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The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius: Stories of the Comic Apocalypse
     

The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius: Stories of the Comic Apocalypse

by Michael Moorcock
 

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Jerry Cornelius – English assassin, physicist, rock star, messiah to the Age of Science – is one of fantastic literature's greatest creations. Acclaimed by Moorcock's readers, critics, and peers from Mick Jagger to J. G. Ballard, Cornelius is the ultimate postmodern antihero, more Borgesian than Asimovian. Three of the stories in this collection are here

Overview

Jerry Cornelius – English assassin, physicist, rock star, messiah to the Age of Science – is one of fantastic literature's greatest creations. Acclaimed by Moorcock's readers, critics, and peers from Mick Jagger to J. G. Ballard, Cornelius is the ultimate postmodern antihero, more Borgesian than Asimovian. Three of the stories in this collection are here anthologized for the first time: "The Spencer Inheritance," which enmeshes Jerry with Princess Di; "Cheering for the Rockets," involving an attack on a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant; and "Firing the Cathedral," a novella based on 9/11 and its aftermath.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius: Stories of the Comic Apocalypse is a collection of 11 Michael Moorcock stories featuring Jerry Cornelius, one of Moorcock's most popular and enigmatic literary creations.

Cornelius is a curious mix of James Bond, Mick Jagger, and Jack the Ripper. The English assassin and emotionally disturbed time-traveler -- who has been called "the ultimate postmodern antihero," "the world's first cyberpunk," and "messiah to the Age of Science" -- burst onto the literary landscape in the 1960s as a too-cool secret agent battling the forces of Chaos while taking time to enjoy the (ahem!) more corporeal joys of life.

Included in this collection are not only classic stories from the '60s and '70s ("The Peking Junction," "The Delhi Division," and "The Swastika Set-Up") but also three stories never before published in the States. One such story, the novella "Firing the Cathedral," puts Cornelius in a post-9/11 world struggling with global warming, terrorism, and -- as always -- looming Chaos.

Fans of the popular Elric of Melniboné, Corum, and Hawkmoon sequences will find Cornelius a delightful, less fantastical variation on Moorcock's Eternal Champion in his Multiverse mythos. Including almost four decades of historically based stories, this collection is entertaining reading and provides fodder for hours of lively political and socioeconomic debate. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
Jerry Cornelius, Moorcock's notorious antihero, navigates the time streams with sometimes cheerless abandon in 11 stories that range from '60s Britain to the post-9/11 world. Whether channeling the politics and entropy of the Vietnam era or reflecting on the environmental hazards of taking a shower in a far future Austin, Tex., Moorcock (The Skrayling Tree) manages to insert a dizzy abundance of bleak imagery and quotes that may disconcert newcomers to his fiction. He's at his best in the more recent, less depressing stories that lack the many Beatles references of earlier tales. In "Firing the Cathedral," Cornelius expresses the medium in Moorcock's message: "Anarchism in action. Green solutions... Call me a radical. Call me a visionary. But the way I see it, if you get a grip on the future, you might as well bring it along as quickly as possible." Also impressive is "The Spencer Inheritance," which includes a satirical take on what might happen to Lady Diana's bones. The nastiness of such early pieces as "The Delhi Division," in which Cornelius discovers the "exact difference between synthesis and sensationalism" and goes on killing anyway, might be a poor introduction to the former rock star/assassin and psychedelic guru. Moorcock rejects formulaic constructions and demands that his readers read between the lines. Some may not want to, especially SF fans who prefer traditional structure. (Oct. 24) FYI: Moorcock was the editor of the influential New Worlds magazine. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568582733
Publisher:
Running Press Book Publishers
Publication date:
09/10/2003
Series:
Cornelius Quartet Series
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.71(d)

Meet the Author

Born in London in 1939, Michael Moorcock is a prolific and award-winning writer with more than 80 works of fiction and non-fiction to his name. He is best known for his novels about the character Elric of Melniboné, a seminal influence on the fantasy genre in the 1960s and ’70s. In 2008, the London Times named Moorcock in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945."

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