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Fantastic Fables

Fantastic Fables (Paperback) by Ambrose Bierce (Author)

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Another collection of short fiction and sketches.


4 out of 5 stars A little gem--right where it hurts, October 30, 2000

By Philip Challinor (London England)

This review is from: Fantastic Fables (Paperback)

This book stands with the Devil's Dictionary and In the Midst of Life as one of Ambrose Bierce's finest achievements. Dozens and dozens of short - sometimes very short - fables, each one a small, sharp needle in the backside of respectable hypocrisy. Some are simply written-out jokes, like the one about the baby ostrich who swallowed a bottle-cap ("Go quickly, my child, and swallow a corkscrew", says its mother); but the best of them to my mind are those featuring metaphors or abstract concepts as characters, like the one about the Moral Principle and the Temporary Expedient which met on a narrow bridge one day with predictably humiliating results. All the usual suspects are here - corrupt politicians, pious hypocrites, daffy judges and members of the Women's Press Association snarl, whimper, wheedle, preach, cheat and sneak alongside various Pairs of Hands making unauthorised incursions into Treauries, Streaks of Lightning failing to match the speed of Politicians Running for Office, and Blotted Escutcheons doing what Blotted Escutcheons do. Readers of the Devil's Dictionary, with its numerous improving anecdotes and rhymes, will know what to expect; anyone else is in for a treat, or possibly a coronary.

4 out of 5 stars 245 bits of wisdom from an American master, September 22, 2003

By gac1003 "gac1003"

This review is from: Fantastic Fables (Paperback)

This unique book is filled with 245 "fantastic fables" as Ambrose Bierce termed them. Each one is a classic of Bierce's bitterness and insight into such things as greedy politicians, not-so-holy holy men, legislators, doctors, judges, dogs sheep, lions and diplomats. Many read more like anecdotes, but in true fable style, he personifies animals as well as ideas, and even creates his own fantastic characters, such as the Pahdour of Patagascar and the Gookul of Madagonia. Bierce attacks each fable with much of his own sarcasm and satirical style. He even re-works some of Aesop's reknowned fables to suit his needs. Fans of Bierce's work will want to add these little gems to his or her collection.

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