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Book Title: Moxonův pán a jiné povídky|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 29.99 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.3
The author of the book: Ambrose Bierce
Date of issue: 1966
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I absolutely love Ambrose Bierce well beyond his real worth and talent. I forgive him all of his transgressions, from his crusty antiquated prose style to more than a few quaintly outdated story ideas. However, there are just a few things that he’s written that are beyond reproach in my book. It’s the wading through his many published works to find them that can be something of a chore. For me, it’s a labor of love. For when you finally stumble across one of his finer efforts, there are hardly any words to describe the amazement of his darkly disturbing humor and equally bleak worldview, all of which more than justifies his nickname as “Bitter” Bierce.
Essentially, most, if not all, of his original books are out of print but there are a great many collections of his works out there still circulating that keeps his name alive. However, this particular collection holds the majority of my favorites all in one volume and makes for the perfect one stop shopping for all of your Bierce needs.
For the uninitiated, I think that picking up a copy of this one volume is all they will ever need. I would suggest first reading “The Devil’s Dictionary,” as being as good an introduction as any for what lies in store for them ahead. This is not a novel or story but something of an actual dictionary of sorts where words are listed and then defined…only not in the normal definition. Here are a few examples:
ADMIRATION, n. Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.
ALONE, adj. In bad company.
APOLOGIZE, v.i. To lay the foundation for future a offence.
You get the general idea.
I strongly advise to skip the co-authored novel present here titled “The Monk And The Hangman’s Daughter,” in its entirety. My next recommendation would be to read the stories in the section called “In The Midst Of Life; Tales Of Soldiers And Civilians,” which is sure to strike an occasional chord or two with the reader. If nothing else, leap straight to “Chickamauga,” which is one of his most undeniably greatest stories ever. This tale starts as seemingly nothing more than a playful outing with a young child pretending to be a soldier alone by himself. He grows tired and falls asleep where he lays and when he wakes up the tale quickly turns morbidly absurd if not surreal. The ending is one of great horror and shock, as well possessing a masterful twist that reveals the true nature of this little boys adventure in several respects.
Ambrose was a veteran of the Civil War for the Union side and was present for many of the most horrific battles ever fought in this war. He was actually present at the battle of Chickamauga, which is reported to have had over 34,000 casualties in a span of just two days. This surely sparked much of his avowed distaste for humanity as a whole, as well as caused a serious dark streak in his work.
Overall, one will not find another story in this collection better than this particular one here, nor in any other book written by Ambrose [or quite possibly by any other writer of this time]. However, there are still a few gems scattered here and there that are still worth mining for. Most of these can be classified as “horror” or at the very least “suspense.” Often times these deal with the otherworldly but more often than not they are rooted firmly in reality.
Some of my favorites are Killed At Resaca, The Coup de Grace, A Watcher By The Dead, The Suitable Surroundings, One Summer Night, A Tough Tussle, The Damned Thing and Haita The Shepherd to name but a few. The other story that I must call special attention to is “Oil Of Dog,” which was originally published in a collection called “The Parenticide Club.” This entire collection naturally deals with the demise of ones parents as the title clearly implies. Although a rather distasteful an abhorrent subject for many people, I’m quite sure that there are more than a few out there that will find the subject matter quite heartening. This one story in particular that I mention is an absolute work of clever absurdity that even for those that love and respect their elders will find themselves laughing despite themselves.
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Read information about the authorAmbrose Gwinnett Bierce (1842-1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and his satirical lexicon, The Devil's Dictionary.
The sardonic view of human nature that informed his work – along with his vehemence as a critic, with his motto "nothing matters" – earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce."
Despite his reputation as a searing critic, however, Bierce was known to encourage younger writers, including poet George Sterling and fiction writer W. C. Morrow.
Bierce employed a distinctive style of writing, especially in his stories. This style often embraces an abrupt beginning, dark imagery, vague references to time, limited descriptions, the theme of war, and impossible events.
Bierce disappeared in December 1913. He is believed to have traveled to Mexico to gain a firsthand perspective on that country's ongoing revolution.
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