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The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of…
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The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World (1969)

by Harlan Ellison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Science Fiction, and it includes one of his best known stories, “A Boy and His Dog.” I always meant to see that movie but never did. This collection is extremely good, I’m a fan of Harlan Ellison, no doubt. Nice one. ( )
  solitaryfossil | Aug 11, 2017 |
The Basics

A collection of speculative fiction by the one-and-only Harlan Ellison. Many of the stories here, including the title tale, were award winners. Should make for a strong outing. Does it?

My Thoughts

This was a somewhat strong collection. The title story sets the pace with some very strange, almost impenetrable imagery and Ellison spinning some of his best poetry among prose. “Shattered Like a Glass Goblin” has a good bit of that, too, so if you love the title story (it’s so much easier to say that than to type it over and over, much as it’s a unique title that I love), you’ll love that one, too.

Among my favorites here are “Along the Scenic Route”, which I’ve seen a lot of people mention. It was quirky, funny, exciting, and saying all that, it has the recipe to be a great movie if someone were so inclined. “The Pitll Pawob Division” was short and very amusing, made all the more punchy for its quickness. “S.R.O.” has a wonderful twist that’s parts both funny and chilling. And I have to mention “Run for the Stars” as a wonderfully paced action/science-fiction story that forces you on with white knuckles.

But there’s a downside. I hate that there is, because so many of these stories are so strong. “Santa Claus vs. S.P.I.D.E.R.” is not only made up of cheesy humor that relies on mocking the spy genre as it was at the time and seems very outdated now, it’s final punchline is a rape joke. The story wasn’t very compelling up to that point, and upon reaching said point I was actively pissed.

Possibly the most controversial thing I’ll say in this review is that “A Boy and His Dog” is the most misogynistic, ugly waste of paper I’ve ever read. The girl’s personality changed to suit whatever mood Ellison wanted her to be in, going from being the love of Vic’s life to expendable because she was shrill at the drop of a hat. And should I even get into the way sex is handled in this story? I understand that a culture with a lowered population of women is going to be skewed about sex, but things get even more problematic than that.

So it lost a star. My rule is when a book is a collection, I rate it based on a ratio. Good stories to bad. So obviously, the good far outweighs the bad. It’s worth your time save two stories. And those stories? I’d skip them.

Final Rating

4/5 ( )
1 vote Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
This contains (among other wonders) the title story, "The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World," and one that will stay with you for a long, long time. "A Boy and Hist Dog" was later made into a movie starring a (then unknown, and very young) Don Johnson. Well done, by the way.

A boy loves his dog. ( )
  Lyndatrue | Dec 5, 2013 |
Grea writing and some really interesting ideas. Recommended. ( )
  CarmeloRafala | Jun 3, 2013 |
*note to self.copy from Al.
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harlan Ellisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one, with love for MISS EUSONA PARKER, who refuses to believe she is not my mother and for AHBHU, who refuses to believe I am not his mother.
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" It crouches near the center of creation. There is no night where it waits. Only the riddle of which terrible dream will set it loose. It beheaded mercy to take possession of that place. It feasts on darkness from the minds of men. No one has ever seen its eyeless face. When it sleeps we know a few moments of peace. But when it breathes again we go down in fire and mate with jackals. It knows our fear. It has our number. It waited for our coming and it will abide long after we have become congealed smoke. It has never heard music, and shows its fangs when we panic. It is the beast of our savage past, hungering today, and waiting patiently for the mortal meal of all our golden tomorrows. It lies waiting." This fantastic short story collection features two of Ellison's most famous, the Nebula Award winner "A Boy and His Dog" and the Hugo Award?winning short story that lends the collection its title. These and the entire book will knock you off your feet.… (more)

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