This book includes two of Moorcock's "Elric" stories, as well as tales of other Moorcock heroes such as Sojan, and several essays on his craft.
Tongue planted oh-so-firmly in cheek, Moorcock spends almost 70 pages skewering his own melancholic albino prince. How can any true Elric fan resist lines like these: [To Elric] "You are very welcome here," said Werther. "I cannot tell you how glad I am to meet one as essentially morbid and self-pitying as myself!" Or Werther's first assessment of Elric: "What a marvellous scowl! What a noble sneer!"
Up until this book, I had been reading the Elric novels because they are often held up as classics of the fantasy genre, and because my brother said they were good books. But, while I (mostly) admired the writing ability displayed by Moorcock in the previous novels, I found them repetitious at times, the main character nearly always unlikable, and the situations often incomprehensible.
After having read this short story, I am ready for an all-out Moorcock assault. I plan to read some of the other "eternal champion" books, but mostly, I am determined to find Moorcock's other comedies, for which he displays an even greater ability than he does for fantasy. In the forward to this book, Moorcock states: " . . . though I do prefer my comedies to my melodramas and personally would put a greater value on books such as Gloriana, The Condition of Muzak, Byzantium Endures or The Brothel in Rosenstrasse." I can't wait for my next experience rolling-on-the-floor laughing with Michael Moorcock.
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