Elric at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm a big fan of Michael Moorcock, but not a big fan of this book. Most of the pieces in here are immature, either in terms of when they were written in Moorcock's career, or in terms of tone. The title story is written as a mockery of the character Elric, and is interesting in terms of bringing together several of Moorcock's characters (Werther de Goethe, Duke of Queens, Una Persson, etc). This sort of cross-polination of characters works quite well in Moorcock's later works, but this one is silly to the point of distraction. I don't hate it, but I'd rather not re-read it, either. "The Last Enchantment" is my favorite piece in this volume. It uses a transitional style moving from the more traditional Elric story toward the playfulness and experimentalism of the Second Ether trilogy (which is some of my favorite writing from Moorcock). The Sojan the Swordsman section, begun early on in Moorcock's career, is downright banal and actually a bit clumsy. A couple of essays of interest to Moorcock aficionados round out the bulk of the book. But it's at the very end, with the purple-prose pastiche "The Stone Thing," that the collection hits it's stride. Unfortunately, it's a little too late to make the book anything better than average overall.
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