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Middlemarch: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds, Reviews and Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Bert G. Hornback, George Eliot
The Magic Mountain
Thomas Mann, John E. Woods
Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez

Stormbringer (Elric Saga #7)

Stormbringer - Michael Moorcock Four novellas, cobbled together as a quasi-novel. Each novella begins with the premise of Fate's charioteers handing a mission to Elric. Elric then completes the mission, but in each case the hands of the doomsday clock nevertheless tick closer to the zero-hour. It's not to say that Elric's local successes actually make the world a worse place, but that simultaneous to his missions, the antagonists are consolidating entire continents, killing everything else off, reducing the landscapes to fluid chaos matter.

Includes several large battles, a map of the setting, death of many characters, quite a bit of inventiveness, and connections to prior volumes, and Elric appears to resume his war on memory at times, which had been abandoned in the middle volumes. Those are good things. The plot development is fairly juvenile, however--an inscrutable immortal hands out irrational missions, as in an adolescent D&D game. Missions typically involve fighting some weirdness to acquire a numinous object which is to be used in fighting an even weirder weirdness. Why the object should be important is never an issue in an Elric book--it's always a matter of acquisitiveness for its own sake. Elric is never content to be, but must have also (to use Fromm's phrasing).

I am somewhat disappointed that all of the ancient accords, pacts, contracts made between the nether regions and Elric's people are not really relevant in the end. Was hoping that these items would come back for satisfaction--but, instead, Elric summons many copies of his nuclear sword to cut up the various demons and banish them, so that he can later become the instrument of the other side of the conflict. It's not out of character at all, but it fails to bring the various threads together in a coherent way.

Recommended for speculative fiction fans, especially in conjunction with volume I (volumes II-V are optional).