I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

 

 

[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below, it’s probably ad-blocker settings]

What’s weird is I ordered the same one above, but ended up getting a version with a really odd cover. Check it out:

Like what is going on here? Is this supposed to be parts of the different stories? Is this a generic images of other books published through this company? Is that dude at the bottom Destiny from Sandman? Cloak without Dagger? This gave me more questions than the book did.

 

“Among Ellison’s more famous stories, two consistently noted as his very best ever are the Hugo Award–winning, postapocalyptic title story of this collection of seven shorts and the volume’s concluding story, “Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes.” Since Ellison himself strongly resists categorization of his work, we will not call them science fiction, or SF, or speculative fiction or horror or anything else except compelling reading experiences that are utterly unique. They could only have been written by the great Harlan Ellison, and they are incomparably original.”

 


 

So I’ve been told for a long time to check out this collection of stories. However, with every suggestion came with a warning: ‘Probably one of the most fucked and depressing things you’ll read.’ They definitely weren’t lying. Some of the stories were pretty messed up, but all of them were definitely depressing in one way or another.

If you get the exact edition I got [if you click the link above it should stay to the same collection, but if not, make sure to read the reviews/comments to confirm it is] then it comes with seven short stories by Ellison. These stories are:

-I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
-Big Sam Was My Friend
-Eyes of Dust
-World of the Myth
-Lonelyache
-Delusion for a Dragon Slayer
-Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes

No Mouth/Must Scream and Maggie Moneyeyes are the more famous of his stories, but Dragon Slayer is also fairly well known.

All of these stories have a pretty intense impact. Ellison is a crazy, cantankerous, misogynist old man, but he sure knows how to play on the human psyche. His writing style actually almost reminds me a lot of my own so most of these stories actually touched pretty deep in some part or another. [On that note, almost all female characters portrayed in this book are… not great – warning on that]

Which story was the most interesting to me? To be honest, it was Lonelyache.

A little synopsis without giving too much away is that it’s about a man who just got out of a nasty divorce and has been having many one night stands to try and fill a void. But the entire time he’s just fueling and growing the demon known as Loneliness. And I think we all have personally experienced this themselves, and know that loneliness is a bitch.

Despite that Ellison hates his work being categorized, these stories all have a little bit of either sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. Some have all three. The book in itself is tiny, as some of the short stories are only a few pages long. I was able to finish it in a few hours.

I highly recommend the collection as long as you realize that some of the stories are pretty fucked up. And sad. Really, really sad.

 


I give I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream 5/5 Entrancing Blue Eyes

Rating:

“But commercialism is the last sinkhole of love, and when it is reached, by paths of desperation and paths of cruel, misused emotions – all hope is gone. There is no return save by miracles, and there are no more miracles for the common among common men.”

 

 

 

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