Deathbird Stories Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Deathbird Stories

This is perhaps Ellison's most powerful collection of stories. There are some clunkers, but many mind-blowing originals. Two losers (male and female) meet and intermingle over a Vegas slot machine that invariably hits the jackpot. Lawrence Talbot, the Wolfman, goes to Victor Frankenstein for help in locating his soul so that he can die peacefully. A former POW-Vietnam vet returns to his Midwestern hometown to face the music among his neighbors who believe him a traitor for talking to the Vietcong under torture. Two cars engage in a duel on a near-future freeway. A man goes to confront God with the help of Snake, the hero who got the shaft in the inaccurate account of Genesis. This is a stark and startling collection, with little humor and much vivid storytelling.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Deathbird Stories

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Plot & Themes

FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy world/fantasy past Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Time Travel:    -   largely forwards/future    -   largely backwards/past Explore:    -   post environmental/nuclear disaster, fighting MadMax gangs    -   preventing/surviving an ecological disaster Romance    -   Yes Magical Beings/Mental/Magical/Powers    -   Yes Inner Struggle    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   search for identity/new understanding    -   change of heart War or Invasion    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one person from different culture of other persons


Earth setting:    -   20th century    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   descript of kissing    -   actual description of sex How much dialogue?    -   little dialog

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