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Sleepless Nights in the Procrustean Bed: Essays (I.O. Evans Studies in the…

by Harlan Ellison

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In the spirit of full disclosure: I am a lifelong, devoted fan of Harlan Ellison’s writing. I admit I would probably read a shopping list written by him and swear to the rapturous delight of reading each word. However, I do try and set that aside when I read or reread his works. Honest, I try. So, with that caveat, let me try and provide an objective review.

This is a collection of essays published in 1984 that brings together essays which had not been anthologized before. This represents some of the best writing by Ellison you may have never seen anywhere else. And I also believe it would serve as an excellent introduction to Ellison’s essay work. It shows him at his most angry, at his most caring, at his most eloquent, and at his best. Included in the collection is the true story behind the rumor of his having thrown a fan down an elevator shaft, his experience in the Freedom March in Montgomery, his speech to the SFWA when he resigned, his eulogy for his mother, and the story of how he met and became friends with Steve McQueen. As with so much of Ellison, it is as much autobiography as it is essay. Yet it still speaks to everybody.

I can add little more than to say that, fan of Ellison or someone who has no clue who he is, you should find this collection to learn more about him and about yourself. ( )
1 vote figre | Aug 28, 2010 |
A varied and fascinating collection of essays and articles by Harlan Ellison. Ellison is vain, arrogant, mean and self-important, but he is also a hell of a writer, and I can't say I've ever read anything boring by him. These essays typically reveal a great deal about him and cover the gamut from race relations to his experience with "Great Expectations", a dating service I myself had an encounter with in my single days. Ellison is a man of many talents and interests, and they rise to the fore here. ( )
1 vote burnit99 | Jan 13, 2007 |
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Harlan Ellison-master essayist, gadfly, literary myth figure, and viewer of dark portent-has been, for the greater part of his life, a burr under the saddle of complacency. In this collection, his former assistant and confidante, Marty Clark, has culled from hundreds of rare and un-reprinted works to select twenty wide-ranging essays-nonfiction writings ranging from travelogue to media criticism, literary exploration to personal musing-that demonstrate why the monstre sacre of imaginative literature won the prestigious Silver Pen award from PEN International for his journalistic forays.… (more)

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