Nick's Reviews > The Dancers at the End of Time

The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock
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's review
May 30, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: surrealism
Read in January, 1992

Though not generally regarded as Moorcock's best work, this series is my favorite. The prose is some of his most elegant and polished. The story itself shows Moorcock at his most spry, lovingly lampooning some of the themes of his other works, the romance genre, and English literary traditions in general. The settings and charicatures are also some of his most unique: a blend of scientific romance Victoriana and fin du siecle French symbolism and art nouveau, with a little Shakespearean flare added for show.
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message 1: by Rick (last edited Feb 25, 2008 10:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rick Actually this series is considered by many critics to be Moorcock's finest. It's as if Oscar Wilde wrote an end of time. It's lyrical and funny. It's one of my favorite Moorcock works.

Nancy The Dancers at the End of time was the only Moorcock book I've read. It was quirky, romantic and very funny and one of the few books that had me laughing out loud in public places.

Are Moorcock's other works as good? What would you recommend?

Nick yeah, if you like dancers at the end of time you would probably also like the von bek books (the warhound and the world's pain and city of the autumn stars). they're sold in a single volume now. it's not light hearted like dancers, but it has a lot of the same kind of imagery.

most of his other books steer more towards conventional sword and sorcery stuff.

Rick "most of his other books steer more towards conventional sword and sorcery stuff."

That is so not true... Moorcock has written in the excess of 100 novels. Probably less than half are sword & sorcery. And none of that is what one would call conventional. The one common thread through all his stories are the complex socio-political topics. Most sword & sorcery doesn't go near that stuff. Saying Moorcock creates "conventional sword and sorcery stuff" is akin to saying Raymond Chandler just wrote some typical mysteries.

I agree that the Von Bek stuff is excellent but for my money, it's the science fictional Jerry Cornelius tales that are his best. Cornelius is the ultimate postmodern anti-hero, a master manipulator of everything from people to reality itself.

Moorcock is one of the most influential literary figures of the 20th century being a seminal influence on the postmodern, cyberpunk, New Weird, and fantasy genres. He popularized the concept of the multiverse. His editorial reign on New Worlds spawned the literary careers of J.G. Ballard, Samuel Delany, John Brunner, Thomas Disch, Norman Spinrad, D.M. Thomas, M. John Harrison, and countless others. He created one of the most famous sword & sorcery characters of all time: Elric of Melnibone. He is often ranked along with Tolkien and Howard as one of the most important fantasy writers of the 20th century.

Nancy Wow, I didn't realize Moorcock was so prolific! No wonder I'm confused by what I should read next. Is "The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius" part of a series?

Thanks for both of your comments!

Rick Nancy,

It's part of the Jerry Cornelius stories.

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