Alberich and Friends
Ian Runcie
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Buy *Alberich and Friends* by Ian Runcie online

Alberich and Friends
Ian Runcie
150 pages
July 2006
rated 1 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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This short novel, a novella in actuality, is based on the operas of Wagner's “Ring Cycle” and the Norse and Germanic mythologies that inspired those operas. There are copious notes as to the intersections and divergences of this story from Wagner's; it is touted as an introduction for those unfamiliar with Wagner's “Ring Cycle.” I cannot imagine anyone being enticed to pursue Wagner's work after reading this. It is not an introduction but rather a turn-off.

There are sentences that go on forever. ("Hagan is intent on ultimate personal and political power but he recognizes Alberich as the force that drives us towards corruptions and ultimately the logic that the destruction of those who oppose us is the necessary course of action.") Others have missing words that make them senseless. ("Gunther tells him has no wish to prevent him marrying Gutrune but there is a small task he could perform for Gibichung's cause first.") Then there is just poor proofing. ("They were both mud covered in mud and badly scratched by the undergrowth.")

This book reads like Cliffs Notes, disjointed and choppy. It is an interesting concept but the execution is poor. Maybe the work was brought to fruition too soon and could have worked with extensive rewrites.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Midge Bork, 2007

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