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Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber

Conjure Wife (1943)

by Fritz Leiber

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Leiber is never less than very, very good. Conjure Wife follows this rule, though it shows clear evidence of being published more than half a century ago, not least as Norman (with some help from his faculty) advances the science of witchcraft a millennium or so, surpassing the women's work passed down through generations, cheered on by his perky yet subsumed Tansy.

Hm. Reading that, I shouldn't have enjoyed this nearly as much as I did. When approached correctly, as a period piece, this is a fine way to spend some time, though for peak Leiber I'd look to Our Lady of Shadows or his shorter fiction. ( )
  UrbanVariable | Sep 1, 2017 |
Meh, it was OK. Some portions of this novel were so mundane and rambley. I was screaming at the novel, would you get to the point? I am not sure, I think the story line was wonderful. In essence, anything to do with witchcraft, I will probably enjoy it. But the narrator Norman, man, he really pissed me off early on. He was such an idiot, and he was relentlessly annoying.
The ending was SO confusing, I felt the author was simply unable to describe his ending well. It was a GREAT concept, but poorly executed, that's my final judgment and I am sticking to it. ( )
  XoVictoryXo | Jun 28, 2017 |
Our narrator is a bit of male pig, but Leiber's gift is in achieving great economy with instilling fear of the unknown. ( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |

There are things that Conjure Wife does tolerably well. Set in a New England college in the 1930s, it can be seen as in some ways a taproot text for future campus horror stories; the climax where Saylor attempts to rescue his wife's soul is well-paced and gripping; there are some very effective descriptive passages. But these cannot excuse the fact of the central premise of the book: all women are, in fact, clandestine witches, and keeping it secret from us men (and from each other to an extent). The mind boggles; I guess the kindest thing to say is that the genre has come some way since 1943. ( )
2 vote nwhyte | Oct 13, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leiber, FritzAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grigiani, FrancoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Norman Saylor was not the sort of man to go prying into his wife's dressing room.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765324067, Paperback)

Professor Norman Saylor considered magic nothing more than superstition.  Then he learned that his own wife was a practicing sorceress.  But he still refuses to accept the truth…that in the secret occult warfare that governs our lives, magic is a matter of life and death.  And that unbeknownst to men, every woman knows it.

Filmed twice, as Weird Woman (1944) and Burn Witch Burn (1961), this tale of secret witchcraft on a modern college campus is as readable today as the day it was written.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

What if half the world's population (the female half) practiced witchcraft and kept it a secret from men?Norman Saylor, a professor of ethnology, discovers his wife Tansy has put his research in the field of "Negro Conjure Magic" into practice for the sake of protecting him from other spell-casting faculty wives who wish to further their own husbands careers. A man of science, Norman has only an academic interest in the subject of magic and superstition and forces Tansy to cease all her workings and to burn all her charms. As soon as Norman burns the last charm, things start to fall apart. He has a run-in with a former student, his student-secretary accuses him of having seduced her, and he is passed over for a promotion that had seemed certain.Norman begins to have more than his fair share of small accidents: cutting himself while shaving, stepping on carpet tacks, cutting his hand with a letter opener, and more. He begins to imagine that there is a dark presence exploiting his fear of trucks. Tansy takes his curse upon herself forcing him to overcome his disbelief and use witchcraft to save his wife's body?and her soul.Originally published in 1953, Conjure Wife is considered a modern classic of horror-fantasy and has been adapted for film three times: "Burn, Witch Burn" (1962); "Weird Woman" (1944); and "Witch's Brew" (1980). Yet another film remake is in the works.… (more)

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