'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman

This parable of individual freedom versus social control is one of Ellison's most famous stories, and indeed one of the most famous and anthologized of science fiction/fantasy stories ever. Everett C. Marm, a nobody who dubs himself the Harlequin (the resemblance to the author's name is entirely intentional), is perpetually late -- or heedless of the necessity for being on time -- in a society where timeliness has become an absolute value. He is in rebellion against the office of the Master Timekeeper, also known as the Ticktockman, who possesses the ability to subtract hours, days, and years from the Harlequin's life if the Ticktockman's minions can identify and capture him. The story achieves a marvelous combination of textual joy and dry doom.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 30%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   cynical or dry-wit FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Repressive society story    -   Yes Repressive because:    -   controls your mind    -   kills without good reason Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's a slave/repressed?    -   humans are slaves of other humans

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed How much dialogue?    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman

Harlan Ellison Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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