Fancies and Goodnights

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New York Review of Books, 1951 - Fiction - 418 pages
5 Reviews
John Collier's edgy, sardonic tales are works of rare wit, curious insight, and scary implication. They stand out as one of the pinnacles in the critically neglected but perennially popular tradition of weird writing that includes E.T.A. Hoffmann and Charles Dickens as well as more recent masters like Jorge Luis Borges and Roald Dahl. With a cast of characters that ranges from man-eating flora to disgruntled devils and suburban salarymen (not that it's always easy to tell one from another), Collier's dazzling stories explore the implacable logic of lunacy, revealing a surreal landscape whose unstable surface is depth-charged with surprise.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - figre - LibraryThing

This is a great, great collection. I had no idea who John Collier was, but got the recommendation for this collection. (From where? I don’t remember.) I was more than pleasantly surprised; I was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cyclokitty - LibraryThing

I can't even remember how I stumbled onto Collier's stories--maybe through Bradbury's recommendation--but they're wonderful. The stories are more sophisticated than Bradbury's in that they tend to be ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

BOTTLE PARTY
1
DE MORTUIS
9
EVENING PRIMROSE
16
WITCHS MONEY
28
ARE YOU TOO LATE OR WAS I TOO EARLY
40
FALLEN STAR
44
THE TOUCH OF NUTMEG MAKES IT
56
THREE BEARS COTTAGE
64
GAVIN O LEARY
208
IF YOUTH KNEW IF AGE COULD
217
THUS I REFUTE BEELZY
228
SPECIAL DELIVERY
233
ROPE ENOUGH
249
LITTLE MEMENTO
255
GREEN THOUGHTS
260
ROMANCE LINGERS ADVENTURE LIVES
275

PICTURES IN THE FIRE
70
WET SATURDAY
84
SQUIRRELS HAVE BRIGHT EYES
91
HALFWAY TO HELL
97
THE LADY ON THE GREY
104
INCIDENT ON A LAKE
112
OVER INSURANCE
118
OLD ACQUAINTANCE
124
THE FROG PRINCE
132
SEASON OF MISTS
138
GREAT POSSIBILITIES
146
WITHOUT BENEFIT OF GALSWORTLIY
154
THE DEVIL GEORGE AND ROSIE
159
AH THE UNIVERSITY
178
BACK FOR CHRISTMAS
182
ANOTHER AMERICAN TRAGEDY
188
COLLABORATION
195
MIDNIGHT BLUE
202
BIRD OF PREY
279
VARIATION ON A THEME
287
NIGHT YOUTH PARIS AND THE MOON
299
THE STEEL CAT
304
SLEEPING BEAUTY
311
INTERPRETATION OF A DREAM
327
MARY
333
HELL HATH NO FURY
346
IN THE CARDS
352
THE INVISIBLE DOVE DANCER OF STRATHPHEEN ISLAND
358
THE RIGHT SIDE
365
SPRING FEVER
370
YOUTH FROM VIENNA
378
POSSESSION OF ANGELA BRADSHAW
398
CANCEL ALL I SAID
403
THE CHASER
415
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About the author (1951)

John Collier (1901-1980) was born in London. He began his writing career as a poet, first publishing in 1920. He turned to fiction in the early 1930s, producing the popular and controversial novel, His Monkey Wife, about a man who is married to a chimpanzee. In 1935 Collier left England for Hollywood, where he became an active and prolific writer for film and later television; he was particularly influential in developing the brilliantly creepy and subversive style of such television classics as "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Twilight Zone." An adaptation from Milton, Paradise Lost: Screenplay for Cinema of the Mind was published in 1973, but never produced as a film. Collier's other works range from the poetry collection Gemini (1931) to the novels Tom's A-Cold(1933) and Defy the Foul Fiend (1934), and the short story collections Presenting Moonshine (1941), Fancies and Goodnights (1951), Pictures in the Fire (1958), The John Collier Reader (1972), and The Best of John Collier (1975).

Ray Bradbury started writing fiction at the age of twelve and published his first story when he was twenty. He has since written more than thirty books--novels, stories, essays, plays, and poems--including The Martian Chronicles (1950), the futuristic novel Fahrenheit 451 (1952), and a collection of short stories The Illustrated Man (1951). He lives with his wife in Los Angeles.

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