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4.5 out of 5 stars19
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on 1 June 2013
From the first, back in the late 60s, I have been an admirer of Ellison's work. He is a difficult author to read but if you find something worthwhile in even one story of his, you will find something in every story. He's not a comfortable author, but he's compelling. If Ray Bradbury had a HUGE chip on his shoulder, he would have written like Ellison.

Buy as many of his books as you can afford and then buy just one more. You might be dismayed, disturbed and perhaps disgusted but you will never, ever be bored.
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on 7 August 2014
This is the only Ellison I have ever read. The 7 stories are all good especially "I have no mouth.." although I have to say the stand out thing about this book for me were the introductions and memoirs between each of the stories.

I normally skip introductions as it's usually involves someone else (not the author) assigning their own interpretations of what the story represents. All the introductions, except for the introduction to the book, were written by Ellison himself and contain anecdotes which are at least as interesting as the stories themselves. A particularly good one involves Ellison having to respond to an academics account of what "I have no mouth.." is about. He doesn't hold back and points out everything the academic explained about the subtext of the story was wrong and it was really a very simple story.

I was never bored while reading this book and that doesn't happen very often.
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on 21 October 2014
I bought this primarily for the title story, which is excellent, but the others are not too shabby either. If you like the sound of weird eclectic stories, but with a definite primary vein of surrealist horror running through them, give it a try. Some are sci-fi (like No Mouth) and others are fantasy, but they are all interesting.
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on 25 April 2015
Harlan Ellison is, so it seems, very much a "Marmite" author. I unashamedly fall into the "love it" camp.


Ellison is one of the few authors whose writing always manages to illicit huge swings of emotion in me. The first time I read the short story "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream" I felt so worn out and almost on the verge of a panic attack, choking back a throat full of bile at the gradual painting of a situation that Ellison had managed to stuff, kicking and screaming, into my mind that I couldn't fall asleep for several hours.

Bedtime reading? Certainly not for me anymore. His writing, in my opinion, is second to none in this style. I must declare that I tend not to read an awful lot of fictional books but somehow Ellison has always managed to grab my attention and never let go unlike most other authors.

If you like it, you'll love it but I'm sure it won't be to the taste of everyone.
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VINE VOICEon 1 December 2010
Harlan Ellison's writing was long unavailable in this country, so we should be grateful that much of it is now back in print.

This is probably his best, and most famous, collection of short stories and dates from 1967. The title story is magnificent, and is allegedly one of the 10 most reprinted stories in the English language. Ellison apparently wrote it at a single sitting and then only had to make minor editorial changes before presenting it for publication. In it, 4 men and 1 woman are all that are left of the human race, along with an omniscient and omnipotent supercomputer. Without giving anything of the plot away, the title of the story becomes its final line.

Ellison can be difficult to read. At his worst he can be hectoring, self-pitying, confrontational and vengeful. He has said, for example, that he gives the names of people who bullied him at school to characters who die particularly unpleasant deaths in his stories. At his best, however, he is imaginative, inspiring and extremely thought-provoking, having also written some of the finest episodes of Star Trek - The Original Series - Series 1 - Complete - Remastered [DVD] [1966](The City on the Edge of Forever) and The Outer Limits - The Original Series - Vol. 1 [DVD] (Soldier; Demon with a Glass Hand). This collection mostly represents the latter aspect of this talented SF writer.
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on 20 January 2014
The actual story of I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream is simply fantastic, one of the darkest, most unsettling and most upsetting things I have ever read. This book also contains a selection of other fines short stories by Ellison. Overall a great book.
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on 13 August 2014
Bought for the titular story but the other stories were good too. Just be aware what you are buying as it may be a bit pessimistic for some readers but it's kinda the point.
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on 4 February 2014
The short story the book is named after, alone is worth the price. Fantastic author. Mouth especially is a gripping and thought provoking read.
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on 6 November 2014
Disturbing, creepy and will induce a paranoia in you for technology that may ruin your existence in the 21st century.
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on 17 August 2014
The first story is good, but the rest aren't as compelling and don't quite match the creativity of the first.
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