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Skene: Monsieur Zenith the Albino

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  • MJR
    MJR
    Citizen of Tanelorn
    • Jan 2004
    • 281

    Skene: Monsieur Zenith the Albino

    After learning that this book/character was an inspiration for Mr.Moorcock's Elric, I'm set on finding a copy of this to read and for the collection. However, it is extremely hard to find, and if you do find one, they are very expensive. There was a 2001 reprint, but those are the scarce copies. The originals are almost nonexistent. I read somewhere there were only three known existing copies? Looks like I'll have to wait, unless anyone has a copy at a reasonablle price Is there any possiblity for a reissue of this title? I think the interest is there, especially with the movie coming out. Has anyone read it? How'd ya like it?

    Mr. Moorcock, how much of an influence was this character in the creation of Elric? What aspects of Elric differ from Monsieur Zenith the Albino? Having not seen the book, but having read excerpts of your introduction to the Savoy 2001 reprint, my curiosity is piqued.

    I also wanted to draw your attention to a thread in the community exchange forum where some interesting ideas on the origin of the name Elric are being discussed, if you haven't seen it already:
    [broken link]

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by Rothgo; 04-08-2010, 10:55 AM.
    \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

    \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock
  • ThomasL
    Now & Then
    • Dec 2003
    • 155

    #2
    MJR
    You're not going to believe this, but I bought the Savoy 2001 edition off the shelf at Book People in Austin, TX on Sunday the 15th! I had no idea or did not recall any reference to Elric, I just saw the cover and it looked interesting. After glancing thru it, I had to get it. However, it was the last copy on the shelf. It retailed $29.95. Book People is a large independent bookstore, and they get in a lot of hard to find books that others may not have. I know, I work for Barnes & Noble. Anyway, try their website. Also, the ISBN# for the book is 0861301099.

    www.bookpeople.com

    Good luck!

    Comment

    • Michael Moorcock
      Site Host
      • Dec 2003
      • 14278

      #3
      Thanks for the thread. I'll check it out. Zenith, as far as I know, is still available via Amazon UK at its original price. It is expensive, but well worth the money, with introductions by me and Jack Adrian (a specialist in popular culture of the period), beautiful binding and paper, lots of illustrations of Zenith, and so on. Book People were ordering Savoy Books while Rick Klaw was a manager there, but he's not there any more so I'm not sure if they still order. But they also have all Zoran Zivkovic's books and you can order most of my rarer titles (still in print) through them. They have a site and are worth contacting. I also think John Davey has copies of Zenith for sale.

      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
      The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
      Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


      Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
      The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
      Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

      Comment

      • Michael Moorcock
        Site Host
        • Dec 2003
        • 14278

        #4
        Yes, Stranger had it right. Annie M was a great fan of the Elric stories and probably put that in as some sort of homage. Don't know. Haven't seen her for quite a while. Nice woman.

        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

        Comment

        • Jules
          Eternal Companion
          • Jan 2004
          • 609

          #5
          I got a copy of the Savoy Zenith last year. I'd recommend going direct rather than via Amazon as the one Savoy book I ordered from them took months (literally) while the one I ordered direct from Savoy took days.

          http://www.abel.net.uk/~savoy/

          Comment

          • MJR
            MJR
            Citizen of Tanelorn
            • Jan 2004
            • 281

            #6
            Thanks for the info everyone.

            Thomas L---you lucky Dawg! Nice score! You got the last one I believe.


            I'm going to save up for a copy from Jayde Design....along with "Blood And Souls.'
            \"No, I think Space is a dimension of Time. My theory is that Time is a field and that Space exists as an aspect of Time.\" Michael Moorcock

            \"All I know about anything is \"I wasn\'t. I am. I will not be.\" Michael Moorcock

            Comment

            • Michael Moorcock
              Site Host
              • Dec 2003
              • 14278

              #7
              BookPeople will, I'm sure, order you any Savoy titles you want.
              They even stock all Zoran Zivkovic's titles. The buyer there is very good.
              That said, John Davey remains an excellent and reliable source.

              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
              The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
              Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


              Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
              The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
              Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

              Comment

              • dasNdanger
                Duchess Headesplode
                • May 2009
                • 1667

                #8
                I JUST got my copy of Monsieur Zenith the Albino - via Mr. Davey - in the mail today! Can't wait to read it!

                Mike - if you happen upon this post. I read (on-line, somewhere...) a comment you made about Zenith's personality, and what made him turn to crime, etc. For the life of me I can't remember where I read it - but it doesn't appear to be part of the forward to this book. I really wanted to find that comment again...I'm sure you don't know where it was made, but would love to hear your take on the character again.


                EDIT: Just ignore me, I'm an idiot. I *THINK* the comment I read was this one: "Monsieur Zenith is an albino. Craving excitement because it brings forgetfulness; thrust into crime by his abnormality, by his illimitable egotism, by the caprice of his recalcitrant nature, he finds himself involved in the quest for a mysterious something on the finding of which life—and more than life—depends.

                Indifferent to gratitude or reward, asserting—and, perhaps, believing—that he seeks only the final diversion of the damned, to dice with death; threatened on the one hand by the police, and, on the other, by political chicanery, this strange creature crashes through.

                Monsieur Zenith is the strangest, most bizarre, character ever devised in thriller fiction."
                ~~~


                I had been reading SO many comments before ordering the book, I think they all started to blur together after a bit...

                das
                Last edited by dasNdanger; 07-14-2009, 08:09 AM.

                Comment

                • Michael Moorcock
                  Site Host
                  • Dec 2003
                  • 14278

                  #9
                  I think thats the blurb for the original edition, possibly even written by Skene himself at the publisher's request.
                  Hope you enjoy it. A fine example of a 1930s thriller, in my view!

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                  Comment

                  • dasNdanger
                    Duchess Headesplode
                    • May 2009
                    • 1667

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                    I think thats the blurb for the original edition, possibly even written by Skene himself at the publisher's request.
                    Hope you enjoy it. A fine example of a 1930s thriller, in my view!
                    Oh, I think I will enjoy it! I love this sort of character...that conflicted, flawed soul who walks the fine line between good and evil. My kind of guy! (In fiction, that is - in real life I'd haveta smack this sort upside the head - really, REALLY hard.)

                    Interesting about the whole 'craves excitement because it brings forgetfulness' thing. Elric was that way at times, certainly. But when I first read that, the very first character that popped into my mind was comic book (not movie) Wolverine. Guess I'm drawn to those daring sorts who are trying to forget all the torment brought about by their previous derring-do and venturous deeds by seeking even more excitement the next time around. Vicious cycle sorts.

                    Looking forward to this book very much. Just not sure if I want to read it now, or if I should read Michael Moorcock's Multiverse first (which is what I was planning on doing). Decisions, decisions!! What fun choices to make!!

                    das

                    Comment

                    • dasNdanger
                      Duchess Headesplode
                      • May 2009
                      • 1667

                      #11
                      Well, here I am, halfway through Monsieur Zenith the Albino - and already depressed!

                      Why?

                      Because I LOVE this character! Love this story. And I know when I'm done, it will probably be the last I'll see of Zenith. Still, I suppose I can count myself fortunate for having had this opportunity to read a Zenith story in the first place, and for that I am grateful.


                      das

                      Comment

                      • Michael Moorcock
                        Site Host
                        • Dec 2003
                        • 14278

                        #12
                        Zenith also appears in at least one paperback anthology which isn't too hard to find via ABE and a very good one will appear in George Mann's Sexton Blake, Detective, to be published in a few months. You can also read about Zenith on the Blakiana site.

                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                        The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                        Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                        Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                        The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                        Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                        Comment

                        • dasNdanger
                          Duchess Headesplode
                          • May 2009
                          • 1667

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Michael Moorcock View Post
                          Zenith also appears in at least one paperback anthology which isn't too hard to find via ABE and a very good one will appear in George Mann's Sexton Blake, Detective, to be published in a few months. You can also read about Zenith on the Blakiana site.
                          Thanks much, Mike. I thought someone here had a couple stories downloaded somewhere...but I can't remember. That discussion happened a while back, and my memory isn't what it used to be. I really do love this character! I can see similarties to Elric, and yet there are differences. I must say that from what I've read so far of this book, you did a spot on job with your Zenith in TMD. I almost wish you'd write a book like this - Zenith as the protagonist. But I suppose in a way you've already done that...

                          Also wanted to say that this story makes him very much like the anti-heroes of today. If a comic book or movie was made about him, I can easily see him as the hero instead of the villain. Of course, I do understand that in this book he is a sort of hero, which isn't normally the case, but it still works for me.

                          My favorite scene so far is when - with Sally in the room - he plays his violin...'to himself'. Beautiful moment. Loved it.

                          das

                          Comment

                          • David Mosley
                            Eternal Administrator
                            • Jul 2004
                            • 11823

                            #14
                            Originally posted by dasNdanger View Post
                            I thought someone here had a couple stories downloaded somewhere...but I can't remember.
                            That would have been me.
                            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                            Comment

                            • dasNdanger
                              Duchess Headesplode
                              • May 2009
                              • 1667

                              #15
                              Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                              Originally posted by dasNdanger View Post
                              I thought someone here had a couple stories downloaded somewhere...but I can't remember.
                              That would have been me.
                              Well???! Come on! Where are they? Out with it man!




                              das

                              Comment

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