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The Opal, and Other Stories (Dedalus European Classics) Paperback – May 4, 1994

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Product Details

  • Series: Dedalus European Classics
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Ariadne Pr; First Translated Edition edition (May 4, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1873982305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1873982303
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,454,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Meyrink's short stories epitomized the non-plus-ultra of all modern writing. Their magnificent color, their spine-chilling and bizarre inventiveness, their aggression, their succinctness of style, their overwhelming originality and ideas, which is so evident in every sentence and phrase that there seem to be no lacunae all this captivated me, and seemed to me to provide the proper antidote to all the adjectival prose and shallow, false romanticism of the immediate preceding generation. --Max Brod

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Meyrink excels with this off-the-wall collection of dark humour. In "The Violet Death," a secret Tibetan mantra transforms half the world's population into purple jelly, because folks around the globe are too stupid not to refrain from saying it. Only the deaf survive. "The Ardent Soldier" makes fun of physicians and the military (two of Meyrink's favourite scapegoats). A young Austrian trumpeteer is taken ill with a temperature of 49 degress Celsius! His temperature continues to rise until the physicians, in bafflement, try to find a way to keep him from burning up everything. In "What's the Use of White Dog S***?" Meyrink sharply satirizes the Austro-Hungarian Empire with a military quest for dried-up dog turds. With his brilliant humour, it's a wonder Meyrink wasn't put to death by the Emperor, or later, the Nazis. Well worth a read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By S. B. Scott on July 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Meyrink's prose in the Opal is stark and simple. The stories are exceedingly short. Perhaps because of this, they are all the more horrifying. Each one haunts you with its simplistic reality, as if it not only could happen but already has. Case in point - "Petroleum, Petroleum", written 100 years before the BP oil spill but somehow as fresh and accurate as if it were written yesterday.
I have been a fan of Meyrink since I read the Golem, and I eagerly awaited the arrival of this book. I was not let down. It's unfortunate that Meyrink is not as well known as Poe or Gaiman, for he is certainly in the same class.
I highly recommend this book. Strange and obscure, these stories will disquiet you. Perfect bedtime reading.
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