Monday, August 26, 2013
Elric of Melinbone by Michael Moorcock
This is the perfect example of what I do not like about sci-fi/fantasy books until quite recently.
Elric of Melnibone is a series of books that are short and to the point. Normally, I would say kudo's to the author for that. There is no time that is wasted on prose that are unnecessary and the story that is told is clear and concise. The problem here is that Moorcock seems to have cut everything out to the point where it's not enjoyable even in the slightest. The dialogue is fake and forced, the prose are bland and overall, the story is lacking any sort of captivating imagination.
Now, I'm not sure this is Moorcock's fault. Yes, he wrote the novel but it seems to me that up until recently, most sci-fi/fantasy novels just had this quality. There was something about the writing that always seems either very dry or over the top to the point where you can't become immersed because its so ridiculous. These aren't necessarily bad stories but they are stories that are best told orally as opposed to read.
While this book is a short read, it took me an inordinate amount of time to get into it. While the main character has the advantage of being morally gray, it is never a theme that seems to be fully explored. The world feels very two dimensional as well and the characters that are coming into contact with the main storyline fall into peril during one page and then are suddenly saved two pages later. This quick and choppy style detracts from what could be a good story. The author seems to just be rushing through a series of events while peppering his work with dialogue that could be written for daytime soaps.
Troy and this random puppet, in fact, has better dialogue than this book... and they're not even saying anything!
I realize too that there are a lot of readers out there that enjoy this style of writing. I know a lot of readers that enjoy this style of writing and the friend that recommended this book is definitely one of them. For me, however, there is nothing to this. There isn't talent or passion. There is simply a telling of a very linear story that you could find anywhere. Imagination is lacking here and it is instead something to just pass the time. These are the stories that I feel don't stick with you and they are not the kinds of stories I want to be spending my time on.
Overall, if you are a person that can't seem to get through larger novels and want to read something in the course of an afternoon, I would actually recommend this. If you are someone who likes to dive into your stories and wants something rich and full of life, skip this. It is not a story that is going to offer you much more than a coma induced state of boredom most of the time.
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Also, here's a look at what else I'm reading at the moment. Follow the links here http://papertales4u.blogspot.com/2013/08/august-book-reads.html