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The Mammoth Book of Fantasy Paperback – November 9, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Mammoth Books
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (November 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786709170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786709175
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Indomitable British editor Ashley has collected 22 classic fantasy tales (plus one original story) by authors ranging from Victorian George Macdonald to such modern giants as Ursula K. Le Guin and Harlan Ellison in an apparent effort to lure Harry Potter fans to the wider genre. The anthology opens with Theodore R. Cogswell's "The Wall Around the World" (1953), which charms apart from its affinities with the Potter books. Lord Dunsany and his school are represented by the Irish fantasist's own "The Hoard of the Gibbelins"; Lucius Shepard's witty rejoinder to the Dunsany tale, "The Man Who Painted the Dragon Griaule"; Darrell Schweitzer's ironic "King Yvorian's Wager"; and Jack Vance's wry "The Sorcerer Pharesm." The entries by pulp masters Robert E. Howard ("The Valley of the Worm") and Clark Ashton Smith ("The Last Heiroglyph") are well chosen, but A. Merritt would have been better represented by his "The Woman of the Woods" than by his barely breathing 1918 novelette, "The Moon Pool." The clever and disconcerting concept of Theodore Sturgeon's "Yesterday Was Monday" (1941) more than compensates for the tale's dated style. A new, very human story by Louise Cooper, "The Sunlight on the Water," features a ghost tiring of her still living but aging husband. Other contributors include Roger Zelazny, James P. Blaylock and Tanith Lee, though it would have been nice to see such less familiar if equally worthy names as Frank Owen, John Collier and Walter de la Mare. Still, like other titles in the Mammoth series, this offers high quality at a most affordable price.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The Mammoth series has a highly respectable track record in producing handy, well-edited anthologies of various types of fiction and nonfiction. Its fantasy entry spans the genre's history from the Victorian George Macdonald to such hearty contemporaries as Lisa Goldstein and Charles de Lint. From in between those milestones come stories by the Edwardian Lord Dunsany, Jazz Age pulpster A. Merritt, '30s yarnspinner Robert Howard (Conan's creator), Fritz Leiber and Theodore Sturgeon from the '40s, and, from younger generations, Harlan Ellison, Ursula Le Guin, Tanith Lee, and others. Seasoned fantasy buffs probably will have read most of the contributors, but even they may find a surprise or two among the specific contents. Newcomers to fantasy and those studying it may consider the book invaluable. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Fantasy collections tend to be like the genre itself: a few gems among the dross. This collection is a refreshing exception, with many good stories and only a few that I didn't enjoy. Mike Ashley displays a great deal of knowledge about the genre and about what makes a good fantasy story.
"Mammoth Book" kicks off with an intriguing story by Theodore R. Cogswell, "The Wall Around the World," a HP-esque story of a wizard boy who yearns to cross an incredibly high wall that blocks off another part of the world. "Darkrose and Diamond" is one of Ursula Le Guin's returns to Earthsea, a touching little love story. Robert E. Howard's "Valley of the Worm" is a relatively dry piece of work about a warrior reliving a battle against a monster. Ashley then digs back to the very beginning of fantasy for George MacDonald's "Golden Key," a story about a young boy who finds a strange golden key. Another pre-Tolkien master is Lord Dunsany, whose chilling "Hoard of the Gibbelins" tells about a man's run-in with the goblin-like Gibbelins, who eat "nothing less good than man." Clark Ashton Smith's "The Last Hieroglyph" is a vaguely Dunsanian story taking place on a future time when the world is dying. Jack Vance's "Sorcerer Pharesm" is an intriguing story about the naive thief Cugel and the creature TOTALITY.
Darrell Schweitzer's "King Yvorian's Wager" is a very traditional-feeling fable about a proud king who makes a wager with Rada Vatu, a very sinister god. Fritz Leiber's "Howling Tower" is a story about a barbarian and his sidekick Gray Mouser, who find a strange tower in a wasteland, and a man who has been afraid for many years. Michael Moorcock and James Cawthorn bring back Moorcock's classic anti-hero Elric of Melnibone for an adventure with a love interest, ghouls, and a mad minstrel.
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