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The Essential Ellison: A 50 Year Retrospective (Revised and Expanded) Paperback – March 10, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
There really is no way to put an exacting finger on what Ellison writes. It is certainly not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi, not cheap-shock horror, and not suspense dreck. It's thoughtful, highly engaging, sometimes allegorical, and always thought-provoking stuff that you just don't find in modern writers anymore. Almost like a prickly cross between George Orwell and Lewis Carroll. He is most certainly still ahead of his time, and will most likely require decades after his passing for the world to truly catch up to him and realize what a treasure he is.
So start here if you're curious about Ellisonia, then after your appetite is whetted and your curiosity piqued, track down the stuff in its original form so you can experience all of the good stuff, not merely highlights from a superb & lengthy career.
This is vital American literature.
"In Egyptian mythology, Iai is a fascinating character. He is the rebel, the tester, the stubborn resisting force of intellect and insight which donkey-like stands its ground, refusing to budge, and challanges what is accepted and valued and thought to be sensible and true. The same sort of honest irrepressible rebel, in fact, which surfaced in the child who pointed out that the Emperor wore no clothes and in the Fool who told King Lear that he was wrong. Those dear precious rebels(for there are, and have been, many)not only dare to question but for their pains alienate themselves from those who haven't questioned, who didn't think to question, who are now made to look stupid because they didn't."
Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, author and social critic, Harlan Ellison, was a seminal influence within speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction. As though from some bygone era, his writing in the field of science fiction is thematically grounded in human dilemma. The emotionally qualitative properties of his stories are vivid and palpable.
Think stubbornly, cantankerously steadfast in personal conviction, artistic craft and vision. A true sort of sui generis, refusing to dillydally or sugarcoat the bitter truth. Appropriately overwrought, humorous, devilish. Dead on and justified, Harlan Ellison was watching.
Time after time, Harlan's words serve as a breaker bar to wrest truth's free from convenient, apathetic confinement. I can think of no other author whose work, be it fiction or otherwise, so diligently rummages the depths of the human condition; all of those secretive, quiescent corners of the collective unconscious, hidden in the shadow of the soul.Read more ›
But nobody familiar with his work will contend with the truth that the man is as talented as he is vitriolic.
The Essential Ellison is a must-read for those who like their stories with edge. Ellison weaves horror, fantasy, science fiction, and remnants of his own life into a beautiful anthology that represents great works for good reading. From the hideous nightmare endured by survivors of an apocalypse in "I have no mouth and I must scream" to the classic science fiction themes of works like "Gloworm," Ellison is sure to please the reader with a diverse selection guaranteed to satisfy. Recommended with hearty approval!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Harlan Ellison is one of my favorite authors of all time. You like him too, you just might not know it. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Eric Muss-Barnes
This is one of the best collections of Harlan Ellison's writings I've ever read, or started to read. That is, I'm savoring my way through the book, as I write this review. Read morePublished on March 17, 2013 by Hholly
This is a real treat for not only Ellison fans, but any SF fan worth his salt. Features some of the best and worst pieces of fiction by Ellison. Read morePublished on January 6, 2008 by Pushpak
Here it is: 50 years of the splenetic imaginings of Harlan Ellison, who writes like an angel on speed, and doesn't care, God bless him,
if he offends you or not. Read more