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Fifty-One Tales

Lord Dunsany

Book Overview: 

Very brief, well-crafted stories, many having surprise endings, all steeped in the dye of myth and calling to every reader's neglected imagination.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .t have known her when she was in her prime.

"You never knew the mermaids nor the fairies nor the lovely goddesses of long ago, that's where we have the best of you."

He was silent when the waiters came to his table, but rambled merrily on as soon as they left, still turned to the empty chair.

"You know I saw you here in London only the other day. You were on a motor bus going down Ludgate Hill. It was going much too fast. London is a good place. But I shall be glad enough to leave it. It was in London that I met the lady I that was speaking about. If it hadn't been for London I probably shouldn't have met her, and if it hadn't been for London she probably wouldn't have had so much besides me to amuse her. It cuts both ways."

He paused once to order coffee, gazing earnestly at the waiter and putting a sovereign in his hand. "Don't let it be chicory," said he.

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Community Reviews

Erano un po' di anni che Lord Edward Dunsany infestava come uno spettro le mie letture, lo spettro del proverbiale classico che "tutti i tuoi autori preferiti hanno letto, ergo se non lo leggi anche tu sei un ignorante"; un bel giorno lo approcciai direttamente con il suo "La spada di Welleran" anto

Possibly "Tales" may be too strong a word -- this is a collection of 51, I guess I'd call them prose poems or vignettes, generally not more than a page or two in length, some just a couple of paragraphs, all in Dunsany's elegant prose, but a good few clearly commenting on what would have been curren

Another collection of prose shorts reminiscent of Dunsany's other collections like The God's Of Pegana or The Book of Wonder. As I alluded to in my review of The God's Of Pegana this collection of shorts should be taken for what they are. Go in without expectations of detailed plotting or character

You can absolutely tell what an influence Lord Dunsany was on writers of the early era that followed him (Lovecraft, Rice Burroughs, Howard, Tolkien, et. al.). I don’t know if he was progressive for his time or not, because he was likely more distributed than his contemporaries in the budding genre,

And what exactly is this "Food of Death"?

Let's be specific here because enquiring minds want to know:

- White bread
- Tinned meat with a pinch of salt
- Cheap Indian tea
- Champagne
- Food "recommended for invalids"
- Milk & borax!

Thus fed, Death arose ravening, strong, and strode again through the cities

Very short tales, but with interesting bits of lore, twists, & humor. They're the basis of a lot of current mythology, so were interesting. Very well narrated.

I love Dunsany's tales. His stories are like those strange dreams which straddle the borderline between dream and nightmare. He has a brooding voice and can make even the most commonplace event seem sinister.

That said, this book was a sore disappointment. Most of these tales cannot be called by that

51 very short stories, often bleak, and often bleakly humorous. Lord Dunsany is purple and poetic in his prose, but if you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you like.

There's one particular comic story present in this collection -- "The True Story of the Tortoise and Hare" -- that is

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