Monday, October 26, 2009

"The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge" by Harlan Ellison

This story is an elaborate revenge fantasy, and, let me say this right now, I pity anyone who has ever or will ever cross Harlan Ellison, because this is possibly the most inventive revenge fantasy I've ever read (I havn't read many, but nonetheless). It revolves around the idea that sometimes, just sometimes, the cumulative impotent anger of the entire planet (around 4 billion at the time of the writing of this story), reaches such a critical mass and has to find a place to vent; a "lightening rod" who has been so personally wronged and is so deserving of justice that he/she can siphon off some of that rage.

The "lightening rod" in this story if one Fred Tolliver, who has been wronged by William Weisel, as crooked contractor who took Tolliver for thousands of dollars in exchange for a shoddily made guest bathroom. What follows from this cosmic siphoning off is incredibly elaborate and strangely cathartic, although also at times deeply disturbing.

No comments:

Post a Comment