Sunday, September 14, 2003

Book Two of Michael Moorcock's Elric saga is Sailor on the Seas of Fate. Years ago I owned this book and it got away from me somehow in one of my moves from place to place. I don't remember how, but it was gone and I have been looking for it in second hand bookstores every since. A few weeks ago I found books one and two and have read them both. It was a guilty pleasure that I savored as slowly as possible. The very short length of these books makes trivial the task of reading either one of them in a single sitting. I did no such thing. I stopped between chapters and ran my tongue over my teeth wanting to taste every last drop. The bad news is that I am older, more mature, perhaps more discriminating than my first time through the books. This reading found the second volume especially lacking. The books tell a classically good story in a land that is full of swords and sorcery, but the dialogue is awkward and the structure lacks even an attempt at sophistication. It was pulp fiction for young boys when it was written and it serves the same purpose today. It is great fun in a package that does not require you to think.

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