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Jerry Cornelius Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jerry Cornelius Books

The Final Programme (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Cure for Cancer (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New Nature of the Catastrophe (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The English Assassin (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Adventures of Una Persson & Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century / Persson and Catherine (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lives and Times of Jerry Cornelius (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Condition of Muzak (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Entropy Tango (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Opium General and Other Stories (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Firing the Cathedral (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jerry Cornelius: His Lives and His Times (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pegging the President (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Jerry Cornelius” series written by author Michael Moorcock is both science fiction and fantasy, but is not purely both of either genre. Rather, they borrow from others as well, but there are virtually no elements from the spy genre in these stories, even though Jerry works as a secret agent.

Jerry Cornelius, the star of the this series, is a bit of a hip urban adventurer, who’s gender is kept ambiguous. He is a figure of complete anarchy, and destroys repressive authority. Later, he is exposed as being a tragic Pierrot at heart, a false Harlequin, and simply a fantasy of an adolescent. Jerry is a superhero, secret agent, adventurer, and all things to both men and women. The books are obviously satirical of modern times. At times, it is hinted at that Cornelius might be an aspect of the Eternal Champion.

Some of the characters in this series show up in other books of Moorcock’s work. This includes Jerry himself, sometimes showing up with different names.

The first novel in the series, “The Final Programme” was adapted into a movie in the year 1973. Moorcock was very critical of the film version. The novel was released in the year 1969.

There are novels, stories, novellas, and novels that are associated with the series in some way. The books have inspired bands to write songs about the stories set in this universe. Such bands as Hawkwind (who wrote two songs about the books) and Spirits Burning (who did two songs as well). Even Blue Oyster Cult did a song, based from the stories.

“The Final Programme” has more structure than the later novels in the series. And serves as an alternative retelling of certain parts of Elric of Melnibone’s saga; it also uses certain plot elements from this series, and the “Commedia dell’Arte”. It also takes place in a less chaotic world, not to mention, a less abstract one.

“The Final Programme” is the first novel in the “Jerry Cornelius” series and was released in the year 1969. This novel introduces readers to a hip playboy super agent. In this one, he tries to shut down a plot by Frank (who is disreputable and his brother) and Miss Brunner. Their plan is to build a super computer and use it for sinister things.

Jerry is pulled into Miss Brunner’s plans to make the perfect being by merging Jerry’s body with her body together. When done, a hermaphroditic and radiantly charismatic being comes from the machinery. Everyone that lays eyes on the new creature falls to their knees shaking. The way things end, Jerry finds that it is a tasty world.

Some like the way that Moorcock is able to have a vein of self parody in the book, and combine and explore the boundaries between high art and popular culture in the book. Fans of the novel found they were glad they picked up the book and found it to be amazing.

“A Cure for Cancer” is the second novel in the “Jerry Cornelius” series and was released in the year 1971. Jerry finds himself in a world at war with itself. It seems to fight only with the occasional “vibragun” against history. It does so for randomness’ freedom against straitlaced conventions that his brother displays.

By the end of the book, his quest (albeit an oblique one) seems to be more artistic than political.

Fans of the novel enjoyed the trippy trip they were taken on in the book. Some felt that they enjoyed not knowing what was happening and felt that they wondered what would happen next. Readers do not mind the fact that plot takes the backseat, and the focus is reading about the weirdness of Jerry. It gives you a weird feeling while reading it. Some readers find that they re-read the books every so often and their head still spins around. The novels are still relevant, decades after being first published.

“The English Assassin” is the third novel in the “Jerry Cornelius” series and was released in the year 1972. Jerry is the English Assassin in the title, but spends a lot of the book close to dying. He does not drive the novel, rather the supporting characters do. Like Una Persson, the anarchist.

Jerry is a whimpering heap of rags here. He washes up on the beach and is in the back of a lorry, being carried to safety.

There are eight different and alternative catastrophes that is set in a world of barbarous collapse and a world of chaos.

Fans of the novel felt that this book is possibly their favorite of the entire series, although they have a hard time figuring out or explaining why. Through all the confusion, you still want to read more and find out about things that are going on. The part the books do well is describe times and places and indications of alternate histories (sometimes apocalypses). Moorcock is at the top of his game, writing wise, with this book. Some feel that you have to go along for the ride, and not try to feel like you have to understand all that is being talked about.

“The Condition of Muzak” is the fourth novel in the “Jerry Cornelius” series and was released in the year 1977. All of the chaos and decay that was found in the last two books of the series (“A Cure for Cancer” and“The English Assassin”) has gotten even worse in this book. There is a surreal Europe that is composed of splintered city states.

Jerry Cornelius, our hero, is morphing more and more into the role of Pierrot. He has lost his power to change or even influence events in any way. He shortens his quest to an everlasting journey to find his sister Catherine. He sees her as his true love.

Some felt that the book was an enjoyable read, still the minuscule sized plot. It is made up of some inconsistent and unrelated stories. This is probably the most entertaining tale of the series. Fans felt this is a writer who has come out of science fiction and science fantasy and become one that supersedes the conventional science fantasy. In so doing, making traditional fiction something that is unique and entirely new.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Jerry Cornelius

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