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Spider Kiss by Harlan Ellison
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Spider Kiss (1961)

by Harlan Ellison

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Showing 4 of 4
[a:Harlan Ellison|7415|Harlan Ellison|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1377708311p2/7415.jpg], I have the deepest of writing crushes upon you.

Now and then one comes across a writer whose every word titillates and entices. Reading their stories, regardless of what they are, is a pleasure: even their 'just ok' writing makes you think, makes you wonder, makes you hungry for more. I've a handful of authors I can think of that do that for me.
Unquestionably, Mr. [a:Harlan Ellison|7415|Harlan Ellison|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1377708311p2/7415.jpg] is one of them.

[b:Spider Kiss|13148|Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross, #2)|James Patterson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1344270201s/13148.jpg|881425] is a rock and roll fable, effortlessly splicing together the various stories of a down and out kid and his meteoric rise to fame. Where [b:Spider Kiss|13148|Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross, #2)|James Patterson|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1344270201s/13148.jpg|881425] differs from other stories of this nature is not only the fact that it predates the now cliche trope becoming trope... it also is nowhere near the heartwarming story one is used to hearing. Real life often isn't that way, and Ellison certainly doesn't shy away from depicting real life.

Character flaws are abundant, and for that the character's come off as rather more human. The fable is a fable, and as such the stereotypes do exist within the text. All the same, the stereotypes reinforce what audiences have been sold for ages now. It's incredible to think that this book was written in 1960, and it's more incredible that this book isn't better known.

Music fans? You gotta read this, if only for how well it mirrors the stories we all know so well. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
When I first picked this book up, I had read a bit of Ellison's work here and there. Short stories mostly, as that is typically what he writes. I didn't know at all what to expect from this book, but I was very pleasantly surprised. If you're a fan of the behind-the-scenes of the lives of notorious celebrities, the idea that fame given to the wrong person can become catastrophic, then this book will appeal to you. It takes that concept and blows it up into something really menacing and fascinating. This book cemented that I would seek out more of Ellison's work, and I'm definitely not sorry. ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Harlan Ellison has an amazing gift of pulling a reader into his stories, even when one isn't particularly interested in the subject of the story. I had only read his science fiction before this. I picked up this book on vacation knowing nothing about it, and could hardly put it down. Love or hate the man (I'll go with love but he is rather polarizing), you have to love his writing. ( )
  Unreachableshelf | Jul 9, 2007 |
"Rockabilly" is a picture of the contemporary music world, with Stag Preston as a growling, hungry newcomer who captures the imaginations of millions before his own hubris and arrogant selfishness bring him down. Ellison seems to know this world intimately; the story of Stag Preston and his manager, the Colonel, is a straight knockoff of Elvis Presley, perhaps a warning for the King that could have saved his life had he read and heeded it. A fine early work by Ellison. ( )
  burnit99 | Jan 13, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harlan Ellisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGinnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First there was only the empty golden circle of the hot spot, blazing against the silk curtains.
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Spider Kiss (Original title: Rockabilly)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441777953, Mass Market Paperback)

If you thought the only thing Ellison writes is speculative fiction, craziness about giant cockroaches that attack Detroit or invaders from space who look like pink eggplant and smell like chicken soup, this dynamite novel of the emergent days of rock and roll will turn you around at least three times. No spaceships, no robots, just a nice kid from Louisville with a voice like an angel and an invisible monkey named Success riding him straight to hell... The gritty rockabilly novel that drops the word on Stag Preston in the legendary, formative years of rock & roll, Spider Kiss will suck your socks off. This electrifying novel of the early days of rock & roll takes no prisoners as it runs an eye over the nice kid from Louisville with a voice straight outta heaven...and the demon Success on his back...and follows him down, down, down into a velvet-lined hell where nobody's grass is greener. According to premier rock critic Greil Marcus of Rolling Stone, this is the best rock novel ever written! (A copy of the first edition in mint condition holds a place of honor in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.) "Harlan Ellison is the dark prince of American letters, cutting through our corrupted midnight fog with a switchblade prose. He simply must be read." --Pete Hamill "Ellison writes with sensitivity as well as guts--a rare combination." --Leslie Charteris, creator of The Saint

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

If you thought the only thing Ellison writes is speculative fiction, craziness about giant cockroaches that attack Detroit, or invaders from space who look like pink eggplant and smell like chicken soup, this dynamite novel of the emergent days of rock and roll will turn you around at least three times. No spaceships, no robots, just a nice kid from Louisville named Stag Preston with a voice like an angel, seductive moves like the devil, and an invisible monkey named Success riding him straight to hell . . .

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