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Tales from the White Hart

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,052 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
From outside it was simply an ordinary looking London pub, a place you'd have to be guided to more than once before you memorized it's location, somewhere between Fleet Street & the Embankment. But, if by chance, an insider led you to the White Hart on a Wednesday night, you would have found yourself in the midst of a select gathering or writers, editors, scientists &a ...more
ebook, 151 pages
Published November 30th 2012 by RosettaBooks (first published January 1957)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 26, 2015 Jokoloyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to read some bar tall tales theme in science fction/fantasy genre. Before this book, I have read Tales From Gavagan's Bar and The Draco Tavern.

Tales From The White Hart (TFTWH) is my third book, and I already has some expectation when reading it. My expectation "hurts" some of the surprises. But I give 4 star rating not because I am a fan of Mr. Clarke, but because the ending of last story is better wrapping up the book than Gavagan or Draco (Draco has a good ending too, Gavagan has the
Aug 17, 2016 Bastet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
De los quince relatos reunidos en el volumen Cuentos de la Taberna del Ciervo Blanco (1957), los que más he disfrutado han sido los que destacan por su sardónico sentido del humor, como «El pacifista»,«Espíritu inquieto» y «La orquídea indecisa». En estos relatos, en los que Arthur C. Clarke busca la complicidad con el lector con fórmulas para que este no pueda dejar de leer, se narran entretenidas historias sobre experimentos fallidos en campos como la física, la química, la medicina, la biolog ...more
May 18, 2016 Xabi1990 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Voy a ser comedido, que no quiero ser demasiado subjetivo ….


(Vale, veo que he logrado eso de ser comedido)

Son cuentos (obvio) que cuentan los parroquianos de una taberna (obvio again) inglesa donde está el flemático camarero y los habituales de la misma, alguno de los cuales cuenta al resto relatos curiosos que les han sucedido bien a ellos –si van como invitados del resto – o bien a algún conocido suyo.

Estos relazon rezuman un humor inglés algo más ácido de los
Mary JL
Sep 03, 2010 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any SF fan
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
Arthur Clarke has published several collections of short stories. This particular book was originally published in 1957---so contains some of his earlier works.

All of the stories are well written; Clarke has a clear prose style and some good ideas. However, this was his early work and none of the story is really memorable. This is the type of book where most Sf readers will read it, enjoy it, and not remember the stories two months later.

However, if you have read Clarke's later works, it is inte
May 06, 2014 Raj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although a fan of Arthur C. Clarke, I'd never heard of this collection before reading Charles Stross's short story A Bird in the Hand on his blog (well worth reading itself), which was written in homage to 'Tales from the White Hart'. I've encountered a few of the stories before in other collections, but never as a set, and I must say that I really enjoyed them.

The humour in these tall tales and shaggy dog stories is evident right from the word go, many of them are build-ups to a single pun deli
Dev Null
Shaggy dog stories, told in a pub. Most end with a raised eyebrow and a pun, or one-line "moral", or warning that the science revealed in the story is _just about_ to change the world. They're amusing enough.

But wow! I mean most of these stories were written in the mid-50s, which I know was a totally different world. But even so, if everyone in the 50s was as sexist as this, I can't help but think that the current generation wouldn't exist. I mean the casual contempt for the abilities of women,
Jun 01, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book of stories about scientific inventions and their unintended consequences, all told by Harry Purvis to his friends at London's White Hart pub. The inventions are usually strange, and the consequences are always unexpected and funny. The book presents a really interesting contrast between the world of 60 years ago and today; in a way these are "mad scientist" stories, in that the inventors/scientists are usually working by themselves or with very small groups, very much unlike the way mos ...more
Lilyn G. (Scifi and Scary)
Tales from the White Hart is a lovely collection of short stories from Arthur C. Clarke. Prior to reading this, I’d honestly had no idea that the man did funny. I’m ashamed of that now, because Clarke does funny very, very well. Filled with sarcastic zingers, unnervingly accurate postulations of the future, and dry wit that will leave many potential readers puzzled as to why the person recommending the book to them is laughing like a hyena, it is truly a fantastic read.

The preface tells us that
Jun 06, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories has some very personal connections. First of all the book though. Its a series of tales from yes you guessed that very British establishment the pub (have actually been in a white Hart myself come to think of it), where tales are told and stories swapped. The stories represent the extremes like all good tales (think Baron Münchhausen at his most respectable) where morals and punchlines take over where restraint and subtly should normally prevail. For example one ...more
Carol Tensen
Dec 28, 2014 Carol Tensen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Oh - Em - Gee!! I finally finished this!!!

Tales From the White Hart is an occasionally enjoyable, uneven collection of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke, all told by Harry Purvis, one of the White Hart's regular customers. Some of the stories are quite clever, but they all tend to follow the same story arc: Someone broaches a topic; Harry puts in his own two cents; Then Harry commandeers the conversation by spinning a yarn that has some semblance of a science basis and is semi-probable; the scie
Erik Graff
Jul 20, 2010 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clarke fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I read this when really young up at paternal grandmother Lajla's cottage on the southwest shore of Lake Michigan--on the great wicker couch in the living room, to be exact. It was a cool night outside. Clarke's device, setting up his stories in the context of tale tales told in a pub, the whole grownup Englishness of it, enchanted me thoroughly, made me think consciously that "now, this is a good book!" To that point, I hadn't often thought such things about what I read, but the style of it stru ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Absolutely outstanding. I hadn't re-read this book for at least twenty years. Somehow it had gotten pigeonholed in my memory as a bit boring and dull.

But it's anything but dull or boring! Classic and funny science fiction stories using the classic bar-story format. Over and over I found myself coming across phrases and ideas which I'd incorporated into my personal lexicon, only to forget where they'd come from. "Oh, so this is where I first read that!" I kept saying.

It's a pity that Clarke wrote
Oct 17, 2013 Ixris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I -adore- Clarke's writing on the whole. This, he admits in a forward, was the answer to someone saying that SciFi cannot be funny.

While the stories were charming, whimsical, even light, I wouldn't call them funny. They were like receiving carnival-grade candy floss when I'm used to the most elaborate 9-course desserts from the same baker. Charming, but not really adding anything to the field.
May 31, 2014 Jessiqa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a set of short stories all told by members of a club that meets at the White Hart. The members are scientists, science journalists, and science fiction writers. We are to understand that the narrator is the author himself. Al but one of the tales are told by club regular Harry Purvis, who can dominate any conversation with one of his tall tales. The tales tend not to end well for the inventors of the strange contraptions, like the scientist who is probably still stuck in an anti-gravity ...more
Matteo Pellegrini

Un iceberg che galleggia nel tiepido mare della Florida, un giocattolo che minaccia di far saltare una stazione televisiva, un'orchidea che rifiuta di commettere il delitto perfetto, un vecchio che insegna alle termiti ad accendere il fuoco, un cervello elettronico che risponde parolacce ai generali: siamo, non c'è bisogno di dirlo, in piena fantascienza. Ma la cornice, questa volta, è insolita: un'osteria della vecchia Londra, un tipico pub di Fleet Street, la famosa strada dei giornali. E' du

May 06, 2014 Mmyoung rated it it was ok
Having fond memories of reading this short story collections years ago I so wanted to enjoy rereading it. I expected it to be chock full of the classism and racism so prevalent at the time it was written and which was relatively 'invisible' decades ago to a young reader just venturing out into the world of science fiction. I was even ready for some degree of sexism and gender stereotyping. What I was not ready for was the constant, unceasing absence of women save for clerks, stenographers, attra ...more
This is a series of tall tales, one of them horizontally tall, told by a group of habitues of a London pub. These are often very humorous, like the defense created against the charge of illegal distilling, but some are disturbing, like The Reluctant Orchid. I wonder which came first, this or the Little Shop of Horrors. These stories were written in the nineteen fifties and you recognize the period in the references to radio "valves" (N.Amer. tubes)although computers of the giant size do appear. ...more
What a wonderful little collection! I've long admired Clarke's novel-length classics (Childhood's End, The Light of Other Days, Rendezvous with Rama), but they tend to be more on the Serious Deep Thoughts end of the spectrum. White Hart is a lovely little jaunt to the other end of the scale: a collection of science-flavored tall tales that are short, sweet, and just the right amount of silly.

Harry Purvis's fantastical stories might seem a little quaint now, especially where they poke fun at the
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Arthur C. Clarke
I found this a charmer--it grew on me--a sum more than its parts. This isn't the usual collection of stand-alone stories. In his Preface Clarke wrote that the tales came out of, "a long unfelt want--for what might be called the "tall" science-fiction story. By this I mean stories that are intentionally unbelievable; not, as is too often the case, unintentionally so. At the same time, I should hate to say exactly where the Great Divide of plausibility comes in these tales, which range from the pe ...more
May 30, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 15 short stories in this collection have all been printed elsewhere, but there is some value in single volume devoted to Clarke's "White Hart" tales, all of which center around the dubious exploits of Harry Purvis. As the author makes clear in his preface, these were intended to be tall tales and were written, at least in part, in order to free Clarke from the restraints of being pigeon-holed as a "serious" sci-fi writer. "Tales," thus, shares some affinity with the work of Clarke's contempo ...more
José Luis
Jul 12, 2011 José Luis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personalmente puedo decir que el libro me ha gustado bastante, es cierto que hay detalles que resultan, o pueden resultar, curiosos como el lenguaje que se utiliza en las narraciones de los distintos relatos pero si nos situamos en el contexto de la época lo raro sería que no nos llamasen la atención.
Lo primero que me gustaría señalar es que los relatos me han evocado a Julio Verne, y eso para un apasionado de Verne es un gran punto a su favor. De niño leía todo lo que caía en mis manos de este
John Everett
Mar 03, 2012 John Everett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Very little about this collection has stuck with me, but that's true of a lot of my early reading. I do recall a few things, though. I had never encountered an English pub before, certainly not in real life (I was a teenager in middle America when I read this, in the 60s), and barely if at all in reading either. I didn't know of the old tradition of marking a pub with an image on a sign outside, which presumably dates to a time before widespread literacy: if you couldn't read, you could still fi ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Geoff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, this collection of short stories just isn't very good. Clarke has written them in the style of the Jorkens pub stories by Lord Dunsany, an associate of Clarke's. The style is fun, and played up for its comedic value. But in practice, there just isn't much meat in these tales. They hinge on a 'gotcha' moment, and they are totally underwhelming. The reveal of 'bees' in one story being a prime example of that.

I won't hold this against Clarke, since the other collection that I've rea
Aug 22, 2014 Randal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA readers getting started on SF
Shelves: sci-fi
Arthur C. Clarke is was and always will be my favorite SF author, since I discovered him and sci-fi at the same time.
I've packed this little collection around for perhaps half my life. It's lost a little luster over the years -- the whole barroom setting has developed some cheese in the interim -- but at this point I'm keeping it mostly so I can stick it in front of our oldest son (and soon, now) and say, "here, try some science fiction."
A classic.
Jul 18, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite of Clarke's works, but a very fun collection anyway. It's a quirky celebration of the power of good storytelling (of the tall tale variety) mixed with a love of science, and a little irreverence thrown in. If you have a rigid or prudish sense of humor, this probably isn't for you.
Anne Seebach
Apr 22, 2014 Anne Seebach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, the characterisations and tone are definitely very dated now, but I still find these short stories delightful. Neatly told, humourous, and despite some obvious advances in science since the time of writing, these stories are still very relatable. I believe this collection will always remain one of my favourites.
Alex Brantham
Jan 30, 2014 Alex Brantham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It avoids all of the usual SciFi cliches and tells simple stories, with plot and characters, without having to resort to aliens with three heads or intergalactic transporter beams.

The humour is delightfully understated, but unmistakable.

If you think you don't like SciFi because it's silly, read this.
Jun 08, 2013 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The short stories in this collection by the famous science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke, revolve around a bar called The White Hart. The narrator for the stories is retelling some hard-to-believe tales told by a frequent customer by the name of Harry Purvis. No matter how much the other customers might question Purvis's stories, Purvis always wins out in the end with customers plying him with free drinks so that he can continue his tales. I found it a little tedious after awhile because the ...more
David Allen
Despite the rocket on the cover of my edition, Clarke's book is completely earthbound, made up of shaggy dog stories that have some science in them and are presented as if told by a pubmate with a penchant for exaggeration. Witty and unpretentious.
Linda Hughes
Apr 02, 2016 Linda Hughes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Tales

This is a light hearted group of people gathered in an English pub. One of the patrons is Purvis, who tells the group tall tales. This is a fun set of stories by the classic sci-fi writer, Arthur C. Clarke.
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Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

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“Pero nadie pensaba que llegaría muy lejos, porque ni siquiera creo que fuera capaz de integrar e elevado a x.
- ¿Es posible tal ignorancia? - preguntó alguien con asombro.
- Puede que esté exagerando. Digamos x por e elevado a x.”
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