THE ETERNAL CHAMPION by Michael Moorcock


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Moorcock is a pioneering sci-fi editor whom many consider the greatest single influence behind the British ""New Wave"" of the Sixties. His popularity as a novelist is harder to understand. This hard-cover revision of a 1969 work--accompanied by a pompous introduction spelling out its thematic centrality in the Moorcock oeuvre--transports quiet, scholarly John Daker into the mind of the hero Erekosë, legendary champion of the race called ""Humanity"" in its implacable struggle with the cruel and mysterious Eldren. But all is not what it seems: what is the strange savagery (""We shall not be safe until their whole race is destroyed"") that overtakes Humanity at the mere thought of the Eldren? What can Erekosë do to atone for his Attila-like slaughter of the nobler and elder race when he finally sees Humanity for the pack of self-blinded Yahoos that it is? What but repeat his genocidal campaign in reverse, to make the world safe for Eldren? This stunningly obvious design is interspersed with pregnant suggestions that Daker/Erekosë is but one incarnation of the Moorcock hero, the ""Champion"" of a morally ambiguous humanity who wanders under different names (""Elric,"" ""Jerry Cornelius,"" ""Jherek Carnelian"") from sword-and-sorcery to cloak-and-dagger series, from the beginning to the End of Time. All these grandiose ambitions would be easier to take were it not for Moorcock's writing, which is generally flaccid or worse (""a madness of which I would never have considered myself capable of inventing""). Anyhow, the Moorcock audience will lap it up--anti-war pieties, stage-managed ironies, and all.

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 1977
Publisher: Harper & Row