Friday, 23 December 2011
Review: The Black Corridor - Michael Moorcock
Told in a mix of styles from linear narrative to flashbacks, dreams, computer text and diary entries, the book was an odd collaboration between Moorcock and Hilary Bailey, his wife at the time (for more on how the collaboration took shape, visit the book's Wikipedia entry).
On one hand it's a science fiction novel about loneliness, endurance and a gradual slide into insanity, while on the other it is also a story about the break-down of civilization as the Earth descends into genocidal, xenophobic madness.
Either way, it's a fascinating read, and one I would recommend. Some passages are horrific and surreal, while others are stark and thoughtful. The flashback sequences gradually unravel the real plot, which is in turns frustrating and shocking, as characters you thought you knew well are revealed to be much more flawed than you may initially believe. I genuinely enjoyed this approach, and Moorcock handles it well.
There are very few scenes that didn't work for me as a reader, and while The Black Corridor may not be a science fiction novel that all enthusiasts will enjoy, its rather ambiguous ending will ensure the story stays with you long after the final page. You can find the novel easily on eBay and Amazon.