The Final Programme Paperback – 28 Jan 1971
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.