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The Final Programme Paperback – 28 Jan 1971

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Mayflower; n.e. edition (28 Jan. 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0583118224
  • ISBN-13: 978-0583118224
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 603,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The Final Programme is the first of Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels, and makes a breathtaking start to the series. Despite being written in 1965 The Final Programme still reads like an ultra-modern challenge to the more staid and rule-bound tropes of science fiction. Obviously inspired by the 'swinging sixties' London, the novel filters a science fiction plot of super-computers and a plan to create the ultimate human being through a haze of psychotropic substances, fashion, music, and sexual and moral ambivalence. A giddy look at a decadent society on the brink of collapse, brimming with deadpan comedy, outlandish concepts, and written with the breakneck pacing of a Boy's Own adventure. A breath of fresh air against the stuffiness of hard-sf, and an invigorating read. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first Jerry Cornelius novel, another in the Eternal Champion cycle. This incarnation is a somewhat ambiguous (in more ways than one) 1960s English assassin.

This is the first of Moorcock's works that didn't win me over. The setting has dated badly. It's very much a book that was written in the 1960s, as well as being set there. Everyone is terribly hip and oh-so-decadent. This was probably the sort of lifestyle the author himself was living at the time, and if it wasn't, then I rather think it was what he wanted.

Sometimes in the Eternal Champion sequence, plots are shall we say, recycled. Here's an example. In 'The Final Programme', Jerry Cornelius breaks into the family castle in an attempt to rescue his sister (whom he loves in a not altogether healthy way) from the evil clutches of his brother. In the attempt, he accidentally kills her. In 'The Dreaming City', Elric of Melnibone breaks into the family castle in an attempt to rescue his sister (whom he loves in a not altogether healthy way) from the evil clutches of his brother. In the attempt, he accidentally kills her. You get the idea.

I didn't hate it, and I will read more Jerry Cornelius, but if I'm honest it's because it's part of a wider series that I like. The book itself - not so much.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa003bf24) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9fc1ad74) out of 5 stars What is this book about? 14 Dec. 2010
By Aaron Wooldridge - Published on
Format: Paperback
I typically like Moorcock's books. He has wide-ranging abilities as an author. But "The Final Programme" is one big HUH??? That's not to say that it is a bad book - it isn't. It's quite an imaginitive work of speculative fiction, and it kept me reading excitedly until the very end. But it seems to be almost entirely lacking in any discernable plot. Through the entire book I kept asking myself "what is this book about?" When I got to the end, I thought, "That's what this book is about? Really? Kind of a let down, but what the.... Huh???" When I was reading it I could not have told anyone what it was about. Now that I am done reading it I still can't tell you what this book is about. I don't think it's about anything. But it is an interesting read that combines a lot of 60s elements: early ideas about future computers (not too wide of the mark but still dated), James Bond-style spy action, and a free-love-free-drugs libertarian sense of morality. In fact the sexual elements of this book are one of its most redeeming features. Moorcock is a very openminded author when it comes to sexuality. This book breaks down sexual barriers and does away with terms such as heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. There is just sexual. This book is highly enjoyable on many levels, but at the end you will be scratching your head wondering what you just spent the last few days reading.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9faa2c6c) out of 5 stars A really weird read... 12 Feb. 2000
By Willie - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is odd. Very odd. It is probably indescrbable. The Plot, as it is cocerns Jerry Cornelius' hunt for some mysterious data belonging to his father. On the way, he meets various peculiar characters, such as Miss Brunner (who has very strange tastes), and witnesses the universe slowly falling to bits.
This is a book to read for the style, as the plot is virtually incomprehensible. Its not unlike the work of JG Ballard in some ways, but with more humour. This is really one of those books you either love or hate, and I love it.
HASH(0x9facb798) out of 5 stars "Aren't You Being Exceptionally Ruthless, Mr. Cornelius?" 29 July 2011
By Judah - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is deconstructionist mainstream fiction with the trapping of science fiction, written in 1965, describing an imagined society circa 2000. Jerry Cornelius is an English assassin, physicist, rock star and messiah to his Age of Science. Jerry Cornelius is also an amoral anti-hero, omni-sexual, drug junkie, and transcendentalist. The book follows his adventures as he deals with family issues, meets his companion Miss Brunner, and takes part in constructing the author's 1965 conception of a horrifying computer overlord.

Quote taken from chapter five. Part of my description above taken from a back cover. If you are thinking of buying this novel, do yourself a favor and instead get the whole thing (all four books). The Cornelius Quartet: "Final Programme", "Cure for Cancer", "English Assassin", "Condition of Muzak" is floating around Amazon in at least three different editions, so you can likely buy it all for the same price as this first book.

Personally, I enjoyed trappings like the needle gun, stroboscopic towers, the 'morality of the future' discussion with the Laplander, and the metaphoric wrestling ring. Moorcock's conception of post-modern sexuality is an extreme indifference to male/female, and he spends too many words on this ideology. I just wanted to read about the Doomsday Computer, but the main character was off getting stoned half the book. It is deconstructionist in the sense that the plot is haphazard, and much of the novel is used for the author's idea of future social commentary.

If you are writing a paper about how Science Fiction failed at describing future trends, this is a good reference.
HASH(0x9fc1c858) out of 5 stars Super Reader 30 Aug. 2007
By average - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jerry Cornelius may be one of the wackiest and wildest superhero adventurer types ever created. Deliberately created by Moorcock to be the ultimate chameleon, which has seen him featured in many places and times. This leads to people looking for people with similar names in famous events in history.

In the Final Programme he is a swinging super-agent with a needle gun.

His family is no less whacky, given his sister is sometimes his lover, and his brother sometimes his target.

A hero like this must have similarly bizarre antagonists, enemies, and allies.

He certainly does, and Una Persson, a female version of himself, to some degree, is also one of his sister's lovers.

Basically, Jerry stuff is a little hard to explain.
HASH(0xa0044858) out of 5 stars Not your typical work of fiction 24 July 2009
By Vairochana - Published on
I initially read this book because I came across a review of Grant Morrison's Invisibles in which that person stated the basis for that work plot was taken from "The Final Programme". After reading this book, I can say it is a real head trip. This author's work is very imaginative and crosses a lot of boundaries. The ending is left open so those persons who like clearly defined conclusions will be disappointed. But if you like genre bending weird fiction then you will probably enjoy this book.
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