The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World by Harlan Ellison
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World is a collection of short stories by Harlan Ellison. I mostly picked it up to read A Boy and His Dog, to experience the post-apocalyptic story as it was originally intended and to see if this version was as rapey as the movie starring Don Johnson. Here are my thoughts on some of the stories contained within.
The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World: I have no idea how to summarize this story. I'm not sure what it was actually about. Something something time travel, releasing insanity across the multiverse, possibly an allegory of Lucifer's fall. I'm still trying to digest this one.
Along the Scenic Route: When another motorist insults him on The Freeway, George challenges him to a duel. Which of the drivers and his tricked out vehicles will come out of the confrontation the winner?
This dystopian death race was a pretty cool story, two men and their weaponized cars battling it out.
Phoenix: Travelers cross a red desert, searching for a lost city that has risen from the sands.
This one was interesting with a Twilight Zone ending. The concepts were a little out there but it was a pretty satisfying read.
Asleep: With Still Hands: Deep beneath the Sargasso Sea, a team of men go to slay The Sleeper...
This was a bizarre tale of the dead and dreaming Sleeper and the world he protected. Ellison sure knows how to do endings, even if I thought this story wasn't that great.
Santa Claus vs. S.P.I.D.E.R.: Kris Kringle, greatest secret agent in the world, battles the forces of S.P.I.D.E.R. Can he stop their insidious eight-point plan in time to do his Christmas duties?
This was a cheesy, fun, spy spoof. At least it was, until a rapey moment near the end. 90% enjoyable, though.
A Boy and His Dog: Vic and his telepathic dog Blood wander a post-apocalyptic wasteland, looking to get fed and get laid.
Yeah, the novella version was just as rape-oriented as the 1970's movie.
Closing Thoughts: I have mixed feelings on The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World. In a technical sense, Harlan Ellison is a very good writer. However, most of the stories within were a product of their time. Were the 1970's as rapey a time period as some of the fiction of the period leads me to believe. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
View all my reviews