent job creating a web of political intrigues. He also makes it easy to imagine that these very human characters could wind up inspiring the Arthurian legends that we all know now.

From the cover of THE CAMELOT PAPERS, I expected a Monty Python-esque romp through medieval legend. Instead, we get an outsider's view at the inner workings of a kingdom where legends were born -- from politicians maneuvering and plotting.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read 25 Aug. 2011
By Andrew A. Greeson - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished the Camelot Papers.A great read very enjoyable. This is a very entertaining and different take on the Arthur legends. A lot of fun to read some very funny surprises and quirks along the way. Everything you thought you knew about Arthurian legend and then it turns it around.
I have read tons of King Arthur stories and different takes on the legends this one is well worth the read. Peter David is always a top notch story teller and this book does not disappoint.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought it was going to be about 27 July 2011
By Shiromi - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Camelot Papers follows Viviana, a young woman sold into slavery and brought to Camelot. As a servant who can read and write, Viviana (at least initially) goes unnoticed by those of rank in the castle, and is thus able to record the "true" events of Arthur Pendragon's rise to power. For those that are familiar with his Knight Life series, this book is not in any way related to that earlier series.

I am a huge fan of Peter David's work from way back when, so I was pretty excited when I learned that he was working on a King Arthur book. Overall, it's an enjoyable read. It still has plenty of the author's trademark humour but I have to say that there was a lot that gave me pause. For one thing, the cover art by JK Woodward was pretty misleading. Yes, there was plenty of humour in the book, and the tongue-in-cheek, National Enquirer-style cover was certainly eyecatching, but it didn't mesh with the tone of the book. It felt as though the artist hadn't actually read the same book that I had read. If anything, the book was far less humourous than David's previous work, and far more political. But I'll get to that in a moment.

Another thing that bothered me a lot was the voice of Viviana. The book is written like a diary, from her point of view. Except, it wasn't until near the end of the book, that I actually began to like her character, and that's not such a great thing when she's your eyes into this world. Part of it is that she's supposed to be a slave. When someone like Arthur addresses her, she's supposed to stay bland and agreeable. And I understand that, I really do. As a slave, her fate is in other people's hands so she doesn't give much thought to anything outside of her own circumstances. But through most of the story, it was as though other characters were seeing things in Viviana that truly I was not. Yes, she could read. Yes, she was occasionally blunt and honest. But it still didn't explain to me why she became so trusted, not just by Arthur but Guinevere and even Merlin.

As I mentioned earlier, this book is far more political than David's previous work. This last complaint is perhaps more my fault than the authors. I had purchased the book with almost no knowledge of it, save that it was about King Arthur. This meant that I missed the part where it said it was political satire. And not just vague ideas, but a good chunk of the book is devoted to political satire. You have Galahad, the mysterious knight who the people of Camelot believe can do no wrong. You have Arthur and his knights going off to fight a war that has no end in site because they can't tell who is a follower of the evil Malegeant and who is not. You have stories of torture. You even have Guinevere proposing that the wealthy are taxed to ease the suffering of the poor. You get the picture. I think a few of these ideas would've made me chuckle. But I found myself feeling a little short changed. I guess, in the end, I wanted a humourous book about King Arthur, and not one that reminds me that no one in Washington seems to know what they're doing.

Not that the book wasn't a fun read. I liked seeing how David handled all of the pieces of the King Arthur legend to create his own story. You could see how some of it was factual, according to Viviana, and how some of it would be warped into legend. He created some interesting characters (with the exception of Viviana) and if this becomes a series, I would certainly pick up more books. Personally, I really want to see more from the trouser-wearing Guinevere and the not-really-a-wizard Merlin.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, insightful, de/reconstructive fantasy 31 July 2011
By Gary Mitchel - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a big Peter David fan, and a King Arthur fan, so I was very interested to see PAD's take on the Knights of the Round.

The book is told from the point of view of Viviana, a slave who is brought to Camelot while Uther is still king. Viviana is a rarity of the time, in that she is literate and keeps a journal of her life. It's this journal that are the "Camelot Papers" of the title, and it's through her writings that we see the truths that became the legends.

Most of the staples of the Arthur legends are here, from the king himself, his sword, Merlin, Lancelot, Guinevere, the Round Table, Morgan & Mordred, Galahad and the rest, but in a much more down-to-Earth fashion. It's a lot of fun reading the book and getting those "Ahhhh, that's where X came from" moments. PAD has some very clever ideas behind the truth of The Sword in the Stone, Excalibur's origin, Merlin's "wizardry" and the like.

The heart of the book, however, isn't this new spin on the familiar tales, but re-telling their origins while at the same time using them as a lens to examine our modern political situation, especially G. W. Bush's years as President. It's not a direct parallel; PAD doesn't beat you over the head with these themes or use the book as a polemic. These sociopolitical themes are explored quite strongly in some areas, much more subtly in others, and I believe are handled very well. The book demonstrates how even the best of intentions can be warped and spiral out of control.

This leads to my one main complaint about the book, which is the cover. Don't get me wrong, it's a wonderful piece of art that executed very well, but it led me to expect the book to be a bit different. Based on the cover, I was expecting it to be humorous take on King Arthur and the Round Table having to endure the trials and tribulations of a tabloid press, perhaps run by Editor Morgan la Fey and her chief reporter Mordred.

Instead, it's a bit more serious of a book, a "true account" story, with the "Camelot Papers" being something akin to the Pentagon Papers, revealing the truth behind the myths. The book is very well done, I still enjoyed it very much, but it's not quite what I was expecting.

The book has PAD's trademark humor, solid characterization, fun nods to the traditional Arthur stories, a good mystery, and I stayed up two hours after I should have been in bed to finish the last two chapters. The book has a satisfying conclusion, but is open enough where we could see more of Viviana's true tales of Camelot, which I would really enjoy seeing.

If you're a fan of the Arthurian legends, political satire, and not-quite traditional fantasy, you should enjoy this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging twist on the Arthurian legend. 30 Oct. 2011
By Philip P. Giunta - Published on
Vivianna is certainly a rare commodity in the days of Camelot--a literate woman. More, a literate woman sold into slavery by her father. Upon her arrival at Camelot, however, her life as mere chattel begins to take some amazing, compelling, and at times disturbing twists that allow her to rise to the status of the the queen's handmaiden.

Of course, the very fact that she can read and write immediately places her under suspicion from the other slaves, making her pariah even among the lowest class in society. She is quickly isolated and left very much alone, even accused of witchcraft. Along come a young prince and a sagacious apothecary who set Vivianna on a course that will broaden her world and elevate her station in life more than she ever thought possible. All the while, Vivianna chronicles her observations and wild encounters in her journal, revealing the "true" origins of the characters of Arthurian legend from Lancelot to Galahad, from Morgan the Fey and Modred, to Arthur and Guinevere, and of course the wizard himself, Merlin.

To summarize Camelot Papers is to reveal too many spoilers. Peter David presents a truly clever and inspired twist on the legend that we merely think we know so well. Oh, won't you be surprised! Although Camelot Papers is billed as satire, there is no lack of truly dramatic, suspenseful, and moving moments in Vivianna's experiences with the denizens of Camelot, be they servant or nobility. Every rumor is born from the slightest kernel of truth, and some rumors become legend. Peter David takes holds of this concept with the absolute authority and perspicacity of a master storyteller.
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