Review: The Worm Ouroboros
As promised in my recent Six Degrees post, here is a short review of the Worm Ouroboros by E.R. Eddison. Hope you enjoy it.
This book is brilliant, a literary feast that makes modern works seem wanting in their command of the English language. It is written in Jacobian english and is highly stylized, requiring modern readers to have a dictionary handy to be able to follow Eddison’s wide-ranging and archaic vocabulary. But those who make the effort will uncover a story rich in heroism, epic characters, and events.
I did find the ending somewhat disappointing, but it is true to the kind of fatal heroic world view of the characters. However, it is easily seen that this circular structure of fighting battles for the honor one will receive ultimately either diminishes the heroes of the book or shows that the honor and goodness which the heroes display throughout the story is incongruous with this claimed love of battle for its own sake. And the ending also rings hollow against the idyllic state of peace which the heroes seem content to enjoy at the beginning of the book. But, even though the final twist of the ending somewhat diminishes the character of the heroes, the book itself is a fantastic journey which is both rich and original.