Sunday, January 24, 2016

"The Final Programme" by Michael Moorcock

Published by Allison & Busby, 1965

"The Final Programme"  by Michael Moorcock (Allison & Busby)

A Jerry Cornelius novel!   The first in the series.  Perhaps even a British comic strip as well as a film.  No, I never heard of the series, or of Jerry Cornelius, till very recently.  Written by the noted science fiction author Michael Moorcock, this novel reminds me very much of the works by Terry Southern.  They both share an anti-everything approach to life, as well as being very much part of the 1960s culture.   In fact, "The Final Programme" could have 'only' have been written in the 60s.   This 1965 novel is very much a snapshot of its time and has a strong sense of placement, which is London.  

Cornelius is an assassin, that resembles a secret agent, and if he lived in a real life or of course in a fantasy world, he would have known about Barbarella.   He lives in Notting Hill London, and has various transportation machines - boats, cars, etc. In this novel, he battles his brother Frank, and eventually, and of course, things happen.  The main villain is a certain Miss Brunner, and ....  Well, you have to read the novel. 

The book is very dated. Yet that is part of the charm of reading it in 2016.   Here, you get a perspective of Swinging London circa 1965, as well as perhaps an early image of a David Bowie - a character that perhaps Moorcock had a hand in.   For those who love Emma Peel, John Steed, The Prisoner, and the Man from U.N.C.L.E. - this is the novel for you.  

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