Elric of Melniboné
By Michael Moorcock, Read By Jeffrey West and Michael Moorcock
5 CD’s – 5.5 Hour [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Audio Realms
Themes: / Fantasy / Epic Fantasy / Magic / War / Gods /
If SFFAudio gave 5-star ratings, then Elric of Melniboné would definitely garner all five. I was so impressed with this audiobook that I wrote and thanked the director.
This audiobook reminded me that I need to be very careful with absolutes. In the past I’ve said that I dislike unabridged audio with music and sound in the background, but here one is that does it so perfectly that I have to amend my statement. The music here was carefully placed, and is an extremely effective soundtrack for the book. It is played at a sound level that was never distracting, yet had the same effect for me as a soundtrack has in a movie – it increased my emotional involvement. The audio sounded as good in the car as it did my headphones.
Elric, whose skin is the color of bleached bones, is the Emperor of Melniboné, but is not without rivals. In his manner, he is not quite what Melnibonéans expect. Though he’s smart and contemplative, the average citizen wants action. The brother of the woman he loves wants to rule, and Elric himself often wonders if Melniboné would be better off without him, but fights to keep the throne all the same.
Michael Moorcock wrote this story in a unique mythic style that makes it truly epic. There were times in the book where it felt like he was talking of the entire world as a whole, and other times when we see things from Elric’s point of view as he deals with gods and demons in scenes of real power.
Jeffrey West did a wonderful job reading this novel. He’s a fine reader, without question, and I can’t help but to think that an epic (though short) piece like this posed some challenges for him. He was first-rate, as was the entire production. This one goes in my permanent collection.
One further note: Michael Moorcock himself reads the introduction, which runs about ten minutes. It is not an “author’s introduction”, but is part of the story.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson