The Final Programme

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An Atomic Moo Book Review

Okay, El Moochadores, Titan Books recently re-released Michael Moorcock’s classic novel, The Final Programme, and now I’m going to try and review this – very bizarre story. Originally published in 1968, The Final Programme (first of the Cornelius Quartet) is like if Andy Warhol started writing science fiction.Final_programme Wait. Did Warhol write science fiction? I really have no clue. He might have… Anyways, the story follows the adventures of Jerry Cornelius and was the first in a series of novels that were apparently very popular back in the day. Here’s the official synopsis:

Jerry Cornelius is a scientist, a rock star, and an assassin. He is the hippest adventurer of them all: tripping through a pop art nightmare in which kidnappings, murder, sex and drugs are a daily occurrence. Along with his savvy and ruthless partner-in-chaos, Miss Brunner, Cornelius is on a mission to control a revolutionary code for creating the ultimate human being, a modern messiah— the final programme.

The first book in the Cornelius Quartet is the groundbreaking introduction to the misadventures and vendettas of Jerry Cornelius, one of modern literature’s most distinctive characters, the product of a bewildering post-modern culture, and an inspiration for generations of characters since.

I’ve been trying to think of a way to describe this novel and so far the best I can come up with is A Clockwork Orange meets The Beatles meets Austin Powers. I’ve read other reviews were they discussed the humor in this book, but I didn’t get it! This is one of those times were I walked away from reading an entire novel and felt either dumber for having read it… or maybe it kind of reminded me of just how dumb I actually am. I really can’t tell! The story moves fast, and as a reader I got caught up in some of it, but its just a weird read about a semi-celebrity rich guy, who zips around the world on boats and helicopters – while trying to kill his own brother – while also helping an even weirder (yeah, weirder) woman build what I guess was a superhuman. All the while doing a bunch of drugs and sexing up every chick he comes across.

The thing is, I really like old science fiction. I’ve read A Clockwork Orange a couple of times. I love books like Starship Troopers, Slaughterhouse Five, and I’ve even read the first Dune novel. That last one was a tough fucking read, but I still got through it easier than… what ever this was. I don’t know. Maybe there’s a group of hardcore SF fans that could explain this one to me, but until then… fuck’n weird book.

You can get your own copy of the Final Programme at

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  1. Yeah, not all the oldies are goodies. And it’s Beatles, with an A. That’s the joke.

    • Mister Trog

      04/10/2016 at 5:21 pm

      Ahhh… Got it. I’ll fix it when I get home. Thanks neko!

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