Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

July Books 38) Deathbird Stories

38) Deathbird Stories, by Harlan Ellison

One of the sf classics that I am currently working through (not sure where I got hold of that list in the first place); a 1975 collection of stories by Ellison (mostly published elsewhere previously) loosely linked by themes of godhood and religion. Ellison's sheer pride in his work is a bit overwhelming; he warns the reader not to do the whole book in one sitting, as "the emotional content of these stories, taken without break, may be extremely upsetting". I dunno. What I felt was that the style was unrelentingly similar, and that the misogyny was off-putting; also, horror isn't really my thing anyway. Neil Gaiman says that this collection was a strong influence on American Gods (it "burned itself onto the back of my head when I was still of an age where a book could change me forever"); I have to say that although Gaiman's book has its flaws, I think he did it better. Perhaps I am just too old, and the genre now too mature, and Ellison's reputation now too much in decline, to really appreciate this collection.
Tags: bookblog 2007, sf: bsfa award, writer: harlan ellison, writer: neil gaiman
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