Deathbird Stories

Harlan Ellison
Deathbird Stories Cover

Deathbird Stories: A Pantheon of Modern Gods


The years have not been kind to the stories in this collection. Published in 1975, the book opens with a 'caveat lector' warning us not to read the stories one after the other without a break as the emotional content 'may be extremely upsetting'. No doubt some of the concepts dealt with were confronting at the time, now the writing style in the stories comes across as overwrought, preachy and full of telling, telling telling. Not to mention the overt misogeny, and the lack in variation of tone: each story told in an all-consuming didactic 'Twilight Zone-style' voiceover that pounds at the poor reader again and again. Caveat lector indeed. There are a couple of good stories in here, but the rest is really hard to trudge through.