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Die Kriegsmeute. Fantasy Roman (Von Bek #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  909 ratings  ·  47 reviews
The basic premise is that Lucifer isn't an omniscient, omnipotent arch fiend, but merely a frustrated, desperate exile. God exiled him to earth with no instructions & no further communication. In his own words, he tells how everything he did since then was his own idea, done on his own initiative. He tried to prove he could build a world greater than the Creator's, rev ...more
Published (first published 1981)
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Behold the Man

Who else but Michael Moorcock, in all his devious craftiness, could employ Satan, Heaven & Hell, souls, damnation, and a quest for the Holy Grail, as tools for a story whose central premise is a call for humanity to eschew religious belief and embrace scientific discovery and secular self-determination. I mean…damn…regardless of which side of the God debate you place yourself, Moorcock deserves some major kudos for having both the sack and the creativity to use plot elements
I enjoy this book, even though Von Bek is an idiot. It's amusing to watch him accept everything that Lucifer tells him as the truth without any questions at all. The book is typical Moorcock fantasy, complete with the sardonic hero, the loyal sidekick, the dandy that may or may not be an ally, and a war between gods. Still, the (mostly) real world setting makes it more interesting to me than the made-up settings of Elric, Corum, and other Eternal Champions.
Fascinating look at the 30 Days War before the Dawn of Reason. The battle between Lucifer and God is played out across war scared Europe as The fallen One vies for a return to Grace enlisting the aid of doomed mortals in a deadly chess match.

I can't recall a book where both God and Satan are portrayed this way and it is amazing. The Devil is not all bad and God is not all good. Put that in your pipe and smoke it...
While it doesn't quite transcend expectations like some of Moorcock's books, this moody adventure that reads a little like Vance meets Bunyan has some interesting speculations on theology.Gruesome violence of the 17th century setting also helps keep this memorable. Fans of Phillip Pullman's fantasies should search it out. What was up with the giant cat? I love his books for inexplicable weirdness like that.
We all have our strange little rituals. Mine is, at the beginning of every year, to read nothing but authors with whose work I am unfamiliar. (Occasionally, I have sinned; but mostly, I keep to this.) A few weeks ago, I read a laudatory review of Michael Moorcock in the Times Literary Supplement. The only one of his books that caught my eye at the local library was The War Hound and the World's Pain, so I took it out not knowing quite what to expect.

How to describe it? Imagine something like Mil
Ulrich Krieghund
Look at the beautiful figure on the cover. Doesn't he look striking? Angelic perhaps? Would his words soothe your soul, comfort you? Perhaps you should give his story a listen. You won't be disappointed. You might even discover the source and cure for the world's pain.

This story focuses on the fantastic adventure of a professional soldier named Ulrich Von Bek. He has captured/killed many enemy soldiers and proven so excellent at waging war that he he has earned some measure of fame and a nickna
Tim Pendry
Mar 23, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Moorcock Fans
An early fantasy classic of war and of dealings with the forces of darkness [though with Moorcock's usual ambiguity]. The violence of early modern central europe and the reality of knightly values pulls the fantasy-fascism of Elric down to earth and sharpens the sense of what cruelty really is. Certainly an early high point in Moorcock's fluctuating canon. The first of the long Von Beck cycle which weakens with time.
Erik Graff
Sep 15, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Moorcock fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
Moorcock is usually classed as a science fiction/fantasy author. This book might be classed as a theological fantasy as the major character is Lucifer. As ever, I appreciate fresh takes on old symbols and I like historical novels.
Troy Rutman
The hot cover lured this prepubescent boy in. What he found was his reflection, pained by rejection.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in May 2001.

The seventeenth century Thirty Years' War was a forerunner of devastating twentieth century conflicts. Disease and famine followed direct casualties and atrocities were carried out on a huge scale (the sack of Magdeburg an example) as bands of mercenaries rampaged out of control across the countryside. The religious background to the war was not reflected in Christian virtues during it.

Von Bek is a mercenary captain in the war. He has lost what fa
1st read in the '80s, just re-read it.
I think on re-evaluation this is one of my favorite Moorcock books (this and The Brothel in Rosenstrasse: An Extravagant Tale, incidentaly another Von Bek book).
Recently been reading a load of Arthurian texts and this is a grail quest too. But unlike a load of the Arthurian stuff it actually has a conclusion and, for Moorcock, a happy ending.
It has all the standard Moorcock stuff (apart from the gender bending/time traveling JC stuff): Law vs Chaos; nearly e
Stephen Brooke
Unlike the Blues Brothers, Ulrich von Bek was on a mission from Lucifer.

Michael Moorcock’s fantasies have always tended to have a philosophical and, sometimes, theological bent to them, but this is more evident than ever in ‘The War Hound and the World’s Pain,’ a tale of Lucifer attempting to achieve his own redemption with the aid of a 17th Century mercenary captain — the ‘war hound’ of the title. The story begins against a backdrop of the brutality of the Thirty Years War in Germany but soon v
I was in the mood for some pulpy fantasy in the style of Elric or Hawkmoon and somehow I never ended up reading Von Bek while I was a teen. So I started this one and was disappointed that it was more talk than action. I liked the plot it just seemed a little dry and none of the characters really stuck out other than maybe Phillander Groot. The writing seemed a little wonky, with repeated words in the same sentence and occasional strange dialogue.

And he put fingers to his wretched lips. And n
Shannon Appelcline
A nice bridge book, lying between Moorcock's older swords & sorcery and his newer, more philosophical novels. This provides some interesting orthagonal looks at his multiverse and also rather amusingly is a rejection of all things fantastic.
Francesco Manno

The Hound of the war is a novel of sword and sorcery, belonging to Trilogy von Bek (the others remained unpublished in Italy), written by Michael Moorcock and published in our country from the North in 1984.
Unlike what happens in the saga of Elric of Melniboné, the English author chooses this time the historical setting, leading us in the middle of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), first religious conflict (between Catholics and Protestants) and then poli
My Inner Shelf
Avec un titre superbe et mystérieux, ce roman se présentait sous les meilleurs auspices. Belle écriture, contexte intéressant, personnages classiques. Un mercenaire éduqué et instruit est amené à conclure un pacte avec Lucifer. Ce dernier souhaite retrouver sa place au Paradis et demande au héros de trouver le Graal, afin d'éradiquer la douleur du monde. Notre mercenaire, qui souhaite également récupérer son âme au passage, entame donc une quête improbable. Et c'est là que les choses changent. C ...more
Michele (Mikecas)

Di Moorcock avevo già parlato presentando le raccolte dei racconti del suo eroe più famoso, Elric di Melniboné. Da quella presentazione appare evidente che io non abbia mai apprezzato molto Moorcock, pur riconoscendogli una certa originalità nel mondo dell'eroic fantasy, ed una qualità di scrittura che lo pone un gradino più sù dei suoi contemporanei e precedenti. Perché allora questo ritorno ad un autore non tanto amato?
Perché sul blog Plutonia Experim
Charles Dee Mitchell
Captain Graf Ulrich von Bek is a scholarly German aristocrat of the 17th century whose military career has devolved into the role of mercenary in the Thirty Years War. Disgusted by his participation in the massacre and torching of the city of Magdeburg in 1631, and detecting the early signs of plague among the remnant of his forces, he strikes off on his own. He finds himself in a forest eeirly absent of all animal life. On a mountain in the forest he discovers an immaculately maintained castle, ...more
For about 15 years now I've been a huge fan of Moorcock's Elric series. I've read the original series several times, and I'd recently thought about reading the "new" Elric books (hey, '89 and '91 are new compared to the 60s and 70s). But for some reason I decided to give one of his other series a shot, and I'm really glad I did.

War Hound is the first book in a series centered on the Von Bek family. Unlike most fantasy I read, this was set in Europe during the 30 Years' War, so I didn't expect mu
Paraíso Cuatro
Según nuestro compañero de página Ferran Canetenc, para seleccionar un libro de entre varios acumulados en la pila de lecturas, ni sinopsis, ni portada, ni autor de renombre… no hay nada mejor que leer el primer párrafo del libro en cuestión, y a continuación, el último. Si hacemos este experimento con El perro de la guerra y el dolor del mundo, el resultado es esta bomba de relojería haciendo tic-tac.

Inicio: “Fue el mismo año en que la ola de crueldad exigía no solo la crucifixión de los jóvene
Came late to this writer bur sure glad I was led there. I was fully taken by the originality of thought and character development; style was fresh too, but took some getting used to. Love the use of "thee" and "thou" and wholly rocked by the use of capitals. Am going on to 2d chronicle.
Otis Campbell
Behind those eyes lies the truth and grief...
Behind those beautiful smiles I've seen tragedy...
The flawless skin hides the secrets within...
Silent forces that secretly ignite your sins.
17th century Europe and Hell as settings? What's not to like? This first "confession" of a member if the Von Beck family is briskly paced, and contains a great deal more philosophy than sword & sorcery. I'm rather surprised it hasn't been adapted into a film.
Ralph Blackburn
Every page is awe-inspiring as Moorcock weaves a fantastic tapestry of words and symbols. I've read a lot from this author but never expected this. Get it where you can.
Matias Virtanen
Maailmantuskan sotureita olemme kaikki :)
Joe Stamber
Von Bek was another new character from MM, destined for his own series. This first story is loosely set among historical events a few hundred years ago with God and the Devil fighting out with lots of hacking and slashing going on between their minions. Yet again, MM has come up with a fascinating take on something we are familiar with, and of course there is the usual wierdness thrown in just to keep reminding you who the author is.
I spent my teen years devouring the Moorcock library: Corum, Elric, Hawkmoon, Cornelius, and the Dancers. Now I've rediscovered him and find he's written lots of books I never knew about. This is one. I tore through it as I used to, but I find my appetite for the next in the Von Bek series is not what I expected. The moralizing was a bit heavy-handed in this one. Were the others like that? I'll have to go back and see.
"It was in that year when the fashion in cruelty required not only the crucifixion of peasant children, but a similar fate for their pets as well, that I first met Lucifer and was transported into Hell; for the Prince of Darkness wished to strike a bargain with me."

This is included in the Von Bek (EC#2) omnibus, but i included it separately because this is my favorite Moorcock fantasy title.

un signor fantasy, una quest classica, ma di quelle toste. al soldo di Lucifero. in un mondo che è il nostro, durante la guerra dei trent'anni, ma con una secchiata di sovrannaturale a condimento.

un libro che porta a ragionare, va oltre al puro intrattenimento dell'avventura, e un autore che vale la pena di leggere e approfondire.
Rosie Powell
Though I enjoyed the style of writing, and the ideas about Heaven and Hell, God and Lucifer, and mankind's supposed free will, the misogyny was irritating. It's fantasy written by a man, so I perhaps should have expected it. I would have enjoyed the fantastic more if it were less casually sexist, but it was still interesting.
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  • Nifft the Lean
  • The Dream Years
  • A Storm of Wings
  • The Devil's Day (After Such Knowledge, #2-3)
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Michael John Moorcock is an English writer primarily of science fiction and fantasy who has also published a number of literary novels.
Moorcock has mentioned The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Apple Cart by George Bernard Shaw and The Constable of St. Nicholas by Edward Lester Arnold as the first three books which captured his imagination. He became editor of Tarzan Adventures in 1956,
More about Michael Moorcock...

Other Books in the Series

Von Bek (5 books)
  • The City in the Autumn Stars: Being a Continuation of the Story of the Von Bek Family and Its Association with Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, and the Cure for the World's Pain
  • The Brothel in Rosenstrasse: An Extravagant Tale
  • The Dragon in the Sword (Erekosë, #3)
  • The Blood Red Game
Elric of Melniboné (Elric, #1) Stormbringer (Elric, #6) The Vanishing Tower (Elric, #4) The Weird of the White Wolf (The Elric Saga, #3) The Sailor on the Seas of Fate (Elric, #2)

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