Yes, we are all used to a less formal style of writing than one will experience in Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde. And, of course...moreYes, we are all used to a less formal style of writing than one will experience in Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde. And, of course, most have seen at least one film adaptation of the story. Yet, you do yourself a disservice if you do not take the time to read this wonderful classic. No film can bring to mind the terrible struggle of two men of differing spirit in one body. This story is psychological illness made physical in all it's terrifying forms. What a brilliant concept. What brilliant writing!
The Man In The Tree by Damon Knight Berkley, 1984 ISBN: 0-425-06006-3 Cover Illustration by Carl Lundgren Science Fiction
Impeccably written and thought-pro...moreThe Man In The Tree by Damon Knight Berkley, 1984 ISBN: 0-425-06006-3 Cover Illustration by Carl Lundgren Science Fiction
Impeccably written and thought-provoking, you’ll find yourself asking “is Gene Anderson Christ or the Anti-Christ?”
This book will appeal to: Neil Gaiman fans and sci-fi buffs who enjoy the work of Bradbury.
The Man In The Tree
Gene Anderson discovers he has a talent unlike any other in the world. As such, his childhood should have been a thing of wonder. Instead, he ends up a killer on the run, grows into an eight-and-half-foot giant and lives a queer and uncertain life. As he matures, Gene becomes a poet, a millionaire and even a circus freak. He’s also a prophet. Wherein lies Gene’s greatest problem. Is he Christ or is he the Anti-Christ? Not even Gene can answer that question.
Beginning his disturbing novel with a tell-tale poem, Damon Knight presents the reader with a wonderful gift—if only he or she has the imagination to appreciate it.
“When I was young we were giants’ captives. They stripped us, tortured us with facecloths, Left us to endure alone The moonwashed branches on the windows In the long clock-ticking night. We voyaged deep under that black ocean Where Earth eats her daughters in silence, And always returned. By day we had red-jam smiles, Breadcrumb fingers, corn hair. In our pockets were stones, gray string, nails Scavenged as we went. We knew the secret Undersides of things, the roofs of tables. Only insects were smaller than ourselves. We caught locusts and made thm spit tobacco, Poured dust on pismires, puffed ladybirds away. We dreamed of being smaller still: built pebble fences, Roads in dirt, peered with one eye Under green blades. All Eden was Our afternoon. It was the time before They taught us time: before we knew." - Gene Anderson
I found The Man In The Tree to be a marvelous look at the whole idea of Christ. Knight turns and twists our preconceptions before we even have a hint of what he’s up to. The end disturbs.
This novel is my favourite book of all time. Not ever considered popular and never discussed in his biographies, I consider The Man In The Tree to be classic Damon Knight. He always had something to say, and he wrote with a biting wit that was sometimes humorous, sometimes risque, sometimes wry and, in my opinion, often dark.
Out of print, but still available on sites like Amazon, this is a recommended read.
The Best of Damon Knight Barry N. Malzberg, Editor Pocket Books, 1976 ISBN: 0-671-83375-8
“Knight is a man of stature and quality, a writer of importance,...moreThe Best of Damon Knight Barry N. Malzberg, Editor Pocket Books, 1976 ISBN: 0-671-83375-8
“Knight is a man of stature and quality, a writer of importance, and a writer whose works will be a new and perhaps jarring experience for many people who were not around when this oeuvre was being built block by block over the decades.” - Barry M. Malzberg
This book will appeal to readers of short science fiction, fantasy and horror. I compare his works to writers like Neil Gaiman and Ray Bradbury.
The Best of Damon Knight
Not with a Bang, 1949 A funny but quietly horrifying end to the human race.
To Serve Man, 1950 This joke rates up there with the best of them. Some of you will be appalled.
Cabin Boy, 1951 Knight’s translation of an off-colour limerick.
The Analogues, 1952 Curing the disturbed by taking them even closer to crazy.
Babel II, 1953 The title should say it all, but it doesn’t. I won’t spoil your laughs.
Special Delivery, 1954 The life and death of a superman. When you understand the comment being made about human nature, you might agree with me that this is horror.
Thing of Beauty, 1958 Satire at its best.
Anachron, 1953 A study of time paradox where the author once again makes a disturbing comment on the base nature of man.
Extempore, 1956 Another time travel story. Be careful what you ask for!
Backward, O Time, 1956 What if time ran backward? A look at the emotional implications of such a paradox.
The Last Word, 1956 The origination of hell as a burning wasteland.
Man in the Jar, 1957 Capturing an alien has never been more tricky. A nasty story about a nasty man.
The Enemy, 1957 Bleak and much too probable to be a story you can enjoy. This is horror.
Eripmav, 1958 A pun.
A Likely Story, 1956 A science fiction convention visited by what seems to be the paranormal.
Time Enough, 1960 A sad look at the nature of mental disorder.
Mary, 1964 What should be Utopia is actually a horrifying existence for the true individual.
The Handler, 1960 An homunculus reveals society for the hell it really is.
The Big Pat Boom, 1963 You think today’s salesmen are trying? Read this story... and smile.
Semper Fi, 1964 Do we look out for the next generation? Do we?
Masks, 1968 A human prosthetic discovers he’s been left one, terrible emotion.
Down There, 1973 A bleak and, I think, horrifying look at where America might be headed in the future.
In The Best of Damon Knight we see just how easy it is for science fiction, fantasy and horror to be considered as interchangeable. If you truly love horror, and you want to explore what it means to you, I heartily recommend that you find a copy of this book and read it with care. You’ll be entertained, and you’ll learn a lot.