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Customer Review

on February 8, 2005
The Land Leviathan continues the story begun in The Warlord of the Air and concluded in The Steel Tsar.

Synopsis: Michael Moorcock's grandfather (Michael, also), goes searching for further word of the adventures of Oswald Bastable. He finds a beatiful valley in China where Una Persson, Bastable's ally from the first book, resides. Morning finds Moorcock abbandoned by Persson, left with a manuscript written by Bastable.

Bastable, it seems, has gone back to the Temple of the Future Buddha, and travelled the streams of time again. This time, he returns two years ahead of his own 1902, but in a world remarkably different from his own. A child prodigy in Chile has invented fantastic devices to make life easy and render poverty a thing of the past, but world war has broken out, made all the more deadly when these fantastic new technologies are applied to warfare.

Bastable's journeys take him aboard a pirate submarine, to a utopia in South Africa lead by Gandhi, and to the battle lines of the war between the Black Attila, the son of an American slave with a plan to conquer the world and his nemesis: the remnants of the USA and their allies: a federation of the Australians and Japanese.

I think: The political/racial dithering of Moorcock and his character's white guilt and slow witted outrage cost him a fifth star for this story. However, when you have this much action in just over 170 pages, and it is crafted by the brilliant Michael Moorcock, you're in for a fun, fast paced read. That is exactly what this book delivers. With takes on the apocalypse, utopia, and what might happen if somone reconstructed the Death Star on land in the year 1904, and then unleashed it on the racist Kennedy patriarch, this is a fun book.
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