Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lois McMaster Bujold vs. E.R. Eddison

Lois McMaster Bujold crystallizes why I couldn't get through The Worm Ouroboros:

I am also slogging through The Worm Ouroboros, (~1922), by E.R. Eddison. Early 20th C. British adult fantasy, post William Morris, also a little after the charming Lord Dunsany, I think (both of whom are much better writers, so far.) The book reads like Medieval/Reniassance Romance (the other sort of Romance) fanfiction, actually. Some wince-worthy naming choices that one must sort of muscle past lead to a tale about a cast of characters in the old high heroic mold, i.e., with the emotional maturity and egocentric focus of an overdressed drunken high school football squad, except they are running countries. Redshirt follower death-rate very high, female characters few and decorative rather than functional. Historically interesting as a reaction to the relentlessly mundane turn contemporary mainstream fiction was taking about then, I suppose. I'm having trouble deciding who I dislike more, the heroes or the villains. Eddison does get off some pretty elegant prose passages now and then, granted. Shall perservere, hoping for a payoff.

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