Everyone knows the saying, "Behind every great man, there's a great woman." Well, in Conjure Wife, the great woman is a witch, and her great man doesn't know that. And it's worldwide: all women are witches, and they either know of or practice witchcraft.
Here's the gist:
One day, feeling good and taking a moment to reflect on his life, Norman Saylor, a professor of sociology at Hempnell College, begins to ponder his successes, one of which he considers his wife, Tansy. How did I ge...more
A little disturbing for a guy to read....
However I liked it quite a lot. It caused me to read Our Lady of Darkness...a more complex book , but with an inferior story I believe. This one is just better "story-telling".
I found the story catching me quickly and pulling me along toward the climax. Imaginative and a...more
Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife is listed on every “Masterpieces of Classic Horror” list out there, so I was eager to experience it myself for the first time.
But this tale of witchcraft in the world of academia left me with some unsettling questions, like, “What woman in Fritz Leiber’s life damaged him to the point he would write such a weird, misogynistic tale?”
Serialized in 1940 pulp magazines, and released as a novel in 1953, Conjure Wife‘s pre...more
This tale is set on a New England small college campus. A very conservative one that is buccolic at the same time. Norman Saylor and his wife Tansy are young, up...more
I found the writing clever. I was transplanted into the cutthroat world of college politics. Who knew that the wives could be just as fierce as their faculty husbands? And that they would resort to sorcery and witchcraft to keep their husbands (and themselves by relation) in power? Things get pretty nasty!
I think that there is some...more
This is a mistake Norman will soon live to regret as his comfortable life begins to unravel. See, it seems that Tansy wasn’t the only one practicing witchcraft and the grasping wives of Norman’s colleagues at the college have been practicing as well. Now, what with the protections ceasin...more
Then, in one instant of diabolic, paralyzing insight,he knew that this was sorcery. No mer...more
The twist was actually stupid, but it came at the right time and had just the right at...more
Without books like "Conjure Wife," there would be no Richard Matheson, no Stephen King, no Clive Barker. In short, no "modern urban fantasy."
The plot in a nutshell: a sociologist discovers his wife--and all women--are practicing witches. Thi...more
After I finished with the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser adventures, I wanted to try something not 'sword & sorcery' by the author. Conjure Wife has been recommended to me as a good example of his more modern work, and indeed it is quality proof of Fritz Leiber versatility. This one is a psychological thriller with strong horror elements. The poet who sang of heroic deeds and exotic landscapes is still present in the elegant prose and powerful atmospheric scenes of tempest and nights in the ce...more
One of these days I will have to sit down and figure out how many books I have chosen to read because of movies I've seen, and how many authors I have finally understood and enjoyed because I saw a movie made from the book first. Conjure Wife is one of the former since I didn't know that there was a book upon which the movie Burn, Witch Burn, which I first saw many moons ago, was based.
Earlier this week when I read that Conjure Wife was indeed what the movie was based on, I had to read the book....more
Norman Saylor is that most-rational of men: the staid, college professor. He leads a relatively quiet life as an ethnosociologist at Hempnell College, a stereotypically conservative liberal arts school in New England. His wife, Tansy, is young, vivacious, and bit of a cipher for the other professor's wives in his social circle. If he's not well-liked by the other Hempnell faculty, he at least has their respect; though he secretly holds many of them and...more
"Oh, it was a wonderful day all right, one of those days when reality becomes a succession of such bright and sharp images that you are afraid that any moment you will poke a hole in the gorgeous screen and glimpse the illimitable, unknown blackness it films; when everything seems so friendly and right that you tremble lest a sudden searing flash of in...more
Norman Saylor is a s...more
Spoiler Bit Follows...
The book's premise is simple: magic is real, and many...more
But, if you can forgive that, and just go with the story, it's actually quite a compelling little tale about a university professor and ethnologist who...more
Norman Saylor is a rational college profes...more
P.s. this book was written in the fourties and is the first place that the word...more
This Fritz Leiber is at heart a horror novel. A small town college professor discovers his wife thinks she’s a witch, and forces her to give up all her charms and such. Of course, she really was a witch and when she gives up her power, other faculty wives, witches all, make their moves against the young couple. The novel seems to have a feel for the academy and the small town college stuff is, if dated, believable. I can’t believe I’ve never read this. Nor can I believe that...more
I liked parts of this a lot, but there were things that didn't make sense. Tansy knows her magic is real, so why does she give it up so easily? When she disappears one morning, how is it possible for Norman to receive a letter...more