My father had been a fan of Ellison's ever since I can remember and so I've always had his writing around. Alas, many of his books are out-of-print. I must have taken Harlan Ellison's Hornbook out of the library countless times, re-reading it cover to cover again and again. It's that good.
Most people, if they know of Ellison's work, know mostly of his short stories but this book collects essays he wrote in the 1970s about whatever struck his fancy... a great restaurant, some publisher who ripped him off once, the death of his beloved dog, a woman who double-crossed him, lamenting Lenny Bruce's death... Ellison writes with such authority and with such style--pithy yet degenerate is the best description I can think of. This book hums with intensity as the last greatest angry young man lets loose on all kinds of topics (to read his rant on why he hates Christmas is incredibly funny, even if you don't agree with his sentiments). This is one helluva read.
Even though I've read this book countless times, I keep coming back to it because Ellison's style of writing is endlessly entertaining and thought-provoking. It really gets under you skin and stays there.
Do yourself a favor and track down this book. It is definitely worth it.