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The Supernatural Tales of Fitz-James O'Brien: Dream Stories and Fantasies

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32 review for The Supernatural Tales of Fitz-James O'Brien: Dream Stories and Fantasies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Eisenberg

    Fitz is a new name for me and I'm really glad I made this discovery. All of these stories were written in the mid 1850's (apparently he was killed during the Civil War) and, interestingly enough, I noticed many similarities, not only in his style of writing, but in subject matter as well with the master, Lord Dunsany. I wonder if Dunsany ever acknowledged or even name-dropped O'Brien because reading stories like "An Arabian Nightmare", "The Dragon-Fang Possessed by the Conjuror Piou-Lu", "Three Fitz is a new name for me and I'm really glad I made this discovery. All of these stories were written in the mid 1850's (apparently he was killed during the Civil War) and, interestingly enough, I noticed many similarities, not only in his style of writing, but in subject matter as well with the master, Lord Dunsany. I wonder if Dunsany ever acknowledged or even name-dropped O'Brien because reading stories like "An Arabian Nightmare", "The Dragon-Fang Possessed by the Conjuror Piou-Lu", "Three of a Trade" and others contained in this (to) thin volume certainly bring to mind Dunsany's fantastic descriptive prose and thought provoking, almost fable like style of tale telling. There are major differences though. O'Brien seemed to be unafraid to wield a razor sharp sabre of (sometimes) biting satire coupled with a rapid fire sense of humor. In fact, at times the one liners come fast and furious as if whatever subject he's attacking is the unfortunate recipient of a roast. Combine this with some very thoughtful, occasionally very touching and especially VERY ironic messages in his stories and the result is an excellent read. This volume collects his dream stories, most emanating from the now current tried and true trope of..."it never happened, it was only a dream" and his longer fantasies. It's the latter where most of the satire comes in. The fantasies especially were a joy to read...most falling into a brilliantly absurd, weird fairy tale sort of thing ala Alice in Wonderland. The one story that seemed out of place, and the one I enjoyed the least, "How I Overcame my Gravity" bled into the science fiction genre, and even that was interesting given it came from a mid 19th century perspective. I certainly plan on seeking out the first volume which contains his macabre tales and, if I could, I would have given this book 4 and a half stars. Recommended!!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    I won't say that if you're a Poe fan, you'll love these tales, but I suspect you'll at least like them. O'Brien works in much the same vein as Cousin Edgar, and is obviously influenced by the earlier writer, with stories of obsessions, supernatural encounters, and, naturally, the death of at least one beautiful woman (two if you count 'Animula' of "The Diamond Lens"). Perhaps O'Brien has his own voice; these works are his supernatural fare, and so it seems natural that he would to some extent imi I won't say that if you're a Poe fan, you'll love these tales, but I suspect you'll at least like them. O'Brien works in much the same vein as Cousin Edgar, and is obviously influenced by the earlier writer, with stories of obsessions, supernatural encounters, and, naturally, the death of at least one beautiful woman (two if you count 'Animula' of "The Diamond Lens"). Perhaps O'Brien has his own voice; these works are his supernatural fare, and so it seems natural that he would to some extent imitate the giant in this genre. Saying this, I will add that this does not in the least copies of Poe's work; rather, say they are further explorations on the same subjects. I expect anyone who has read and enjoyed Poe will enjoy this book, too, and it may well be that someone who doesn't care for Poe will still find Fitz to his liking—there's enough of a difference, I think, for that.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Christiane

    I actually have Volume 1: Macabre Tales, but I don't see that listed here. I admit I didn't read all the stories; I don't think they all quite hold up as well as the delighfully creepy "The Wondersmith". I actually have Volume 1: Macabre Tales, but I don't see that listed here. I admit I didn't read all the stories; I don't think they all quite hold up as well as the delighfully creepy "The Wondersmith".

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  5. 4 out of 5

    Yoguul

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Conlon

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chloe (Girl In The Woods Reviews)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Masha

  9. 4 out of 5

    Allan

  10. 5 out of 5

    doowopapocalypse

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Siegrist

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

  15. 4 out of 5

    Conor

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cierra

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susanna

  18. 4 out of 5

    J.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chriskolak

  22. 5 out of 5

    Allen

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel Gibbs

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hanna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cambria

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wolf Price

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brian Brennan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  29. 4 out of 5

    Max Redford

  30. 5 out of 5

    David Brown

  31. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Bacal

  32. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

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