BUGF#CK by Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison has been writing, lecturing, arguing, pleading, persuading, winning awards, gaining fans, making enemies, and entertaining people for years. As one might expect, the man is very quotable. And a small sampling (in both pages and dimensions) of his words is presented in bugf#ck: The Useless Wit and Wisdom of Harlan Ellison.

After a brief biography of Ellison, bugf#ck goes right into quoting the man, from his interviews, his stories, his novels, and his lectures. This is quite a diverse collection of quotation. You'll hear Ellison discuss writing, handle hecklers, crack jokes, attack enemies, and deal with rights, religion (of lack thereof), and much more. Almost every quotation is followed by its source (yes, I know they're all from Ellison: I meant the year and place they first appeared) and there are a few anecdotes tossed in for good measure.

My only problem with bugf#ck is the size. The book is a little over 120 pages, and Ellison's decades of work, writing, and speaking could fill a far larger book. In addition, this book is literally pocket-sized, like one of those inspirational collections at the front of bookstores. That makes it easy to bring with you -- but also amazingly easy to misplace or lose. Other than that, bugf#ck is a great collection (hopefully the first of many) of the words of the great Harlan Ellison.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch


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