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Here are the first tales of the albino sorcerer-prince Elric: lord of the Dreaming City, last Emperor of Melniboné, traitor, kinslayer. Doomed to wander the multiverse, battered by the whims of Law and Chaos, in thrall to his soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, Elric lies at the heart of Michael Moorcock's extraordinary mythology of the Eternal Champion. If you know his story Here are the first tales of the albino sorcerer-prince Elric: lord of the Dreaming City, last Emperor of Melniboné, traitor, kinslayer. Doomed to wander the multiverse, battered by the whims of Law and Chaos, in thrall to his soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, Elric lies at the heart of Michael Moorcock's extraordinary mythology of the Eternal Champion. If you know his story already, then this definitive edition will finally let you read the entire saga in the author's preferred order. If you've never experienced the chronicles of the albino with the soul-sucking sword, then this is the perfect place to start.


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Here are the first tales of the albino sorcerer-prince Elric: lord of the Dreaming City, last Emperor of Melniboné, traitor, kinslayer. Doomed to wander the multiverse, battered by the whims of Law and Chaos, in thrall to his soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, Elric lies at the heart of Michael Moorcock's extraordinary mythology of the Eternal Champion. If you know his story Here are the first tales of the albino sorcerer-prince Elric: lord of the Dreaming City, last Emperor of Melniboné, traitor, kinslayer. Doomed to wander the multiverse, battered by the whims of Law and Chaos, in thrall to his soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, Elric lies at the heart of Michael Moorcock's extraordinary mythology of the Eternal Champion. If you know his story already, then this definitive edition will finally let you read the entire saga in the author's preferred order. If you've never experienced the chronicles of the albino with the soul-sucking sword, then this is the perfect place to start.

30 review for Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elena C.

    This isn't a review of Elric of Melniboné (here on Goodreads alone you'll find plenty of them by much more knowledgeable fans of the saga than me) but of the Gateway collection Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories, which purports to be "the author’s definitive editions of the saga of Elric", something the author himself worked on putting together. Before we get into the review proper, a little disclaimer: I'm new to Elric and to Moorcock's work in general, and when I decided to pick up this coll This isn't a review of Elric of Melniboné (here on Goodreads alone you'll find plenty of them by much more knowledgeable fans of the saga than me) but of the Gateway collection Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories, which purports to be "the author’s definitive editions of the saga of Elric", something the author himself worked on putting together. Before we get into the review proper, a little disclaimer: I'm new to Elric and to Moorcock's work in general, and when I decided to pick up this collection I expected to read the novel "Elric of Melniboné" and a few short stories connected to the character, kinda like the title implied I was going to, and I was hoping for a little guide into a saga that, for various reason, is pretty hard to navigate. Right then, moving on. Just to be clear, you won't find "other stories" in here, beside the super short Master of Chaos, a story about Earl Aubec, AKA the late owner of Elric's lame sword nobody really cares about because it isn't Stormbringer, and And So the Great Emperor Received His Education…, which reveals how Elric cheated by napping on his dream couch and dreaming about the stuff he wanted to learn rather than sitting his ass down and opening a book. What you'll find instead is a confused and confusing patchwork of disparate pieces of writing: ❶ Introduction to The Michael Moorcock Collection by John Clute: I'm not even sure what Mr. Clute was talking about here, this is clearly directed at people who have already read every piece of paper Micheal Moorcock ever produced in his life. I gather that there's a whole multiverse the albino sorcerer is supposed to be part of, but the folks at Gateway must feel it's beneath themselves to give people approaching Moorcock's work any sort of indication regarding a reading order - such a bourgeois notion! - and this piece reads like Clute took the chance to name-drop titles and show us how knowledgeable of a Moorcock fan he is. Good for you, man! As for me, by this point I'm starting to get the feeling that life just won't be giving me the chance to become a fan myself any time soon: the task of tracking down Moorcock's books is monumental and those already in the clique clearly aren't interested in lending us newbie heathens a hand. ❷ Introduction to The Michael Moorcock Collection by Micheal Moorcock: yup, another introduction! Wait, maybe this time I'll finally get, you know, introduced to the many mysteries of Moorcock's bibliography! Aaand... nope. This is the author talking about his life-long love for the craft of storytelling. A pleasant read, but I'm still confused, now also about what exactly the meaning of this editorial work could be. Who is it for? And why am I starting to feel like a creep spying on someone having fun from outside their window?! I just want to know a little more about Elric's series, whynobodywouldtellmeanything! *insert crying emoji here* ❸ Map of Elric in the Young Kingdom. Cool, cool. I'll need this, if I ever get to the bottom of this bizarro journey. ❹ Dedication: fair enough. ❺ The Return of the Thin White Duke: A Foreword by Alan Moore: I love Moore. I love him even though I usually understand approximately 34% of what he's talking about. Except this one time. This time I understood what he was saying loud and clear. But it's my fault I suppose, I got all complacent and let my guard down, believing myself safe from spoilers since what I was reading is in fact the introduction (one of three, but still) to the first of a six-volumes long collection of stories, of which now I'm lucky enough to know the ending beforehand. Well... they say that the journey is more important than the destination or something, right? ❻ At the Beginning by Michael Moorcock: a scrap of paper that appears to be part of a conversation about the genre ongoing in the '60s, and that the author decided to include here "because, with my ‘Aspects of Fantasy’ essays, it immediately precedes the Elric stories and gives some idea of the atmosphere in which they were first published". Right, but it's still literally a one Kindle-page long, so don't expect anything particularly eye-opening. ❼ Putting a Tag on It by Micheal Moorcock: now, here's finally something even I can understand. Moorcock muses about the genre - where it came from, where it could go, what the various sub-genres should be called and why - with some brilliant insights that ultimately make the "At the Beginning" presence in the collection really quite redundant. ❽ Master of Chaos ❾ Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer: I took a peek at some of the other reviews before writing mine just to make sure it wasn't my appalling ignorance of all-things Elric making me missing some nuances here, because I really can't see what this graphic novel script (and only the script, mind you), which describes life in Immryr when Sadric, Elric's father, was still alive, has to add to the main story. It basically reads like an Elric of Melniboné for Dummies. ❿ And So the Great Emperor Received His Education… ⓫ Elric of Melniboné ⓬ Aspects of Fantasy (I): the first part of Moorcock's essay about fantasy. The author's knowledge of literature at large and narratology is impressive and his thesis about the various incarnations of fantasy, its deeper meaning and endless potential is a truly compelling read. I'm still in the dark about Elric and the multiverse he's part of but, hey! I'll take what I can get. As I mentioned though, only part of the essay is included here and - I'm taking a wild guess here - I imagine I'll have to buy volume #2 in the collection to read the rest. As soon as I figure out which of the remaining six volumes comes next, that is. ⓭ Introduction (to Elric of Melniboné, graphic adaptation, 1986): while I find it interesting to know how big of a role illustrations played in Moorcock's writing process, without any of the actual art the author is referring to, this piece falls pretty flat, heh? ⓮ El Cid and Elric: Under the Influence! a great insight into Moorcock's cultural journey as a young boy, focusing on his love for El Cid, who later became a big part of his inspiration in writing Elric - a perfect follow-up for the previous essay and a nice way to close the collection. ⓯ But wait, there's another map! Of the same place: in case we lose the first one? Mmmkay. Gateway's Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories proved to be a perplexing editorial work: I'm not sure who it could be intended for - it's full of spoilers for the series and mentions that will feel obscure to anyone not having a previous knowledge of Moorcock's body of work, so not to new readers, that much is clear. A last word of advice to my fellow Elric newbies: I'd suggest you read the novel first, and then work your way back to the essays - keep in mind that over at Gateway they must find it inconceivable that someone might not be already familiar with Elric's story, so there will be spoilers for the rest of the series. Recommended for: I honestly couldn't say, and I'm not even trying to be shady here. Hard-die Moorcock fans who are missing At the Beginning from their collection? Courageous Elric newbies? Or really desperate ones?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    My problem with Moorcock’s work has always been how interlinked it is. It doesn’t matter how much anyone tells me that x or y book doesn’t require knowing the rest of Moorcock’s canon, I’m compulsive that way and I want to know everything. From the start. So I’m glad to see these definitive Gollancz editions are author approved and fairly exhaustive in what they cover. I don’t think anything in here was covered by the omnibus I had before (and have read), which was nonetheless marked I. That dri My problem with Moorcock’s work has always been how interlinked it is. It doesn’t matter how much anyone tells me that x or y book doesn’t require knowing the rest of Moorcock’s canon, I’m compulsive that way and I want to know everything. From the start. So I’m glad to see these definitive Gollancz editions are author approved and fairly exhaustive in what they cover. I don’t think anything in here was covered by the omnibus I had before (and have read), which was nonetheless marked I. That drives me crackers. And… I know it was a long time ago I made that attempt on Elric, but I think I liked this better. It establishes Melniboné beautifully, it shows us Elric’s first encounters with Stormbringer, his rule of Melniboné, his enemies and allies, his first pacts with Chaos. It’s a little awkward reading the comic book script, but fun, too — you get much franker comments about how Moorcock wanted Elric to look, and you can get an idea about the layout of pages, etc. It’s like reading a hybrid form. I love the language Moorcock uses, the decadence and ruin and rot and dark beauties he lays bare. The magical world he creates. I’m looking forward to reading more of Elric. Also, his commentary on the genre which is included is excellent and worth reading. Originally posted here.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Love of Hopeless Causes

    Someone deserves thirty spanks with a mushy paperback. I want to see, Moorcock, Davey, and whatever Gollancz toady approved this, in my office. This edition is, in a word, awkward. Choice of cover color? Awkward Brand (TM) Burnt Orange. Who's idea was the fake weathering and edge burn? This foible is causing the plastic overlay to peel, bestowing a snowy effect, which, if ripped off like a Band-Aid, could only improve matters. It might be forgivable if it succeeded in looking burnt. Instead, it Someone deserves thirty spanks with a mushy paperback. I want to see, Moorcock, Davey, and whatever Gollancz toady approved this, in my office. This edition is, in a word, awkward. Choice of cover color? Awkward Brand (TM) Burnt Orange. Who's idea was the fake weathering and edge burn? This foible is causing the plastic overlay to peel, bestowing a snowy effect, which, if ripped off like a Band-Aid, could only improve matters. It might be forgivable if it succeeded in looking burnt. Instead, it looks like someone used it to wipe off a dirty countertop. So thanks for making this edition look like garbage in advance. What font was chosen for the cover? You guessed it: Awkwordius. The art takes away more than it adds, even though Moorcock drones on about how important illustrations are to him. He apparently has bad taste, if this is the standard. Who turns down Ralph Bakshi at the height of his powers? The previous edition's white covers feature far more successful cover art. Perhaps worst of all, this book carries on as if we already know Elric and Associates, though it is volume one of the definitive authorial edition. Sure wish I could get this on Kindle, but no, I have to have it shipped here from the Dragon Isle via Royal Mail, which seems to take a perverse delight in trashing these and my Robin Hobb books. Surely there is one reputable English Bookseller, you ask? No, because they all use Royal Fail Mail. Do I want to continue the series? Yes. Do I want my copy rolled up like a royal burrito? Nay! So how does it read? Depends on the entry. Could have lived without twenty-seven pages of introductions. At this point, I had zero confidence in the author, so telling me of his failed marriages and other ups and downs, only increased my odds of abandoning the book. I should have skipped the third introduction by the, "Beard Who Walks as a Man," and his mysterious hallucinatory dissection of London. Perhaps ironically, the entire volume considered together comes off as a random access dream. "Master of Chaos," was a highly successful short, but this being the chronological telling, it sets the bar too high. The writing is superior to that in the main tale, "Elric of Melnibone," probably because it was written at a later date. Which would have been nice to know, Senor Editor. You give all the metadata a new reader cares not for, yet none of the data that might keep him reading. There's some junk in the middle that caused me to abandon the book for two years. Instead of reprinting a comic book, they give you the script, presumably so Moorcock can keep all the publishing dough. If you are perusing this in store, start with Elric, because if you don't like that, the rest of the book is moot. That story leaves much to be desired. The plot ruining chapter headers and character motivations are just. . . whatever Moorcock fancied in his internal psychological landscape. You can either applaud him for sticking to the initial cartoon vision, or you can scrunch up your face every few pages and think, "That's convenient." Use the dragons? Why M'lord they are all sleeping, clearly tired from their last excursion. Towards the end, he brags about writing these books in a few days to a week. Well, it shows, Maestro. That said, I think Mike's strength is in the ideas. Once I finished the book, I posed myself this question: if this was a gaming campaign would I quit? The answer is no. So let's hope Royal Mail is flying sober this season.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wakizashi

    This edition by Gollancz contains a selection of introductions and essays by Moorcock, John Clute and Alan Moore. There are four stories set in Melnibone--one of which is Moorcock's script for an Elric graphic novel. A mixed bag of content, the main Elric story is very good. My full review can be found on my blog. This edition by Gollancz contains a selection of introductions and essays by Moorcock, John Clute and Alan Moore. There are four stories set in Melnibone--one of which is Moorcock's script for an Elric graphic novel. A mixed bag of content, the main Elric story is very good. My full review can be found on my blog.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Behold ladies and gentlemen! The book that inspired/created George R.R. Martin's Valyria down to the last detail. Upsetting I know, I thought it was original too. Melniboné is an ancient city/kingdom whose people are sophisticated, educated and superior than those of what is referred to as the "Young Kingdoms". They have ancient knowledge, dragons whom only they can speak with and the strongest of them can call upon magical deities like lords of Chaos, nature and more. The members of the royal f Behold ladies and gentlemen! The book that inspired/created George R.R. Martin's Valyria down to the last detail. Upsetting I know, I thought it was original too. Melniboné is an ancient city/kingdom whose people are sophisticated, educated and superior than those of what is referred to as the "Young Kingdoms". They have ancient knowledge, dragons whom only they can speak with and the strongest of them can call upon magical deities like lords of Chaos, nature and more. The members of the royal family need to acquire this ancient knowledge and so before adulthood through the process of dream quests they experience a mind blowing duality between sleep and conciousness and are transported back in time to play their part and prove their worth in old battles and former kingdoms. Those who survive wake with the experience and knowledge of thousands of years, ready to rule, fight, defend and persevere. The other kingdoms think them evil, of old magic that are to be feared and avoided. Insest is very much a thing here but unnecessary violence is not. They are incredibly civilized in that manner and respect and honor their enemies as much as themselves. The main character, Elric is often referred to as the albino prince is by nature weak and needs drugs to sustain himself. His hair is white, his eyes red, his power amazing. Not yet sure if he belongs to the half part of royals who become mad from the dream quests he is cunning, nightly and deadly. - (already the ideas stolen for Valyria are all over the place) At times I thought the line between his arrogance and wisdom would get seriously blurred but had to remind myself he has accumulated some thousands of years of experience already and its not that simple a matter. The writing is old school fantasy, almost ancient fairytale like, with Victorian pronouns and knightly honor and an ancient code of conduct and it was amazing. Immediately it created its own atmosphere and changed your expectations of everyone's behavior. Even more impressive for me was the economy of words needed in order to convey the authors point. With a very small yet on point choice of words the writer managed perfectly explain what he needed me to understand in terms of setting, mood, personalities, everything! I admit at times Elric was more romantic than I thought him able to be and am not Cymoril's biggest fan at this point but it all fit together quite beutifully. Definitely the strangest fantasy book I have ever read. Will absolutely continue with the second.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hodder

    My journey through Moorcock—revisiting old favourites for the first time in many years while also discovering new material—now arrives at Elric. Despite being the author's most acclaimed fantasy creation, Elric was never my favourite. I always preferred Corum and Hawkmoon. It's not that I don't like Elric, but I always felt that, after the early stories, which ended with Elric killed, Moorcock saw that he'd murdered a money spinner, so resurrected him in a sequence of tales that, in my view, don My journey through Moorcock—revisiting old favourites for the first time in many years while also discovering new material—now arrives at Elric. Despite being the author's most acclaimed fantasy creation, Elric was never my favourite. I always preferred Corum and Hawkmoon. It's not that I don't like Elric, but I always felt that, after the early stories, which ended with Elric killed, Moorcock saw that he'd murdered a money spinner, so resurrected him in a sequence of tales that, in my view, don't possess the same degree of audacity. However, here the saga begins, with a mixed bag of stories hung about the original debut tale. The central story is as great as it ever was. The rest are nice to have collected together but fail to make the grade.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bea

    I find this a little hard to rate, mainly because of the selection of stories in this book. The first longer part is a graphic novel...without pictures. And it does not read nicely, it's very jumpy, aprupt and not immersive at all! The story itself was ok but I think including it in this format is questionable as it might put readers off from continuing. I'm also not sure if the inclusion of several introductions and essays at the end was necessary. Unless you're already familiar with the Elric-ve I find this a little hard to rate, mainly because of the selection of stories in this book. The first longer part is a graphic novel...without pictures. And it does not read nicely, it's very jumpy, aprupt and not immersive at all! The story itself was ok but I think including it in this format is questionable as it might put readers off from continuing. I'm also not sure if the inclusion of several introductions and essays at the end was necessary. Unless you're already familiar with the Elric-verse and well read inclassic fantasy and interested in literary analysis, they do not, in my opinion, add much to the book. The story "Elric of Melnibone" was a lot more to my liking! Even though this is an older fantasy, it's not your classic "shining hero versus bad guy" story. It features some very intriguing parts of worldbuilding, even though at this state I feel like I don't have enough of a grasp on it to really judge it properly. I did like the main character Elric but I wished the side characters would have had a bit more personality (maybe that was intentional, though, because they're Melniboneans). Anyway, I'm intrigued enough to continue.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pól

    Essential for fantasy readers....but not for those who enjoy the lighter side of this genre. Dark, engaging and bringing a grittier edge, Moorcock spins out a multiverse that is at once as imaginative and expansive as the most ambitious writer before or after him but also unlike any other's. Intrinsic to this saga is the hero, Elric whose tale is equal parts tragic and resplendent, a morose philosopher warrior whose actions are at odds with the Melnibonéan tradition. Eschewing the traditional he Essential for fantasy readers....but not for those who enjoy the lighter side of this genre. Dark, engaging and bringing a grittier edge, Moorcock spins out a multiverse that is at once as imaginative and expansive as the most ambitious writer before or after him but also unlike any other's. Intrinsic to this saga is the hero, Elric whose tale is equal parts tragic and resplendent, a morose philosopher warrior whose actions are at odds with the Melnibonéan tradition. Eschewing the traditional heroic quest template for epic science fantasy, Moorcock's account of Elric is (50 years on) as immediate and fresh as the day it was written. The first book of this saga went by in a flash, quicker than a rune-sword! Looking forward to getting my hands on the second instalment.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pavlo Tverdokhlib

    It's a weird book. There's a collection of essays that puts the whole "Elric" phenomenon in its historical and cultural perspective. Which is cool, albeit a bit lost on me since I'm no English major. Then there's "Master of Chaos", which is a very short story featuring Earl Aubec (yet another Eternal Champion incarnation) that's kind of, sort of the prequel for the setting. Then there's the "Elric: Making of a Sorcerer" "graphic novel". Which is more like "a script for a graphic novel". Reading It's a weird book. There's a collection of essays that puts the whole "Elric" phenomenon in its historical and cultural perspective. Which is cool, albeit a bit lost on me since I'm no English major. Then there's "Master of Chaos", which is a very short story featuring Earl Aubec (yet another Eternal Champion incarnation) that's kind of, sort of the prequel for the setting. Then there's the "Elric: Making of a Sorcerer" "graphic novel". Which is more like "a script for a graphic novel". Reading it was this really weird experience--like reading a play in high school English class, only with more asides about art direction and description of the setting. Basically, the novel is the "origin story"--It introduces Elric and other characters in Melniboné, back when Elric was still a prince in his father's court and had to prove himself worthy of being the next Emperor. Since it turns out that Melniboné itself is heavily influenced by Native American themes, Elric earns his right by surviving "dreams"--basically vision quests where he replays an earlier part of Melniboné history. Whatever knowledge he gains he then retains on a sub-conscious level. This works really well as an exposition device since the "Elric" novel that follows skimps on description (it wasn't apparently the first Elric book to be written), so reading "Making of a Sorcerer" first gives a really good idea of the context. It also has interesting tidbits about the Black Sword(s), and general world-building. The actual novel "Elric of Melniboné" is a fairly standard heroic fantasy read by modern standards. The characterization's solid, but the plotting can be weak. Also, the theme of "destiny" is handled a bit heavy-handedly for most of the book, only to be downplayed at the end- I found that inconsistency jarring, give earlier Elric does several rather dumb things "because he's supposed to be a tragic hero". I suppose that since "Elric" was pretty much supposed to be Moorcock's reconstruction of the archetypical "hero" it HAS to be overplayed. But taken at face value, Elric just isn't a very smart hero. I know that some of the later Elric stuff gets much better, (and I particularly want to see just where his life's gone all wrong), but this entry, it's not great. It works, mostly, but it's not spectacular.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Saul the Heir of Isauldur

    Note: My review will be broken into two parts. The first gives an overview of my thoughts and opinions on the book, and the second will go into spoilers and full detail. Part One: Overview Well, I finally did it. For the past four months or so, I've been wanting to read Elric's adventures in the Young Kingdoms, but the closest I came was reading the first Corum trilogy, with has a short, for lack of a better word, "cameo" of Elric. Now, I've read the first (chronological) book in the Elric series Note: My review will be broken into two parts. The first gives an overview of my thoughts and opinions on the book, and the second will go into spoilers and full detail. Part One: Overview Well, I finally did it. For the past four months or so, I've been wanting to read Elric's adventures in the Young Kingdoms, but the closest I came was reading the first Corum trilogy, with has a short, for lack of a better word, "cameo" of Elric. Now, I've read the first (chronological) book in the Elric series and, I will say, I enjoyed it. From what I know, Elric of Melniboné and Other Stories is in fact a prequel that details how Elric came to obtain his magical sword, Stormbringer. And, in a way, it reads precisely like that. While this is my very first venture into the Elric universe, I could sometimes tell that Moorcock was holding back, almost as if not wanting to reveal everything in the prequel, leaving something for the books that came after (and before). In many respects, it read like a superhero origin story, with the very basic (by which I mean, seminal or original) motivations laid out, a villain that may or may not be a recurring one, and the way how he got his powers, namely, Stormbringer. The novel is structured almost in the format of an action film, with each "Book" corresponding to one act. Book One tells of Elric and his life, in Book Two the "plot thickens" and in Book Three, we have the almost cinematic "third-act finale." This, I suppose, made ELric an easy and fun read, and if there is ever a film based on this series, at least the first chronological book is already on a silver platter. I tend to judge books, and how much I like them, by the likelihood of my re-reading them at some point in the future, and I will say that, subjectively, I loved this story. I already want to get back into this world, to read the second book in the series, Elric: The Fortress of the Pearl. But, as a pretend-critic, I do have some problems with the book which, admittedly, did not affect very much my enjoyment, but that I feel should be put in the open, because I could imagine some people finding issue with them. Having read Corum, I find many similarities between the elf-like Prince in the Scarlet Robe and our Albino Emperor. Some may be ascribed to the fact that Elric and Corum are supposed to be different incarnations of essentially the same character, the Eternal Champion. It would make much sense that some qualities remain constant throughout. But I noticed that their quest starters are more or less the same: for a woman. Corum goes and battles Arioch in Corum - The Knight of Swords: The Eternal Champion because he wants to free the queen he loves from some evil god-like sorcerer. Likewise, Elric goes on his quest to save Cymoril from the hands of his would-be usurper cousin Yyrkoon. Again, I had no personal qualm with this, but some people might. The scale of this novel is not particularly grand, for it focuses, more than anything, on the rivalry between Yyrkoon and Elric, and how both are competing for the throne. One thinks the other is too weak, while the opposite is true, as proven at the end. There's not much more to say about this book beyond drawing the usual comparisons between the early 1900s pulp stories and Elric of Melniboné. The primary example that comes to mind is the Barsoom series, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. There are alien settings, fantastical beings and creatures and an awareness for the audience that helps keep the story moving along and entertaining. I enjoyed the first Elric tale, and am eager for more. Part Two: In-Depth Discussion and SPOILERS There's not much to talk about in this section, except for a couple of things. Firstly, I thought it was interesting to see a main character who didn't have superior abilities and was, in fact, incapacitated. While Corum did lose a hand and an eye in The Knight of the Swords, he eventually got better versions in the Hand of Kwll and the Eye of Rhynn. Something similar happens to Elric. He's born with some type of deficiency that makes him physically weak if he strains himself even a little, and he's constantly relying on drugs to help his condition. This is something I have't seen before in fantasy. Almost everywhere else, the characters are epic and virtual experts in whatever they're trying to do (take Legolas the Archer and Kvothe the Perfect). And while this certainly isn't a bad thing (far from it, since it makes it all the more dramatic when they fail, since they're facing a foe that can defeat even them), I didn't like how Moorcock backtracked at the end by taking away this interesting character trait using the magic sword Stormbringer. It appears that the blade, which is sentient to some degree, grants Elric power, and, as such, he no longer needs drugs and medicines to be well. There are clear possibilities to this: Elric could end up depending on the sword and forgetting his malady or lose control of the blade and have it turn on him. Perhaps the other books explore this, but, speaking as someone who's only read one, I feel like it eliminated something unique about Elric. It is interesting that he's an albino, because that makes him distinctive and easy to identify. His red eyes and white everything else make him almost iconic. Many fantasy characters lack this distinction, from Conan (who is just a strongman) to Simon (from Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, who is another growing-up hero), and it's neat to see a hero who is clearly and physically different without relying on the "last of his/her kind" trope. In all, this is a short review, but it was a fairly short book as well. What praise I gave Mr. Moorcock after reading his first Corum trilogy can also be applied here. The characters, I would say, are not as developed as they could have been, but I suppose that, given the almost episodic nature of Elric's stories, we have the other books to work with. I had fun, I enjoyed it and, if anyone in Hollywood is reading this, I would love to see Elric on the big screen. In this age of flawed protagonists and anti-heroes, Elric would fit right in.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Richard Read

    When I was a kid, I tried to read the Elric novels, but I just couldn’t get into them. I’m not sure why. It may have had something to do with my brother. He was a big Moorcock fan, and since he and I didn’t really get along, I wasn’t predisposed to like the things he liked. I was also turned off by Moorcock’s serious, high-minded, plot-driven prose. The books seemed to take themselves way too seriously—they were brimming with testosterone and arrogance, like a lot of the sports jocks at my high When I was a kid, I tried to read the Elric novels, but I just couldn’t get into them. I’m not sure why. It may have had something to do with my brother. He was a big Moorcock fan, and since he and I didn’t really get along, I wasn’t predisposed to like the things he liked. I was also turned off by Moorcock’s serious, high-minded, plot-driven prose. The books seemed to take themselves way too seriously—they were brimming with testosterone and arrogance, like a lot of the sports jocks at my high school. As a gay kid who relied on (my limited) wits to get by, I preferred my fantasy wry and full of double-entendres. Piers Anthony fit the bill perfectly. Several decades later, it’s clear which author has held up. I find Anthony’s work—at least the Xanth series—painful to read, but Elric of Melnibone and Other Stories is a freaking joy. My reaction to this book might have something to do with the fact that I read it immediately after rereading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jumping from Tolkien’s beautiful but very descriptive prose to Moorcock—who’s much stingier with the adjectives—was jarring, but in a great way. Moorcock’s style reminds me of Cormac McCarthy, particularly in The Road: the plot gallops along, and you don’t really stop to wonder what color the horse is. Of course, for that kind of writing to work, you have to have a strong plot, and Moorcock doesn’t disappoint. Elric of Melnibone, the novel/novella at the core of the collection, tells a great, engaging story that unfolds with a clear logic. Unlike authors who focus more heavily on character, Moorcock never seems to write himself into a corner. When he uses deus ex machina moments, there’s a reason for them. And as an added bonus, this book contains the full text of the graphic novel Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer. It’s a bit weird reading it without the illustrations, but the accompanying notes that Moorcock wrote to his collaborator and illustrator, Walter Simonson, give a fascinating glimpse into the author’s thought process. It’s unfortunate that the Elric books are so hard to find—most authors of Moorcock’s caliber would be printed and reprinted in hard copy and ebook. Hopefully that will change before long.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Sean O'Reilly

    Elric the morose albino sorcerer of Melniboné must bear his reluctant crown to protect those few things he treasures against the fading bright of his might-ridden empire, which continually pits his aspirations toward a greater moral clarity against compromises of ill circumstance. The conflicts come fast and the words faster as forces of supernatural and family alike threaten Elric’s tenuous personal health as well as his cumbersome grip on power. Meet the Eternal Champion and squeeze through th Elric the morose albino sorcerer of Melniboné must bear his reluctant crown to protect those few things he treasures against the fading bright of his might-ridden empire, which continually pits his aspirations toward a greater moral clarity against compromises of ill circumstance. The conflicts come fast and the words faster as forces of supernatural and family alike threaten Elric’s tenuous personal health as well as his cumbersome grip on power. Meet the Eternal Champion and squeeze through the many planes of existence as he tumbles through the Multiverse.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Donald Kirch

    Forever and ALWAYS...a classic!

  14. 4 out of 5

    ik.ben.henri

    People should be aware that a huge bulk of this book are uninteresting forewords. Followed by some short stories and a script for a graphic novel. But they are storywise, chronologically, the first elric stories. The best part of the book is the elric of melnibone short story. Which is also the main reason why you would want to get to read this book. The story begins a little weak and as a very "blant" fantasy story you have read a dozen times before. But towards the end it becomes darker and darke People should be aware that a huge bulk of this book are uninteresting forewords. Followed by some short stories and a script for a graphic novel. But they are storywise, chronologically, the first elric stories. The best part of the book is the elric of melnibone short story. Which is also the main reason why you would want to get to read this book. The story begins a little weak and as a very "blant" fantasy story you have read a dozen times before. But towards the end it becomes darker and darker. Elric is a good anti Hero by then and that makes it interesting. The writing itself isn't anything special. The graphic novel script is pretty weak. I would suggest to buy this book because it's cheaper than the other versions of the story. Consider all the forewords and afterwords, the scrips as optional bonus material, which is only interesting for die hard fans...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Filip

    Originally published over at Booknest.eu Genre: Fantasy Subgenre: Sword & sorcery, dark fantasy, classic fantasy Format: Paperback Length: 384 pages This is a review of the first of the Gollancz editions that came out earlier this decade. Gollancz apparently wanted to publish the definitive Michael Moorcock collection. Now, the argument can be made that Gollancz did not entirely succeed because, now that I’m done with Elric of Melnibone, I’m not entirely sure which Elric collection to pick up next Originally published over at Booknest.eu Genre: Fantasy Subgenre: Sword & sorcery, dark fantasy, classic fantasy Format: Paperback Length: 384 pages This is a review of the first of the Gollancz editions that came out earlier this decade. Gollancz apparently wanted to publish the definitive Michael Moorcock collection. Now, the argument can be made that Gollancz did not entirely succeed because, now that I’m done with Elric of Melnibone, I’m not entirely sure which Elric collection to pick up next. Oh, well, nothing a Google search won’t resolve. Elric of Melniboné collects several essays penned by Moorcock, an Introduction by Alan Moore, a prequel short story, telling of an earlier incarnation of the Eternal Champion, the script of the comic book that tells of the origins of Elric’s sorcerous power and his first back-and-forth with his duplicitous, power-hungry cousin, Yyrkoon. It’s a weird editorial choice, putting “Master of Chaos” before the actual stories that involve Elric. Yes, I get it, Aubec of Malador chronologically precedes everything else (does it, Moorcock fans?), and Aubec was the Eternal Champion (an Eternal Champion? Reincarnation is all very confusing, you know…) but I really was looking forward to meeting THE Eternal-est of Champions before I met an older model. So there, that was a bit of a shock. The story itself? It’s your run-of-the-mill sword&sorcery (except not really) during which our protagonist Aubec faces off against all sorts of daunting creatures and challenges, finding out in the end that it was all within him. Interesting enough but I still suspect I might’ve gotten more if I was more familiar with Moorcock’s Eternal Champion universe. How about Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer? That was an interesting experience, I don’t think I’ve ever read this long a script at once. It’s a lengthy read, about 130 pages and I found it highly educational as someone who likes to scratch comic book ideas on napkins in the middle of the night. I enjoyed the dialogue. Some of the notes Moorcock put in there were downright hilarious and obviously there for the artist’s benefit: And while you should do your best, Walter, to make him look as different from the guy in The Matrix as possible, it’s not my fault that I thought Sepiriz up looking like this in 1963 or whenever it was. OK. Give him long hair. He was bald in the original… Funny how these things happen, isn’t it? The dialogue induced a few chuckles, as well: ELRIC: ‘I thank you for your aid, sir. I fear that weapon. It seems alive…’ Arioch stoops and picks up the sword. ARIOCH: ‘I must admit, it has its sentient moments.’ *This is where Michael Moorcock did a drum roll, I suspect.* To wrap this up, The Making of a Sorcerer wasn’t necessarily the most engaging piece of fiction I’ve ever read but I’m not what you’d call an expert on script-writing or script-reading. I give this script a 539/859 script cookie points, which is what I guess professional script people in Hollywood use to score scripts before throwing them in their gigantic Hollywood incinerators and writing an ‘add more explosions’ memo to that nice Michael Bay fella. The Making of a Sorcerer did feel…aged, on a serious note and that's the last I'll say about it. Finally we get to Elric of Melniboné! You know, I quite enjoyed my time with the 170 or so pages of this story. It finally does what I was pining for when I got this here novel – it gives me some actual prose about Elric of Melniboné! Shocker, I know. The verdict? It’s good, it’s interesting, it’s uh, uh, uh, okay, are we talking about proper prose now, I can do this, I remember how to deconstruct prose. Elric of Melniboné deconstructs the sword&sorcery genre in a single sentence. See, sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s take a look at the sentence: “The paradox was that Elric tolerated Yyrkoon’s treachery because he was strong, because he had the power to destroy Yyrkoon whenever he cared.” This is the sentence that shows Elric’s character in full – he is distinguished as much by his restraint as by his albino skin. In a genre full of characters who know nothing of restraint, Elric is the exception. His cousin Yyrkoon, meanwhile, is an excellent example of your average sword&sorcery character with his unflinching militarism, the ‘might is right’ mindset that we all know and…love? Yyrkoon has his own defining sentence, following hot on the heels of that first one: “And Yyrkoon’s own character was such that he must constantly be testing that strength of Elric’s, for he knew instinctively that if Elric did weaken and order him slain, then he would have won.” And just like that, these two characters are diametrical opposites of one another. Reading about the conflict between them was fascinating. The way the two of them develop from beginning to end has a real consequence on the wider world, and that’s what fantasy, according to Moorcock is about: The hero ranges the lands of his own psyche, encountering the various aspects of himself. When we read a good fantasy we are being admitted into the subterranean world of our own souls. … [fantasy] rarely produces a comforting end. Whether the hero wins through or not, the reader is left with the suspicion or knowledge that all is not quiet on the supernatural front. For supernatural also read subconscious and you’re still with me. (345) I don’t think that spoilers are all that inexcusable when it comes to books that have been around for nearly half a decade so I hope you won’t mind me saying that by the end of Elric of Melniboné, things are looking bleak indeed for the albino ruler of Imryr. Although he has defeated one crisis, the future is murky and all is far from quiet. Elric of Melniboné is, as Alan Moore calls it, a “delirious romance,” (3) its prose heavy. It’s got weight behind it, a sense of foreboding coming off of every sentence. So, too, with the worldbuilding. The days of Melniboné, of the Dream City of Imryr, are numbered, and Moorcock isn’t afraid of reminding us just how bad those last days might be. This world of Elric’s is storied and filled with tragedy and the heyday of the elves of Melniboné has long since passed. Having finished the last line of this novel, I was greeted by a final trio of essays, one of which I quoted above, Aspects of Fantasy. The second essay was an Introduction to the graphic adaptation of the same novel I spoke about at length, and the third speaks about the influences El Cid had on Moorcock. All informative and in the case of the first and the third, deeply thought-provoking as well. My favourite and at the same time most despised essay in the collection was that of Alan Moore, The Return of the Thin White Duke, a Foreword that spoiled more than I would have liked…but then again, I do suppose I was just complaining about spoilers a few minutes ago so I, as anyone should, am getting my just desserts. I’ve decided to score this anthology with a 4/5 on Goodreads. The main reason behind this score is the questionable placement of that short story and the addition of the script, which while interesting to read wasn’t what I had in mind for my first Elric story. But the essays and the actual novel – those are well worth top marks. You might want to read this if: · You’re interested in learning more about one of fantasy’s most storied characters; · Your interests in fantasy inch towards the gothic and darkly romantic, the elegance and degeneracy of a whole society; · You like big-name authors waxing lyrical about fantasy in-between your short stories, comic book scripts and actual fantasy novels; · You have a thing for moody albinos – no shaming if you do! – and drug addicts; · And More! Prob’ly.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rob Heineman

    This book was my first introduction to the Moorcock's work, and my first direct introduction to the character and world of Elric. The stories therein were everything I anticipated - punchy, pulpy, filled with a grim air I little expected from 60's and 70's-era fantasy fiction. I enjoyed them very much. I did not, however, enjoy that a full half of the book was comprised of what seem to be Moorcock's notes for a graphic novel adaptation of Elric's earliest adventures. Not that the story was bad - This book was my first introduction to the Moorcock's work, and my first direct introduction to the character and world of Elric. The stories therein were everything I anticipated - punchy, pulpy, filled with a grim air I little expected from 60's and 70's-era fantasy fiction. I enjoyed them very much. I did not, however, enjoy that a full half of the book was comprised of what seem to be Moorcock's notes for a graphic novel adaptation of Elric's earliest adventures. Not that the story was bad - it wasn't - but it read much like reading a screenplay directly, with none of the artful language of Moorcock's actual prose. Not realizing that this was the bulk of this particular collection is as much my fault as any, but it hindered my enjoyment thereof. Plus, Elric deciding that Yrkoon had totally reformed and would now be a fitting temporary emperor in his absence at the end of the final tale is one of the most mind-bogglingly stupid decisions I've seen any character make. Seriously, naive or not, that simply stresses the bounds of believably well past what I can stomach. Having said all of that, I still intend to read on. The stories are pulpy and fun, the world still unique amongst an endless field of writers shamelessly aping Tolkein's setting and calling it a day. I just hope that the next collection(s) omit the non-novel/novella bits, and that perhaps Elric is a bit less of a moron after a bit more time passes.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Bijok

    A book from a different era of fantasy. This is a welcome change of pace from more modern fantasy stories out there. A warning though, a large part of this book is taken up with a script for an Elric comic that leads into the events of the novel. As you are reading a script, it can be a little jarring as scene descriptions are intended for the artists. The novel itself goes along at a quick pace with an economy of words and mastery of language. Chapters are short but powerful and, Moorcock is ab A book from a different era of fantasy. This is a welcome change of pace from more modern fantasy stories out there. A warning though, a large part of this book is taken up with a script for an Elric comic that leads into the events of the novel. As you are reading a script, it can be a little jarring as scene descriptions are intended for the artists. The novel itself goes along at a quick pace with an economy of words and mastery of language. Chapters are short but powerful and, Moorcock is able to paint a vivid picture without spending tens of pages, describing one scene. There are also several preliminary articles from Moorcock and other writers, describing his career and their impressions on the legacy of Elric of Melnibone. These are interesting and insightful for fans of Moorcock's work. There are also two essays at the end of the book by Moorcock, regarding his ideas about the fantasy genre and his inspiration in creating Elric. Well worth a read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    One third of this book was an introduction to the author or his works One third was a transcript of a comic with a cursive description of the comic panels One third was actually an enjoyable short story about elric Sorry, I wanted to give this book a better rating, but the first two thirds of this book prevent me from doing this.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    To clarify: Elric of Melniboné is a solid 3 stars read. This book, however... I see that GR is listing it as the 1st of the Elric Chronological Order, but this is the worst book to get started on with this series and protagonist. The first 24 pages are a bunch forewords and articles (two of which are from the man himself) meant to convince you just how amazingly creative and dedicated to the fantasy genre Moorcock is. Personally I find no need for that. If I pick up a book, I've either already done To clarify: Elric of Melniboné is a solid 3 stars read. This book, however... I see that GR is listing it as the 1st of the Elric Chronological Order, but this is the worst book to get started on with this series and protagonist. The first 24 pages are a bunch forewords and articles (two of which are from the man himself) meant to convince you just how amazingly creative and dedicated to the fantasy genre Moorcock is. Personally I find no need for that. If I pick up a book, I've either already done my research into it and the writer, or I'd much rather draw the conclusion myself, thank you. The short story that follows, Master of Chaos, is a nice way set the tone and whatnot, but once you're done with it, you're plunged head first into what is basically a script for a comic book about Elric's early days. Everything about it is confusing, from the format, to the dumbed-down storytelling and language, and right when you're about to get used with it, you come across passages like these, which completely ruin your immersion: The other is a rider who is almost too big for his mount, armoured in spikes and scales, like a lizard. Try for a Vin Diesel look. or And while you should do your best, Walter, to make him look as different from the guy in The Matrix as possible, it's not my fault that I thought Sepiriz up looking like this in 1963 or whenever it was. I get it, they're notes for the graphic artist in charge of the comic, but I don't need to know this. It completely ruins the magic of the story, like finding out that Judy Garland basically lived off cocaine and cigarettes while also inhaling copious amounts of asbestos when filming The Wizard of Oz. And then there's the story, the characters, and the language itself. For all of Moorcok's diatribe regarding Tolkien, I much prefer the latter's approach to fantasy denominators. They have a meaning and continuity in the context of the races and cultures they're part of, as opposed to Moorcock's concoctions, like Syrix'x, Myyrrhn or Vashntni, that sound like he just angrily hit a Scrabble board and wrote down what came up. Some of the tropes used also became boring very fast: We have this fleet of venomous dragons, but they're out of batteries and need to sleep for another year, so there's no way we can use them. Also, we have these powerful allies, but they can't help us because the Evil Guy is keeping their generic female relative prisoner, and will kill her if they attack. Also, everyone says 'thee' and lust over their cousin/sister, because these are ye olde times, but not in the Alternate Space-Time Continuum way, but EPIC FANTASY style, which this book totally is. The actual Elric of Melniboné story is decent and engaging, and I'm sure it was innovative back in its day, but it became a bit dated, and it's worth reading if you're interested in learning about fantasy back in Tolkien's time. The book ends with 3 more essays, including one that explains at great length the parallels between Elric and El Cid. Like the opening essays, I fail to see their point. In a way, they reminded me of my days in high-school, when I was collecting articles and interviews with my favourite bands from magazines and keeping them in a special folder that was meant to prove that my tastes were both educated and valid. If the publishers were determined to go to such lengths to gather examples of Moorcock's greatness, why didn't they go the extra mile and include Epic Pooh in the book? It is by far his most famous essay (the one where he accuses Tolkien and his Tory cronies of writing fantasy for rabbits), it was published in 1978, and if they had access to the graphic novel script, then surely they had access to this as well. I'll be honest: the main reason I picked up Moorcock is because him and his buddy China Miéville are renowned for being Tolkien separatists, and I wanted to know if Moorcock's works can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Sadly, this book ruined him for me. I might pick up some other Elric stories, although it will be at a distant point in the future, and with considerable less enthusiasm.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Owen

    The Elric of Mèlnibone story itself is very good. A nice quick read which kept me invested all the way through so that I finished it in a day. The narrative is quick and exciting and Elric is a brilliant character. It's clear while reading that his mannerisms (particularly his broodiness) have become a staple amongst fantasy hero tropes and it's nice to read where it all started. The problem with this edition is the title. Elric of Mèlnibone and Other Stories. There are not really any other stor The Elric of Mèlnibone story itself is very good. A nice quick read which kept me invested all the way through so that I finished it in a day. The narrative is quick and exciting and Elric is a brilliant character. It's clear while reading that his mannerisms (particularly his broodiness) have become a staple amongst fantasy hero tropes and it's nice to read where it all started. The problem with this edition is the title. Elric of Mèlnibone and Other Stories. There are not really any other stories in this collection, just essays and a script to a graphic novel, strangely. If you buy this edition thinking it will be the title story and lots of other pulpy short stories with it you will be disappointed. It's strange to me that these publishers have decided to publish Elric's whole sequence in 7 volumes. I say strange but the reasoning becomes clear. These stories can fit into 3 or 4 volumes realistically. And the volumes wouldn't be too big either, maybe 500 odd pages. It's sad to know that this is advertised as 'the definitive Moorcock collection'. The book has no idea to whom it is catering. If you're a newcomer to the series (as I was) you'll read about 7 (yes, 7) introductions to Moorcock's work (not just Elric) before you get to any kind of story. And if you do read these (I didn't) you will be a) confused: the essays all describe the Multiverse and the Eternal Champion which I knew nothing about, and b) spoiled: the essays tell you exactly what happens to Elric and his relationship with Stormbringer. It seems mind boggling to the editor that someone has never read Moorcock's entire body of work. So who is this collection for? It's hardly like the Elric stories are terribly complicated. I mean, it's obvious that they had an impact on the genre so will always be read and respected. But the entire series is practically from Elric's point of view: there's hardly a complicated cast and the relationships between the cast we do get is pretty simple stuff. Women are all portrayed as maidens who need to be rescued and the men are all huge, bulking, seasoned warriors similarly as masculine as Elric himself. So it seems quite arrogant and self indulgent to stretch these stories out into 7 volumes. Whether this was Moorcock's choice or the editor's choice I don't know but if I was Moorcock I would be hard pressed to call this a definitive collection. As I've said, if it was a 4 Volume collection it would be right on the money. But as it stands..... The Elric story on offer here is top notch, just very short, and this book would have benefitted from more stories and a title which is not misleading. The Fortress of the Pearl and Sailor on the Seas of Fate could have easily been combined with this story for one kick ass volume. So that is a shame. Don't buy if you expect more stories than the title.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    Good! I enjoyed the actual text of the novel "Elric of Melnibone" quite a bit, the start was a little slow and seemed to be already familiar from the "volume 0" script from the graphic novel explaining Elric's ancestors and their dealing with the elementals and Arioch. But once the action really kicked in I enjoyed the main story a lot. The first 2 introductions are written by alan moore and john clute ABOUT michael moorcock, and so you can get the impression that theyre really bigging him up, bu Good! I enjoyed the actual text of the novel "Elric of Melnibone" quite a bit, the start was a little slow and seemed to be already familiar from the "volume 0" script from the graphic novel explaining Elric's ancestors and their dealing with the elementals and Arioch. But once the action really kicked in I enjoyed the main story a lot. The first 2 introductions are written by alan moore and john clute ABOUT michael moorcock, and so you can get the impression that theyre really bigging him up, but don't worry, moorcock's own essays aren't self-agrandising. he writes about the history of fantasy as a style, his aims for using it, it's historical forms, and other inspirations he had when writing, or helping with comic versions being made. The little Earl of Aubec chapter at the start was OK, but again like the main novel, i enjoyed the second half a lot more because that's when moorcock's use of supernatural settings for describing the subconscious get more obvious. I would recommend it, and the inside first few pages also give you the reading list for the order to read elric and his other stories in , in terms of in-story timeline as opposed to writing order, since the graphic novel script and "elric of melnibone" itself are both taking place as prequels to the first elric serialisations that later got published as novels. I think it is a good balance of what you traditionally consider fantasy from that time in the 20th century, but also has interesting events that you didn't expect, or panned out in a way that leads on to something you can't easily predict. I would recommend someone to read this if they want to know what exactly Moorcock aimed to do with his stories, and also the significance of Elric for future stories if they have just heard either name mentioned and want to know more without feeling like the have to buy the whole series second-hand or something just to work out what the point of it all is.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rudyard L.

    This book was unreadable. This surprised me. Rather than the normal route of starting Michael Moorcock with reading this and then moving to his other works, I started with the Corum series. Corum was one of my favorite fantasy series was ever and so I was really excited to read this. Let me break that down why I didn’t like this. 1)The writing style This book reads like a Grateful Dead concert. I feel like if you smoked weed while reading it, it would feel so profound, but for sober me, it just This book was unreadable. This surprised me. Rather than the normal route of starting Michael Moorcock with reading this and then moving to his other works, I started with the Corum series. Corum was one of my favorite fantasy series was ever and so I was really excited to read this. Let me break that down why I didn’t like this. 1)The writing style This book reads like a Grateful Dead concert. I feel like if you smoked weed while reading it, it would feel so profound, but for sober me, it just felt pretentious. The deep themes it pretends to just aren’t there. Everything has an overly edgy feel to it for little reason. I read this book was written to be anti Conan the Barbarian or Tolkien. I definitely feel that in doing that, Michael Moorcock boxed himself in and was less imaginative than he could have been. I just kept on thinking “for the love of God, show don’t tell”. This story is over explained. There’s no fun in hearing a story explained, I want to have it shown to me. Elric is completely unsympathetic, whiny, and pretentious. None of the other characters are even close to three dimensional. All of the character traits are told to you rather than shown. 2)The edition This edition is terrible. This book is meant to be the intro into Elric world. There’s a 35 pages intro that means nothing to you if you aren’t already a fan. Similarly they’re’s then a 150 page script for a comic book without pictures in which Michael Moorcock leaves notes and jokes for his editors. Again, for a reader new to the franchise, you don’t really know what’s going on. This story is again really repetitive, with 4 minor stories very similar to each-other nested in the broader narrative. By the time the reader gets to the actual main story, they’re already worn out, not properly introduced and confused.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    Our book club decided to read the original Elric of Melniboné as a chance to discuss it as an original text that has produced subsequent works and influenced other authors. This particular compilation was the one that was available digitally from our local bookseller (and thus available at short notice mid-pandemic). Luckily (in part to the Goodreads expanded title), I realized that the included texts were not listed in order of publication, so I was able to identify the "original" Elric text to Our book club decided to read the original Elric of Melniboné as a chance to discuss it as an original text that has produced subsequent works and influenced other authors. This particular compilation was the one that was available digitally from our local bookseller (and thus available at short notice mid-pandemic). Luckily (in part to the Goodreads expanded title), I realized that the included texts were not listed in order of publication, so I was able to identify the "original" Elric text to read for our discussion. Others with the same edition were not as fortunate. However, before embarking on my first introduction to Elric of Melniboné, I made the mistake of struggling through John Clute's introduction, which clearly assume the reader is already intimately familiar with every piece of Elric literature every created. Clute's self-aggrandizing prose also enjoys smugly hitting the reader over the head with a dictionary, going so far as to smugly and disingenuously apologize for using such over-used terms as "equipoisal." I gained very little insight into the Moorcock or the Elric texts and came away knowing only that Clute is unashamedly proud of his vocabulary and writes introductions as if he's producing material to be graded by a subpar literature teacher. If you are a literature academic exploring the Elric works as a whole, this is probably a useful edition to consider. However, if you are making your first foray into Melniboné, you might be better served looking elsewhere. And if you do pick up this particular book, definitely don't start on the first page. Determine for yourself what order you'd like to approach the texts, and save the supporting material until you're well into your relationship with Elric and Moorcock.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luana

    Big fan! The complicated publishing history of Elric makes jumping in a bit of a challenge (several recommendations by friends were simply no longer in print), but as a newly-former-noob I can say this ones's a good entry point. Moorcock's prose is wry and sardonic, often making me laugh out loud as I read this on my morning commute. The absurdities and Big Vistas/Situations pile on so quickly, and the responses by characters are never less than turned to 11, you can't help but think a lot of this Big fan! The complicated publishing history of Elric makes jumping in a bit of a challenge (several recommendations by friends were simply no longer in print), but as a newly-former-noob I can say this ones's a good entry point. Moorcock's prose is wry and sardonic, often making me laugh out loud as I read this on my morning commute. The absurdities and Big Vistas/Situations pile on so quickly, and the responses by characters are never less than turned to 11, you can't help but think a lot of this is simply a larf. The incidents that pile on at breakneck speed ("Making of a Sorcerer" features Elric being taken in by the Sea King, learning of a Chaos Lord drinking the oceans with a big hollowed-out tree for a straw (!!!), AND he is keeping the Sea King's mermaid sister hostage in a big clam) almost make this look like The Gothic Hobbit -- but I suppose nobody should tell Moorcock that. Well, I guess I'm down to see the, uh, downfall of Melniboné! I don't think that sword's up to any good!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dan McCollum

    The story itself receives a solid 5 out of 5. Elric of Melnibone is a fascinating character - morose, sympathetic, cruel, frustratingly naive yet prone to acting like the worst of his violent ancestors - and this novel explores his origins while delving into the unique circumstances of his life and character. The writing itself is light and crisp and moves along at a steady and enjoyable pace. This certainly falls into the category of Sword and Sorcery, and one will not find the heavy world-buil The story itself receives a solid 5 out of 5. Elric of Melnibone is a fascinating character - morose, sympathetic, cruel, frustratingly naive yet prone to acting like the worst of his violent ancestors - and this novel explores his origins while delving into the unique circumstances of his life and character. The writing itself is light and crisp and moves along at a steady and enjoyable pace. This certainly falls into the category of Sword and Sorcery, and one will not find the heavy world-building of LoTR or its modern descendents. Still, it remains a good adventure that has things to say. The book only loses one star because much of the supllementary materials included seem only tacked on, and the organization is bizzare as well - the central movel only appears in the middle of the work, having been preceeeded by an essay, a short story and partial screenlay, and this is bookended by another essay. Still, I would certainly recommend this book to others, and I look forward to reading more of Elric's doomed adventures in the future!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Riju Ganguly

    First let me list what’s in this volume. It contains~ * A 'Series' Introduction by John Clute; * A similar 'Series' Introduction from the author; * 'The Return of the Thin White Duke' by Alan Moore as 'Foreword'; * Fantasy classroom: Putting a Tag on it; 1. Master of Chaos 2. Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer 3. And So the Great Emperor Received His Education 4. Elric of Melnibone * Fantasy Classroom: Aspects of Fantasy * Introduction to the 1986 Graphic Adaptation of 'Elric of Melnibone' * El Cid and Elric: First let me list what’s in this volume. It contains~ * A 'Series' Introduction by John Clute; * A similar 'Series' Introduction from the author; * 'The Return of the Thin White Duke' by Alan Moore as 'Foreword'; * Fantasy classroom: Putting a Tag on it; 1. Master of Chaos 2. Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer 3. And So the Great Emperor Received His Education 4. Elric of Melnibone * Fantasy Classroom: Aspects of Fantasy * Introduction to the 1986 Graphic Adaptation of 'Elric of Melnibone' * El Cid and Elric: Under the Influence! Of course, the writing is good. But... I would like to hang those know-alls who had created this so-called authorised volumes where the best short stories of Elric have been drowned in postmodern maudlin stuff. This 'Michael Moorcock Collection' is truly a classic example of ruining a perfectly good series. Perhaps they drew inspiration from Star Wars!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Miller

    It's Dark Age fantasy. There's murder and cannibalism, and it's all dealt with as if it doesn't matter, save how the main character, Elric, feels about seeing someone tortured. (It's annoying he has to watch the whole thing.) However there's a depth of creativity in here that is rarely equaled. Ideas overflow the page. The images are relentless and interesting. There's a lot of good material in it, and the sort of overwrought doomed air of the book gives it some gravitas. The very difficulty of t It's Dark Age fantasy. There's murder and cannibalism, and it's all dealt with as if it doesn't matter, save how the main character, Elric, feels about seeing someone tortured. (It's annoying he has to watch the whole thing.) However there's a depth of creativity in here that is rarely equaled. Ideas overflow the page. The images are relentless and interesting. There's a lot of good material in it, and the sort of overwrought doomed air of the book gives it some gravitas. The very difficulty of taking it seriously makes the obscenity reasonable, as is the lack of detail. A modern novel of such ilk would get gory and revel in the grisly details. This one finds enough satisfaction in revealing that cannibalism takes place, and it makes Elric sad.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jurgen

    I've been entranced by Moorcock's multiverse all year now. I started with 'The Jewel in the Skull' and went through all the Hawkmoon books. Then read Corum's Sword Trilogy, now it's on to Elric to take me on these massive adventures. I'm so stoked on this. I want to read the complete Eternal Champion series in no specific order, it's fun to see the multiverse puzzle slowly come together. As for this first book of the Elric series, I went straight to the actual story. This edition of the book fea I've been entranced by Moorcock's multiverse all year now. I started with 'The Jewel in the Skull' and went through all the Hawkmoon books. Then read Corum's Sword Trilogy, now it's on to Elric to take me on these massive adventures. I'm so stoked on this. I want to read the complete Eternal Champion series in no specific order, it's fun to see the multiverse puzzle slowly come together. As for this first book of the Elric series, I went straight to the actual story. This edition of the book features an introduction by Moorcock, essays and other stuff. Skip all that stuff (read that later) and go straight to the main part.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ted Wolf

    This binding of Elric of Melnibone is so far the best, even surpassing the Daw edition. The is a chronological telling of the stories starting with Earl Aubec, then a tale of Elric training on the dreaming couches where we learn how many of the ancient alliances were formed, and finishing with stories readers of the Daw publication will recognize from the book of the same name. Note that the story Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer is actually the script for a comic book. Nonetheless it is quite rea This binding of Elric of Melnibone is so far the best, even surpassing the Daw edition. The is a chronological telling of the stories starting with Earl Aubec, then a tale of Elric training on the dreaming couches where we learn how many of the ancient alliances were formed, and finishing with stories readers of the Daw publication will recognize from the book of the same name. Note that the story Elric: The Making of a Sorcerer is actually the script for a comic book. Nonetheless it is quite readable and entertaining.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo Baptista

    Alan Moore sure knows how to right an introduction. A few good essays about fantasy. The graphic novel script was a bit hard to get into at first. It seems to be inconsistent with the posterior/previous history of the character. The world of Melniboné is a different, cruel place where pleasure is at the forefront- slaves mutilated for the benefit of the high born - without a single thought about its consequences to others. I'm more interested in the concept of the eternal champion than necessarily i Alan Moore sure knows how to right an introduction. A few good essays about fantasy. The graphic novel script was a bit hard to get into at first. It seems to be inconsistent with the posterior/previous history of the character. The world of Melniboné is a different, cruel place where pleasure is at the forefront- slaves mutilated for the benefit of the high born - without a single thought about its consequences to others. I'm more interested in the concept of the eternal champion than necessarily in the sword and sorcery stuff (Jerry Cornelius seems to be interesting).

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