The Final Programme – Michael Moorcock


Have you ever been so utterly confused by a book that you later became convinced that you didn’t really read it?

Wait… What?

Did you ever finish reading the chapter of a novel, and, upon reading the first few paragraphs of the following chapter, incredulously turned back to the last pages of the previous chapter that you just finished because clearly you missed something, only to find out that, no, no you didn’t miss anything?

Wait… What?

Sometimes when you are browsing the bookstore a title just jumps out at you. That was not the case with this book, but it was with its sequel A Cure for Cancer. Picking that up, I saw that it belonged to a series and purchased this, the first book, instead.

I do not know if I shall be continuing with the series.

Wait… What?

There are occasions when, while trying to write these reviews, I struggle to come up with a synopsis of the book. Sometimes the fault is my own – after all, I am a person with a life and keeping this blog is just a small part of that life. But there are also occasions when I realize that the fault lies with the book itself. There were several moments in this book that made me think “Wait… What?”. In fact, a better review of this book might just be those words, repeated again and again, 250 times. It ultimately led to a conclusion that seemed like a completely unearned non sequitur. And I am a person who likes the occasional non-sequitur.

Wait… What?

For all my moaning, I should say that after finishing this book I ran to the store to see how the second one started, I mean, where the fuck do you go from that ending? It seemed to pick up from some other ending that wasn’t included in the book I read.

Wait… What?

The protagonist of this book is a big important person who is important for no discernible reason. The back of the book says he is a physicist, but we don’t really get that. He does kill some people, and play some music (the blurb also says he is an assassin and a musician). In the mean time he also goes to some parties and has some sex and you can imagine the author sitting somewhere thinking that the whole thing is all very groovy.

Wait… What?

I really wanted to like this book, but I feel like I just couldn’t accept it as it is. It seemed to be building to great things, and then it seemed to run away from all those great things it was building at full speed. I am currently pretty worried that I may one day try to read the next one in the series.

Wait… but why?

Frankly, I have no idea. And I am happy this way.

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