Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things I've noticed: The Trouble with Jerry Cornelilus

Here’s the thing about my relationship with author Michael Moorcock – as an older teen getting out of Dungeons and Dragons and into Vampire the Masquerade, I started to notice that my fellow gamers were talking less about Dragonlance novels and more about Elric of Melniboné, who was apparently the Emperor of an alternate Earth, an albino, and an elf. At the time I was getting pretty heavy into reading Role Playing Game rulebooks from cover to cover so I decided to hold off on the character.

My next brush with the author came with a book called Nomad of the Time Strems, a collection of stories about Oswald Bastable, a British Captain travelling through an alternate earth through some of the coolest Alternate history stories I’ve ever read.

Last month I hit my most recent connection, in a best of SF novels list I've been working through I came across The Final Programme, the first of the Cornelius Quartet. I decided that I'd try to read all four of the books, and as there are many people who say how great this character is I thought I'd have a great treat ahead of me.

The first book was, okay. A little weird, with more than a little creepiness thrown in, it went all over the place, following multiple characters and forcing me to read and re-read chapters to try and understand what was going on. In the end I was confused, but assumed the series would make more sense as I worked my way through.

Next up was The Cure for Cancer, and I'm sorry to say this is where I stopped. The chapters followed Jerry through a desolate future wherein most of the western world was clearly running down and althrough I could follow the events from chapter to chapter it was mostly an exercise in frustration for me.

Here's the thing, I've heard a lot of good stuff about this series, but as I was really not enjoying myself through the second book I figured that I should take a break and re-visit the books later (maybe in my '40s the story will make more sense).

In the end I love reading, and challenges can be fun as well, but if I'm not enjoying myself, I don't see anything wrong with taking a break.

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