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The Hashish Man and Other Stories [Paperback]

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Item description for The Hashish Man and Other Stories by Baron Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett Dunsany...

In this collection of 23 short stories, one of the original masters of early-twentieth-century science fiction and fantasy is introduced to a new generation of readers. Fanciful tales of strange adventure in imaginary exotic locales and depictions of otherworldly grim creepiness abound.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   144
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2005
Publisher   Manic D Press, Inc.
ISBN  1933149043  
ISBN13  9781933149042  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Anthologies
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Hashish Man and Other Stories?

dream fantasy at it's best  Apr 22, 2006
This collection ranges from new takes on 1001 Arabian Nights to pastoral English dreams. Lord Dunsany remains one of the formost modern fantasy writers.
In the Ruined Temple, at Dusk  Jul 21, 2005
The world is still haunted, and there are yet gods in the wild places.

The gods abide, grim and wicked and gentle and brooding, in our forlorn, crazed, forsaken world. In the still of a country night you can feel them, pressing close on the wind: the forlorn gods who whisper about the crumbling hillside shrines. The nautical, bloodthirsty gods of the tropic Deep, who rose out of sea-slug haunted temples in the Pacific to feast on the anguish of Captain Cook's sacrificed sailors. The lonely gods of the abandoned wastes, bereaved for worshippers and curses that once worked but now, like dying tapers, gutter and go out.

Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany, had magic in his fingers and a suspiciously lucid familiarity with the Gate of Sleep and the Real of Dreams. Some of his most powerful and affecting gems are displayed in "The Hashish Man", an indifferently bound but decidedly choice collection of his short tales of fancy, wild whimsy, the fantastic, bizarre, and strange.

In the 26 tales collected here, not one fails to astound, to awe, to move, to raise the hackles. Dunsany is a masterful author: what most writers would take thousand-page volumes to do, he can achieve in a few graceful sentences.

And the tales themselves: for instance, what could make ancient, fearful Charon, the ferryman of the Styx, smile and weep? Or what of the young Lord in London, who orders a table set for two, spends the night in conversation with an invisible companion, and caps off his meal with an astounding dessert?

You'll learn of the piratical Captain Shard and his freebooting crew of the Desperate Lark, who, pursued by the bristling galleons of the Danish, French, Spaniards and English, affix wheels and axles to their ship and steer her across the African sands to the Atlantic.

Or you can shiver to the tale of the Doom that came to the shadow-haunted wizard's tower of Thlunrana, or to the account of the feral man roaming the English wilds with his Three Deadly Jokes; or the weird marble goddess to which ships pray---their figureheads muttering heathen verses---at the Temple of the Sea, whence they steer when all the sailors are drunk and slumbering; you'll hear of fabled, many-spired Bethmoora, abandoned in a day, and of imperial Perdondaris, which celebrated its Great Ivory Gate made of the vast tooth of a fearsome beast, until the beast came looking for its fang.

These are not just tales you'll read and consign to memory: there is not a page here lacking a gnome's treasure of wonder, and glory, and deep, dreadful fear, tinged always with melancholy, and a surprising gentleness, and perhaps a whiff of regret.

Dunsany is certainly a wizard. He wields, with dangerous precision, the totemic power of the printed word, ever a double-edged sword. There has never been a writer on Earth who conjured up the fantastic, the haunted, the doomed and the damned like Lord Dunsany.

If his sorcery-infused writings, heavy with the aroma of deep sleep, were traded in the bazaars of his tales, a single page might bring a wagon-load of precious spice, or a vat of deadly nightshade or darksome myrrh, or a trunk of gold. If I had to, I would willingly trade half the libraries of Christendom and Araby for a single volume of Lord Dunsany.

So read on, savor and relish these tales of madness, and doom, and desolation, and irrevocable curses, and wanton cruelty, and wildness: drink deep of the draught, but beware---there is potent magic here.

There may indeed be gods, and if there are, Dunsany was their Prophet and Oracle: Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany and Votary of the Strange. May they sing dreams of comfort and wonder to him, as he sings from the pages to us.


Tales of the dreamer  Apr 30, 2002
Lord Dunsany's works are gradually coming back into print, a great relief to someone who has liked his works for a long time. The pre-Tolkien fantasy authors are too often neglected because of their different style, but any person who appreciates beautiful language will appreciate Dunsany's unique fantasies.

This includes such stories as "Charon," a brief story about the ferryman of the dead; the rather odd "Three Infernal Jokes"; "The Guest," about a young man who launches into a strange monologue; "Thirteen at Table," about a strange house and a fox-hunt; "Three Sailors' Gambit" is somewhat more prosaic, the tale of three sailors in a pub; "The Exiles' Club" is the story of a sumptuous but somehow strange and sinister house in London; "Where the Tides Ebb and Flow" is a dream -- and a darn disturbing one at that, where a young man dreams that "I had done a horrible thing, so that burial was to be denied me either in soil or sea, neither could there be any hell for me"; "The Field" is at first mysterious and then saddening, where someone visits a beautiful field where he senses something terrible; "A Tale of London," where a sultan asks his hashish-eater to tell him about the far-off city of London; "Narrow Escape" tells what occurs when an evil magician decides to obliterate London; "Bethmoora" is the reminiscences of an exotic city that no longer exists; "Hashish Man" is something of a sequel to "Bethmoora," in which a man tells the narrator about how he uses hashish to travel to the city of Bethmoora. "How An Enemy Came to Thlunrana" is how a mighty wizards' citadel was overcome by an unexpected means; "In Zaccarath" is the story of a mighty, beautiful, and seemingly everlasting city and its king; "Idle City" is a very odd one, about a polytheistic/monotheistic city, now very lonely-looking; "The Madness of Andelsprutz" is another story about a "dead" city, in which the narrator is told how a certain city became "soulless".

"Secret of the Sea" is about a very sad sailor; "Idle Days on the Yann" is exactly what it sounds like, a pleasantly plotless but beautifully written story about sailing on the mythical Yann River; "A Tale of the Equator" is about the foreseeing of a magnificent city; "Spring in Town" is about the arrival of a season; "In the Twilight" is the beautifully-written vision of a man whose boat had capsized; "Wind and Fog" is a slightly odd little story about the North Wind and some fog; "A Story of Land and Sea" is the sequel to a story in Book of Wonder, more about Captain Shard; "After the Fire" is what happens when a dark star collides with the world, and what other creatures see in man's temples; "Assignation," the last story in the collection, is about what a poet and Fame have to say to one another.

As for this edition: I must agree with the previous reviewer who commented on the lame cover and unfortunate title, as well as the fact that the binding could be better. That's why it rates four out of a potential five stars. I will also warn buyers that several of these stories appear in other anthologies, so don't be surprised if you bump into things you already have. Many are from the "Last Book of Wonder" or "Dreamer's Tales" and overall they tend to the less fantastical stories.

Dunsany's prose tends to be dreamy, lush, and unabashed in its Eastern tone. There's no starkness here. Despite the title of the collection, there is minimal drug use and it is definitely not recommended by Dunsany's works. His story vary widely in range, but this is an excellent collection and well worth finding.

A terrific collection of obscure gems  Jul 8, 2000
While I'm not a die-hard fan of fantasy and science fiction, I really liked this collection of short stories, which transcend the usual definitions of the genre. Unlike some readers who believe that obscure literary gems like these tales should be hallowed in the dusty stacks of libraries, I salute the publisher who has made these amazing works available again - I certainly would have never stumbled upon this book otherwise! Edgy like Lovecraft (whom I adore), these stories reflect a sense of wonder and imagination that is often missing from the fiction of today - a great read, highly recommended!
5 Stars for Lord Dunsany and 0 for the Publisher  Mar 26, 2000
I have just received this book in the mail and I am sending it back on Monday. For one thing, the materials this book is constructed out of are very cheap. The cover picture is made with an off-the-shelf 3D graphics program and done in a very amateurish manner. The title "The Hashish Man" was chosen purely to attract what the publishers thought of as a "hip" target audience and smacks at Lord Dunsany's sober genius. Lord Dunsany never took drugs and one would know where he got his inspiration if they read any books about him. Of course, because our times produce writers of infertile minds we automatically assume he had to have been on a drug to write these beautiful and imaginative stories. The publishers are associating Lord Dunsany with "the Hashish Man", the title of this anthology, when in fact in his (fictional) short story Lord Dunsany is approached by the "Hashish Man" who relates to Lord Dunsany how HE travels to dream worlds (via hashish) which is in contrast with Lord Dunsany.

Besides trashing Lord Dunsany's character the introduction is a bad two-page college essay written by a person who is totally unknown. Who is Jon Longhi of San Francisco? Here are a few pathetic quotes by Mr. Longhi: Describing Lord Dunsany's writing, "At times these details veer toward the noisome realm of elves and hobbits". The "realm of elves and hobbits" is only "noisome" because the publishers think that readers of H.P. Lovecraft don't like fantasy writing and that Tolkien is not popular right now. However when Ballantine Books published "The King Of Elfland's Daughter" in 1977, when Tolkien was the flavor of the month with publishers, they boasted "A fantasy novel in a class with the Tolkien books!," which ever way the wind blows I guess. Another quote: "psychedelic rave-up of language and's great fun riding on the hallucinations." More drug association. "Captain Shard pilots a boat which sails across the desert on huge wheels, just like the main vehicle in the movie Time Bandits." Doesn't this sound childish? What main vehicle in Time Bandits? The only thing with sails in that movie was the ship on the giant's head, but it did not have wheels. Mr. Longhi might be thinking of the building with sails traversing barren wastelands manned by the intrepid crew of the Crimson Assurance Co. in the mini-movie before Monty Python's Meaning of Life.

Either this guy is an absolute idiot or he is just failing miserably to convince me that he is really anything like the people he is trying to reach. Mr. Longhi, like some desperate college sophomore, has padded out his introduction with a variety of multi-syllabic words in the hopes of impressing the average (ignorant) reader. This introduction should be in an anthology of drugstore-swords & sorcery-escapist-self-indulgent-trash.

I know that anthologies of Lord Dunsany's writings are rare but I would rather have them rare and cherishable instead of common and degraded. Most libraries have some of Lord Dunsany's works and through interlibrary loan you should be able to get just about anything written by this laudable fantasist. Do not pollute your personal library with this trash. Let us not reduce Lord Dunsany to the level of pulp. Let us not patronize publishers that drag remarkable writers down to their seedy level so they can make an easy buck. We need to have more respect.


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