Top positive review
Disused jelly beans in the gogs...
on 3 May 1998
Sitting around with some old, moulding jelly beans in your pockets and wondering just what you should do with them? My advice would be to drop them into the power supply box at your train station, short out the trains for a good hour or three and, with that time, read this gem before arriving at work in the afternoon (there must be lunch, chat, and perhaps some aimless strolling as well).
So, you're probably asking what that has to do with "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman (with fine illustrations by Rick Berry). Well, the answers a numerous and then perhaps they mean nothing at all. I figure I won't tell.
Ellison's book as about an outlaw existing in a totally controlled society, where time is measured and ruled by the Ticktockman. Now the idea is not a new one (at least, not now) but Ellison gives the Harlequin such gusto, the story such a smooth, enjoyable ride, that one can not help but be caught up in it and cheer as the jelly beans are dropped down.
And the message the tale contains (for it does have one, make no mistake) does not make for a message written story. It's a good story, with or without the message, and one has to thank Ellison himself for that. He has a strong voice in his prose--equally as strong as that of himself in person, I am told--and his clearly driven prose leaves no dry points.
And if you do order this book and it shows up late, well yes, it's the postal system again... but imagine if everything happened on time? Imagine if you had to be one time for everything? What consequences...
Excuse me, got carried away. Buy the book, you'll not regret it. Now, I'm off to drop some jelly beans...