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Gumbywan

Randolph "Dilda" Carter

A rant about books, horror, and the weird.  I sometimes take on my love/hate relationship with goodreads and Amazon.

Currently reading

Perchance to Dream: Selected Stories
Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, William Shatner
Progress: 140/336 pages
Pavane
Keith Roberts

Harlan Ellison Rants Again

The Harlan Ellison Hornbook / Harlan Ellison's Movie - Harlan Ellison, Robert Crais

This was probably the least favorite book I have ever read by Ellison. There are a number of problems for me. It includes the complete script for Harlan Ellison's Movie. Now I hate reading drama and film scripts so Mr. Ellison already has one foot in the grave here with me. Secondly, it is not very good; preachy and self-righteous, it is also hopelessly dated. Even if you updated it to Occupy Wall Street and the Middle East wars and mortgage backed securities it would still be so hopelessly of the sixties it just wouldn't work today, if it ever would have.

On top of this we have the rest of the Hornbook, 384 pages of Ellison's self-gratifying rants. Many of these are also dated. These might have been pretty good at the time they were written and some translate well to today, but Ellsion is just so berserk all the time and again so self-righteous and preachy. These probably would have been much better in tolerable weekly doses as they originally appeared as op-ed pieces, but trying to read over 300 pages of these in a gulp is somewhat trying. On top of this I have always hated the fact that Ellsion has to always, always remind us of his many accomplishments as if that somehow lends more weight to his arguments. It does, but again in small doses and not repeated over and over. We don't have to be reminded every other time. You don't see someone like a Christopher Hitchens constantly reminding his readers of his many laurels.

This was volume 3 (of 4 completed) of the aborted White Wolf collected works. They are pretty well packaged but have a number of issues as collector books go, but I'm not going to detail that here. Presumably Harlan went berserk about something, as he usually does, and jerked the project from White Wolf, who subsequently went out of the publishing business anyway. The dust jacket art is outstanding.

I have to say I still always enjoy Ellison's writing and this wasn't that difficult to read but it is easy to see why he has a reputation for being a pain in the ass. We all need literate rabble rousers though.