The Worm Ouroboros (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
  • The Worm Ouroboros (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
  • The Worm Ouroboros (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
  • The Worm Ouroboros (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)
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The Worm Ouroboros (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading)

4.2 27
by E. R, Eddison
     
 

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The Worm Ouroboros weaves strands from Norse saga, Greek myth, and Elizabethan drama together with magical adventure to produce one of the most eccentric masterpieces of English literature. Anticipating J. R. R. Tolkien by a few decades, E. R. Eddison imagined an Other World full of wonders and a huge cast of warriors, witches, and monsters. He also invented…  See more details below

Overview

The Worm Ouroboros weaves strands from Norse saga, Greek myth, and Elizabethan drama together with magical adventure to produce one of the most eccentric masterpieces of English literature. Anticipating J. R. R. Tolkien by a few decades, E. R. Eddison imagined an Other World full of wonders and a huge cast of warriors, witches, and monsters. He also invented one of the truly distinctive styles in English prose. Its language is densely ornamented and deliberately archaic, but also precise, vigorous, and flexible enough to convey wistful tenderness one minute and violent action the next. In the decades since its first publication in 1922, The Worm Ouroboros has become a touchstone for lovers of fantasy literature, influencing several generations of writers and treasured by readers who fall under its spell.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760773642
Publisher:
Barnes & Noble
Publication date:
01/09/2006
Series:
Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
181,860
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

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The Worm Ouroboros (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A few days ago I picked up this new edition of 'The Worm Ouroboros' at the local Barnes & Noble. I had read the novel three times before, having first read it about thirty years ago. I began just by reading the introduction, but soon I was rereading the book itself--and I am enjoying it immensely, even more than I have enjoyed it before. Eddison's style is amazingly rich and powerful. Overall, the novel is the quintessence of High Romanticism, with larger-than-life characters, a world-sweeping plot, and (again) language that recalls Shakespeare's and Marlowe's windy periods. There are a host of magnificent scenes: for example, the chapter concerning the three armies chasing one another in a charmed circle through the wastes of Impland the siege of Eshgrar Ogo the ascent of Koshtra Pivrarcha. But every passage has delightful, sinewy turns of language. This is one of the great works of the twentieth century, and it's unfortunate that it is not better known. I congratulate Barnes & Noble for republishing it in this handsome edition.
The_Searcher More than 1 year ago
This is touted as the book that created the literary genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I believe it was written in the 1920's by British author E.R. Eddison. It is a fine story but a bit hard to follow at times because of the combined use of heroic Norse and Elizabethan language which is to say the choice is an attempt to place the story in an ancient setting but somewhere in the far reaches of the cosmos. It was hard to read at first and tires one easily by trying to understand if one understood. Once accustomed to the language the story was well told about ancient warriors both good and bad. It relates the tale of their quarrels and the reason thereof. The men were brave, strong and honest if they were the good guys of Demonland, and the bad guys were also brave and strong but followed the evil King Gorice of Witchland. All the women were lovely and key to the story. When a woman becomes central in the narrative something interesting is about to unfold. In this mythical land of Goblinland versus Witchland and other realms the description of the setting adds to the drama by painting a very interesting visualization. The narrator speaks of wondrous jewels used freely in every instance of interiors, clothing and jewelry but all are gems of this world. The actual landscape is somewhat disappointing as it is strategically designed for battle and defense; not for prosaic beauty or sweet whimsy. Caught in the middle are all the other kingdoms taking sides and tilting the battle this way then that so it was never clear which side would eventually be victorious. I liked the unpredictability, the cunning, and the surprises along the way. The author did not dwell in great detail in the escapes and solutions but moves quickly on to the next scenario so the pace was quick. Sure, good versus evil and good always wins. Or does it? The ending sure surprised me and I have not yet read a story that ended thus. While a bit hard to follow in the beginning it is a good read, and I miss the language that was so much a part of the story.
Joel_M More than 1 year ago
This novel by one of the "grandfathers of fantasy" feels rather like a Scandinavian saga written in faux Elizabethan English with occasional bits of Greek mythology thrown in for good measure. The plot follows the conflict between the noble military-superpower nation of Demonland and the treacherous, imperialistic Witchland. The world is alternately stated to be either "the planet Mercury" or "Middle Earth" and has a definite "swords and sorcery" feel to it with the emphasis on swords. Both Tolkien and Lewis admired Eddison's world-building, but were less than thrilled with the morality/worldview embraced in this story: a bloody Norse warrior code with a cyclical view of history rather than a Judeo-Christian ethic/worldview. There are definitely some quirks in Eddison's writing. The strangest is the invisible, intangible dreamer/observer and his avian spirit-guide who serve as a sort of narrator for the first three chapters and then randomly disappear never to be heard of again (save one fleeting mention toward the middle of the book). Another oddity is that the settings, wardrobes, etc. are described in the lushest terms imaginable, but all the characters are flat and static in the extreme. Despite the quirks, this is an enjoyable read for its lush descriptions, grand prose, and historical value as one of the first modern fantasy novels.
Guest More than 1 year ago
E.R. Eddison has written an epic in praise of glory and greatness. His characters are great warriors performing majestic deeds, although there's not quite the moral and emotional depth of (for example)Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' or Lord Dunsany's 'Charwoman's Shadow' - Eddison writes for admirers of the heroic, a fantasy in rich prose to delight lovers of medieval romances and Nordic legends, in a pseudo-medieval/European setting. Although one side of the conflict is portrayed as more 'good' than the other, the overall theme is of the great deeds done in the conflict, rather than the end of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sodium23 More than 1 year ago
I was taken by the archaic language, which can be understood from context. Great words I had never seen before. The author was a scholar of the Norse sagas and myths and early language. Descriptions of landscape and battles are exceptional. Not much character development, but you will recognize parallels to various Norse gods.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
An interesting fantasy but no where near as vivid in its description as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings which is what Eddison (or his publishers) would have you compare the story. That is really the only reason I read this book--to compare it with Tolkien. While Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is filled with Catholic imagery, Eddison's Worm Ouroboros is a little more bizare and hard to figure out where it is taking place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story represents the best of fantasy -- a gripping tale of heroic struggles against fantastic adversity in an imaginary world. Great writing, compelling characterization, and a twist that will change the way you think about fantasy....
Robert Pendell More than 1 year ago
One+of+my+favorites%2C+but+one+that+demands+fluency+in+English.++%0AThis+book+features+the+rich+prose+style+of+Renaissence+England.++Think+of+Shakespeare+and+such.+But+the+magnificence+of++the+story+makes+it+worth+reading.++Great+heroic+fantasy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A nice little fantasy; not perfect by any means, but fun to read, and probably Eddison's best (and least-boring) novel. Who can't like a book with a character named Brandoch Daha?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing i love it its the greatest book ive ever read in my life i love the suspence in it great book READ IT NOW