Reviews by Steve O

The Worm Ouroboros

by E.R. Eddison

The Worm Ouroboros is a fanfare to the English language. In these days when language, both spoken and written, has evolved to virtual monosyllabic structure and form, this book allows escape to a World where saying 'just enough to be clearly understood' is quite simply not acceptable. To describe the two colossal mountains of Koshtra Belorn and Koshtra Pivrarcha as, 'Two rather striking snow-capped peaks' would be insulting to the extreme. Today escapism usually relates to television or video games, but I'll wager my very soul that to wander through the World of Demonland and Witchland is the next best thing to drug-induced psychadelic hallucination!
Granted - as, indeed, most critics of this work seem compelled to point out - the beginning lacks polish and the overall style is archaic; but what would the Taj Mahal be if it were constructed from wattle and daub? just another building. The Worm Ouroboros is not 'just another book' it stands alone, unique and pre-eminent in the history of English literature. If you read this book and have a love for the English language then prepare for a rare, bordering on spiritual, experience.

Reviewed on 2012.02.14

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