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The Best of C. M. Kornbluth [Mass Market Paperback]

C. M. Kornbluth , Frederik Pohl
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First THUS edition (Dec 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345254619
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345254610
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Essef - A collection of 19 stories.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One can certainly not fault Frederik Pohl's inclusions in this 'Best of C.M. Kornbluth' selection. Many of the great stories are here. "The Little Black Bag", known to many Twilight Zone viewers, is a classic. "The Mindworm" is a great sci-fi-cum-horror story(calling Cronenberg et al - why has no movie been made of this classic?). "Two Dooms" is a richly detailed alternative history novella. "Friend to Man" is a classic both of sci fi literature and of black humour - a personal favourite of yrs truly. "The Marching Morons" is a satirical great, reminding one (oddly) of Terry Southern in its manipulation of commerical and pop culture cliches. Priceless! And "The Advent on Channel 13" is still one of the best satirical pokes at the Disney empire. While one can't fault Frederik Pohl's inclusions, I do wonder about some of the stories he left out. Pohl seems dismissive of Kornbluth's teenaged work. I heartily disagree. Should we not listen to the string symphonies of the teenaged Mendelssohn because he later went on to write the Italian Symphony? "Three O'Clock" and "Mr. Packer Goes to Hell" are masterpieces of pure whimsy, containing moments that make me gasp in a Lewis Carrollish sort of way. Kornbluth's story "Crisis" is surely relevant in this age of tangled international politics. I love every bit of it and passionately think it belongs here. "The Golden Road" is, I think, a profound meditation on the human condition - it should be here, but isn't. I don't know where Kornbluth's hilarious "the Education of Tigress McCardle" fits into Kornbluth's work chronologically, but I think it surely belongs in any 'best of' selection of Kornbluth's work. In effect, I think Pohl's selection is too draconian, as it were. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kornbluth's Best 28 Mar 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of my favourite's is the Marching Morons. This short story has wit but a very strong theme: the balance between inclusiveness and elitism is a very delicate one and there are no simplistic solutions. However the warning to avoid a constant appeal to the lowest common denominator is loud and clear and one of which we should take cognisance. It seems a pity that Kornbluth's writing career was so short. A good read with much to think about.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.1 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the secret? 18 April 2000
By Jon Hancock - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One day, perhaps, I shall work out why it is that bookstore shelves creak and groan under the weight of best-selling volumes whose greatest worth is as emergency toilet roll, while genuinely important, readable, inventive prose goes out of print before you can blink. Kornbluth is one of a number of almost forgotten writers, many of whom also died young, dismissed these days because they worked in science-fiction and the pulp markets. Little has been written since in the area of short stories to top the best of Kornbluth; and even those tales of his which have been overtaken by events (such as his story about the first manned rocket) are so original and well written that they remain far more than just period curiosities. Make the effort to find a copy of this collection and you are unlikely to regret it.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading 15 July 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"The Best" of C.M. Kornbluth contains two short stories, neither of which is his best known work "The Marching Morons." Even at $1.99, I hardly felt this was worth the purchase price. If you're looking for a good compilation of Kornbluth stories, I'd suggest "Eight Worlds of C.M. Kornbluth" instead.

UPDATE: I've heard the print version actually does have more stories. However, I've only purchased the Kindle version, and can say that the Kindle version only has two. So, the print version may be worth the money (I personally don't know), but the Kindle version is not.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ripoff Alert 17 May 2011
By Third Stage Lensman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Kindle edition of this is a ripoff. Apparently the dead tree edition contains lots of stories, as a "Best of" anthology should. That would be worth it. Kindle edition contains two -- counte 'em, two -- stories, badly formatted. Not worth anything.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best SF short story collections ever written... 18 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There is not a dud in this book...each story is a stone-cold SF masterpiece by a true genius who was cut down in his prime at age 35. If you haven't read Kornbluth, you are missing out on some of the finest SF stories anywhere. Includes the widely acknowledged SF masterwork, "The Marching Morons" that seems utterly prophetic for the 90s. Also has The Little Black Bag, many others. Kornbluth's work is almost too good for description. Funny, thought-provoking, fantastically prescient. And each story concludes with an absolute gem of a last line, some of the best finishes anywhere ("and the last thing he learned was that death is the end of pain" etc etc). If you like these, you will also love Kornbluth's brilliant satirical novel (co-authored with his best friend, Frederic Pohl), "The Space Merchants", a novel written in the 1950s that posits a world in which all of mankind has been taken over by gigantic advertising agencies...sounds a little too close to the truth for comfort? It is!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars c.m kornbluth 2 July 2011
By Barb - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought what I thought was a collection of stories including the marching morons. I feel like a moron because I wasted my money (even though it was only 1.99) on a book that only had two stories in it. It DOES NOT include the marching morons. The two stories included are the adventurer and the altar at midnight. This book comes up when you type in the marching morons and I bought it based on that and the first review that said it included the story in it. I will read more reviews in the future before I part with my money. RIP OFF!!!
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