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Lora's Rants and Reviews

My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing. I DO NOT accept review requests but only review books I choose to read and I don't post reviews on Amazon. I'm also persnickity about genre and plot.

Currently reading

The Illumination of Ursula Flight
Anna-Marie Crowhurst
Progress: 6%
Paris: The Novel
Edward Rutherfurd
Progress: 54%
Unnatural Creatures
Maria Dahvana Headley, Neil Gaiman
Progress: 40%
Don Quixote
Roberto González Echevarría, John Rutherford, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Progress: 64%

The Whispering Swarm

The Whispering Swarm - Michael Moorcock

by Michael Moorcock


The Whispering Swarm is the first book in a new trilogy by Michael Moorcock, his first new book in nine years. I was immediately struck by his mastery of language, something I've missed since the Elric and Jerry Cornelius books brought so much imagination to my adolescence.


The story is told in the first person and artfully brings the reader into the setting even before you know what it's going to be about. It's largely autobiographical and reads much like a memoir and is very believable, even when talking about seeing ghosts. It is a nostalgic look at post war London that subtly moves into the realm of fantasy, then back out again. At times the line between autobiography and imagination is hard to see and it becomes difficult to know what is real and what is just part of a story.


An author as a character in their own fantasy story is unusual, though not unprecedented.


It is done well and definitely holds interest, at least most of the way through. I have to admit that it did seem overly long by the end, especially after characters from a certain Classic joined the fray.


The Fantasy part of the story partly fed my time travel addiction and adds historic interest, though the theology came across as digression. One question that bothered me was how does the money work? A modern writer stepping into a historic setting and buying rounds for men from another time, what coins would he use?


It's difficult to read Moorcock without comparing it to earlier Moorcock, but on its own merits the story has definite appeal and insight into publishing from another century, but I did find my attention wandering at times.