Michael Moorcock is one of my favorite authors; reading his novels and their heady stew of existentialist angst & anarchism & multiple dimensions at a young age caused his world view to seriously impact my own. thanks a lot, Moorcock - I blame you for my general inability to give a straight answer to most questions. a year or so ago I decided to revisit his various hero-cycles. my mistake was starting with the hero I've seen as the fulcrum of Moorcock's various eternal champions: John Daker - better known as Erekosë. unlike protagonists such as Jerry Cornelius, Elric, Corum, Dorian Hawkmoon, etc et al, Erekosë is fitfully aware of all of his incarnations and the basically cyclical nature of his existence. unfortunately what this means is that the reader has to deal with a shitload of mopey, whiny bouts of infuriating self-pity. it gets incredibly wearying.
I felt ready to give up after just the first section. happily, for a good 100 pages or so, right in the middle, it is almost as if Moorcock forgot he was writing a John Daker "adventure" and began writing a genuine adventure. his wonderfully baroque, pulpy, and often ironically self-aware imagination took flight. 6 dimensions that exist in a wheel formation, all with strangely long Germanic names. gigantic steamboats that are slowly moving cities! one of them powered by human corpses! swordfights! crazy costumes! giant bear-men! flying islands! warriors with skins of flowing blood! Hitler! an evil princess! good grief, this novel has Cannibal Ghost Women
. what more could I ask for? even better, the obnoxiously petulant John Daker/Erekosë is joined by the witty and urbane Von Bek, star of his very own hero-cycle. I was a bit confused at first because I thought Von Bek and Daker are both incarnations of the eternal champion, and so the two of them being comrades-in-arms made my brain hurt. but mainly I was happy - Von Bek's presence seemed to inject a large, very necessary amount of fun and madcap creativity into the dreary un-adventures of Erekosë.
alas, it didn't last much more than the lengthy middle section. eventually it gets back to the exceedingly drippy and mawkish annoyances that I had to struggle through during the prior two novels. sorry, Erekosë, but after your genocide of all of humanity (in one dimension) in your first adventure, I sort of lost interest in listening to you whine endlessly about your fucked-up life and how much you want to be with your lady love. have some perspective dude. do you even deserve the slightest bit of happiness? and sorry, Moorcock, but if you think the lines "We are the lost, we are the last, we are the unkind. We are the Warriors at the Edge of Time. And we're tired. We're tired. We're tired of making love..."
sound like a timeless mythic chant, rather than just sounding painfully stilted, embarrassing - well, I don't even know what to say. I think someone was smoking hella weed the day he wrote this novel. which makes for some entertainment, but mainly a lot of eye-rolling.
reviews for the prior two novels in this sequence:
The Eternal Champion
Phoenix in Obsidion
Tags: download, michael moorcock, ebook, pdf, the dragon in the sword (erekosë, #3)
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