Buy Used
$0.01
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very good condition book with only light signs of previous use. Sail the Seas of Value.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Humpty Dumpty: An Oval Paperback – August 15, 1997


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.50 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (August 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312863837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312863838
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,030,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The former editor of Orbit, the influential series of hard-cover anthologies of science fiction that flourished from 1966 to 1980, Damon Knight is a distinguished writer, editor, and critic of science fiction. In his latest work the hero, Wellington Stout, wakes up with a bullet in his head and a distorted perception of the world. Strangely, others seem to think he holds the answers to the questions that confound him. With Stout threatened by forces he only dimly understands, Knight offers an inspired and fast-paced race towards enlightenment. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Writing in a less linear fashion than usual, Knight (Why Do Birds?) plunges into the surreal in this novel replete with alien shoe salesmen, a deeply underground society of dentists, mafiosi and sly observations about appearances and reality on this planet. Wellington Stout, a sales manager specializing in ladies' undergarments, awakens in an Italian hospital to discover a bullet lodged in his skull. As a previously unknown planet appears near Earth, and craters open across North America, Stout's new third eye makes him the monkey-in-the-middle of a multidimensional contest for dominance of Earth, catapulting him from subterranean radioactive chambers to museums filled with hollow men, to the heart of an alien future. Anchoring the madcap plot is Stout's bedrock integrity, as the salesman stoically faces indignities ranging from suffering the banality of hospital bedpans to being force-fed hash brownies. Knight's observations about the human condition?which dwell at length on the sociological and sartorial consequences of our sex organs?are frequently dead-on, and the narrative abounds in wry moments. The chaotic nature of the plot and the emphasis on description over action may confuse some fans of old-style SF (including of Knight's own work), but others will find it happy evidence that, 41 years after the publication of his first novel, Knight can still surprise and delight.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's been tough to find a book in the "mind" of Philip K Dick since his death, except for Michael Bishop's ".. Alas" it seemed the mind-game genre was done and then I found this. Mr. Knight's previous had never floored me (except his true hisotry book "The Futurians") but this is something else. I see lower scores here and figure that the type of story is just "quirky" or "cute" to many readers but if you're really into reality-questioning fiction then this is one not to miss.
If you like it, do try the later PKD novels (starting with Maze Of Death) and, this may sound odd but it's true, go back and re-read Socrates for fun.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alan Brown on July 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I must have either missed a whole bunch of allusions and metaphors in this book, otherwise I simply can't understand what the previous reviewers were thinking. I found the story incredibly disjointed, becoming more so towards the conclusion. Perhaps owing to my own obtuse nature I failed to understand anything concerning the plot or the characters. One the whole, nothing was resolved to my satisfaction. I can only hope that other readers will have a more satisfying experience that my own. Please - don't hesitate to fill me in if you can figure this one out! cheers
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frieda Hyde on October 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is some book but it you prefer reading books that stay on the surface of the story and don't ask the reader to fill in the blanks you might miss out on some of its more cryptic features.
What is consciousness and what is reality? I've seen a lot of explanations before reading Humpty Dumpty by Damon Knight. This may be the best fictional examination of what it means to live inside the frail shells we've been given.
If you want a simple book that doesn't ask you to work for or think about the words, you'd be better off with something action-adventure, which is not to denigrate action/adventure, just to say that different books will appeal to different readers, and judging from some of the reader comments, this book obviously won't work for everyone. If you want a complex literary work, and the last novel written by one of America's masters, give Humpty Dumpty a chance.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rosa Lina on April 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
In this technically brilliant piece of writing, Damon Knight tells the story of an ordinary man experiencing an extraordinary twist of fate. Wellington Stout is a lingerie salesman, a gentle man who thinks his job grants him an intimate understanding of women. It turns out that he's better suited to covering up that which mystifies him; he tries, but he's not up to understanding his topsy-turvy life. When he's shot in the head, his fractured skull serves as a metaphor for a widening fractured world.
This literate, funny, surreal, and heartbreaking novel makes me want to re-read Joyce. The surface story is one small part of the novel, and as other readers have noted, the book might not reach everyone who reads it. Readers who enjoy the challenge of literary archaeologic dig will discover hidden truths and surprise through their careful examination of this deeply layered, multidimensional work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
I don't remember much about the book except that one paragraph detailing "why I don't want to be a woman." I have had to check out the book from the libaray again just to read that one paragraph. I remember enjoying the book, but that one paragraph. When DID I sign up for the beauty contest, anyway? I don't remember.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again