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Gloriana; or, The Unfulfill'd Queen (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
Gloriana; or, The Unfulfill'd Queen (FANTASY MASTERWORKS)
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book in either version!, 30 May 2002
The controversy about Gloriana revolves around the famous or infamous rape scene. I've read the book in both versions and while I must say I prefer the first version, I didn't think it made that much difference overall. If you can find the first edition, I'd recommend you read that, but the magic of Gloriana's Albion isn't dimmed in this version. An homage which is as good as the book (Gormenghast) it celebrates. Excellent reading.


Mother London
Mother London
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect this to be sci-fi!, 30 May 2002
This review is from: Mother London (Paperback)
This is a contemporary novel of London life. While it contains a kind of chorus of voices in different languages and dialects and three major characters who are in special ways perhaps 'psychic', this is just a device to concentrate the themes of this astonishing novel. The novel follows the lives of three people who attend a threatened outpatients clinic in London. These characters, who are sensitive to the voices and events of the city, are driven half-mad by the amount of information they have to absorb. In their different ways they have learned to block out or control this information -- David Mummery writes books about London 'mysteries', Josef Kiss takes tablets (most of the time) and Mary Gasalee, who has been in a coma since the Blitz, accepts her fate more philosophically. Their relationship also forms a love triangle but don't expect anything you've ever read before, either in the way the plot develops (the book's chapters 'radiate' from two central chapters set during the height of the Blitz and are both terrifying and hilarious). This is a stunning book. And it is an incredibly heartening book, without ever descending into crass sentimentality. I must admit I am not easily able to read most of Michael Moorcock's sci-fi material, with the exception of
The Dancers at the End of Time, but his non sf --
The Brothel in Rosenstrasse, Byzantium Endures,
King of the City, London Bone -- is probably the best fiction by any living English writer, both for its depth, its breadth, its poetry and its
'attack'. This honestly feels in many ways like the work of a modern -- and a very modern --
Dickens. His later Jerry Cornelius stories also have some of the same quality. But Mother London is, in my mind, his masterpiece.


The Dreamthief's Daughter: A Tale of the Albino
The Dreamthief's Daughter: A Tale of the Albino
by Michael Moorcock
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful atmosphere, complex plot, 25 May 2002
This gets better and better as it progresses. It starts out in Nazi Germany where the Eternal Champion's contemporary avatar, Count Ulrich von Bek, is courted by Hitler's henchmen, trying to get hold of the Grail his family is said to hold in trust. They are also interested in the black sword known here as Ravenbrand. They throw him into a concentration camp and, in answer to his psychic pleadings, the black sword comes to his aid. From then on the plot starts to move with car chases, cunning Nazi relatives, until they reach Hamlyn. A gateway into the eery world of the Off-Moo leads them into a vast underground land which somehow connects with other planes of the multiverse and here Ulrich meets Elric, who essentially takes him over as the plot thickens,
with the scene changing to Tanelorn, under attack from Gaynor the Damned just as Prince Gaynor threatens Ulrich in 'our world'. This leads to all kinds of strange feelings and a meeting with
Oona, daughter of Oon (Fortress of the Pearl) who is not only the dreamthief's daughter, but also Elric's daughter. Emotions become complicated as the plot proceeds into stranger and stranger realms, with the Nazis gaining power (and points)
until the final scenes where the Dragons of Melnibone (the Phoorn, venom-brothers to the Emperors of Melnibone) come into their own. World War Two was never like this before. You'll be astonished at Mr Moorcock's take on the Battle of Britain. And even this isn't the end. The final cataclysmic ending is shockingly unexpected. This is the first of three connected books, but can be read without reference to any other Elric books.
I can't wait for the next one. Don't buy any other fantasy books until you've bought this one first. You won't regret it. I loved it and I am always amazed at how the author makes every new book fresh and different and somehow strengthens the series. Wonderful characters, including some
comic ones reminding me of The Revenge of the Rose. Brilliant.


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