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Conjure Wife/Our Lady of Darkness (Tor Doubles) Mass Market Paperback – August 15, 1991


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Product Details

  • Series: Tor Doubles
  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (August 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812512960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812512960
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,782,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

FRITZ LEIBER, who died in 1992, was one of the most important SF and fantasy writers of the century.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The story itself is engaging and has a lot of twists.
Keith Deininger
As a result, he discovers that his wife is in actuality a practicing witch, and a good one at that.
Chris McCaffrey
This novel also made some good decisions in terms of the world-building.
R Kanakia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Where to start?
Both Conjure Wife and Our Lady of Darkness are masterpeices of supernatural fiction. Conjure Wife, written by Fritz Leiber in the 1940's, is both frightening and thought-provoking, it is also suprisingly up to date. The proposition that all women are witches and utterly control their husbands lives is followed through in a very personal narrative. Don't be put off by the film versions (particularly Night of The Eage, aka Burn Witch Burn), this is a complex story which has an eerie power akin to his famous story 'Smoke Ghost'.

Our Lady of Darkness, was written by Fritz Leiber in the late seventies and is one of his finest novels. Autobiographical (the location, the alcoholism and the loss of his wife are all based on fact) and thus very upsetting in parts. It weaves a magical vision of modern urban horror, a theme that he used throughout his career.
At the centre of the book lies horror fiction itself in the form of Lovecraft and particularly Clark Ashton Smith (both of whom Fritz corresponded with). A lot of the book is a voyage of discovery, the central character is recovering from an alcaholic wake and is slowly waking up into reality again.

This volume brings together Fritz Leibers finest supernatural novels, something not to be missed
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. D. Harris Jr. on September 11, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Considered a modern horror story for it's time, Conjure Wife reinvents the 'witch' as well educated women far removed from the green-skinned, hag of our collective imagination and allows her story to unfold on a modern university campus. The action begins fairly early in the book when Norman Saylor, a professor of ethnology, discovers his wife Tansy has put his research into "Negro Conjure Magic" into practice for the sake of protecting him from other spell casting faculty wives who wish to further their own husbands careers and with that their own social standing.

Being a rational man of science Norman has only an academic interest in the subject of magic and superstition and he forces Tansy to cease all her workings and to burn all her charms which mostly take the form of mojo bags (called hands in the book)--with the exception of her diary which contains her formulas for How to Make Wishes Work, How To Get and Guard, to Spell and to Hex. No sooner does Norman burn the last charm hidden in his pocket watch, which Tansy either purposely or accidentally forgot was there, do things start to fall apart. A former student accuses Norman of railroading him into failing out of school and threatens him with a gun, his student-secretary accuses him of having seduced her, and he is passed over for a promotion that had seemed guaranteed.

Norman then begins to have more than his fair share of small accidents such as cutting himself while shaving, stepping on carpet tacks, cutting his hand with a letter opener, etc... and he begins to imagine that he senses a dark presence which exploits his fear of trucks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 15, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Professor Saylor and his wife Tansy are newcomers to the university. Even thought they are not of the same conservative material as the others they seem to be doing quite well. Professor Norman Saylor of the sociology department is the author of "Parallelism in Superstition and Neurosis." He gets this irresistible urge to snoop around in Tansy's personals and is surprised to find that she is a practitioner of the craft. He is not really upset, and only wants to help her to free her self by burning all the paraphernalia (except her diary).

It is not hard to guess what happens next. Yep his life falls apart and he is destined to be run over by a truck if other evil things do not get to him first. He finds that there are more evil forces at work (all female of course) each with her own agenda.

The real question is does Norman ever get sucked up in the system or is he still convinced that it is just coincidence?

As with most movies that are an abbreviation of the book the one made for his story has the same feel "Night of The Eagle, aka Burn Witch Burn" (1962) with Peter Wyngarde as Norman, and Janet Bliar as Tansy.

Burn Witch Burn Starring: Peter Wyngarde, Janet Blair
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 30, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Professor Saylor and his wife Tansy are newcomers to the university. Even thought they are not of the same conservative material as the others they seem to be doing quite well. Professor Norman Saylor of the sociology department is the author of "Parallelism in Superstition and Neurosis." He gets this irresistible urge to snoop around in Tansy's personals and is surprised to find that she is a practitioner of the craft. He is not really upset, and only wants to help her to free her self by burning all the paraphernalia (except her diary).

It is not hard to guess what happens next. Yep his life falls apart and he is destined to be run over by a truck if other evil things do not get to him first. He finds that there are more evil forces at work (all female of course) each with her own agenda.

The real question is does Norman ever get sucked up in the system or is he still convinced that it is just coincidence?

As with most movies that are an abbreviation of the book the one made for his story has the same feel "Night of The Eagle, aka Burn Witch Burn" (1962) with Peter Wyngarde as Norman, and Janet Bliar as Tansy.

Burn Witch Burn
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