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Tales From Gavagan's Bar

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  12 reviews
The Gavagan's Bar stories fall into the genre of barroom tall tales, though in this instance most of the tall tales turn out to be true, or at least possibly true. The authors patterned them after Lord Dunsany's "Jorkens" stories. The Gavagan's stories are widely considered classics.

· Preface · pr
· Elephas Frumenti [Gavagan’s Bar] · ss F&SF Win/Spr ’50
· The
Mass Market Paperback, 277 pages
Published January 1980 by Bantam Books (first published 1953)
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Classic Science Fiction - 1950-1959
54th out of 140 books — 124 voters
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Best Comedic Sci-Fi Books
132nd out of 383 books — 775 voters

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Community Reviews

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I have weakness, liking stories that occured at the same place/setting in the whole/most of the story (e.g. Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, or Wuxia novel Happy Hero). So, when I learned that there is bar tales theme in fantasy/SF, I was excited.

This is my second fantasy/SF bar tall tales short-stories anthology. My first was The Draco Tavern. I can't help myself comparing these two books, and with Draco Tavern (DT) as the reference, I must remind myself several times if I thought Draco is the
I first read these stories when I was about 10 or 11 years old, then loaned the book to someone and never saw it again. As I was passing the sci-fi section in a well-stocked used bookstore recently, I thought I'd take a chance and, there it was, another compilation of my youth.

Take 2 jiggers of Lord Dunsany's Mr. Jorkens club tales, add a snifter of the rare essence (in 1950) of what we now call "urban fantasy", grate some Damon Runyon to taste (alternati
Roland Volz
Welcome to Gavagan's Bar (rhymes with "pagan") where it's always 1953, the bartender is Irish, and the drinks are never watered down! Where you can rub elbows with mad inventors, dark wizards, and ancient gods masquerading as ordinary schlubs.

The Gavagan's Bar stories were written by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt between 1950 and 1956, and were among those stories that pioneered the modern Fantasy-or-Science-Fiction "Tall Tales." The idea was to write a sci-fi or fantasy story as an anec
A couple of stories got a laugh. A few got a chuckle. Most ended with a shrug of the shoulders. The illustrations are charming.
A charming book that stands up to repeated reading. It's a collection of short stories published in the 1950s, each a tale of supernatural weirdness experienced by the patrons of Gavagan's Bar (rhymes with 'pagan'; located in an unnamed U.S. city that seems like New York to me). On the surface, each story appears to be a typical tall-tale as one would expect to hear in a pub, but the strange happenings within the bar itself cause the patrons to lend more credence to each other's odd claims of fa ...more
Rea K
Mar 13, 2015 Rea K added it
I read this when I was a kid. I didn't understand everything in it, but I loved it. Found my copy in a box (looking for books for my pop sugar book challenge) and so I'm going to reread it. Judge it as an adult.
Fraser Sherman
The title bar seems to magnetically draw people troubled by one sort of supernatural nuisance or another (dragons, were-dachshunds, X-ray spectacles and so on) but presenting this as stories overheard by people soothing themselves with liquor turns most of them into shaggy dog tales or leaves them frustratingly unresolved (I liked that the first time I read it, not so much now). Very much a YMMV book, I think.
One of the biggest surprises of the year for me. It wasn't easy to find and required some internet grimcrackery in order to purchase, but well worth it.
This was a really fun collection of stories to read. If you're into strange tales of the supernatural vein, this is a great choice.
A wonderful read, and the beginning of a whole new sub-genre in science fiction and fantasy.
Didn't really hold my attention, only read a few of the stories.
Need to find this again.
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Lyon Sprague de Camp, (Pseudonym: Lyman R. Lyon) was an American science fiction and fantasy author and biographer. In a writing career spanning fifty years he wrote over one hundred books, including novels and notable works of nonfiction, such as biographies of other important fantasy authors.He was widely regarded as an imaginative and innovative writer and was an important figure in the heyday ...more
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