Mefisto in Onyx

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ellison's in-your-face story about telepathy and a serial killer is his most substantial piece in years--though in length it barely qualifies as a novella. Rudy Pairis is a well-educated black man with telepathic abilities and one true friend in the world, a deputy district attorney named Allison Roche. Allison, who once had a brief sexual liaison with Rudy, presumes on that relationship to ask him to do the unthinkable. She wants him to slip into the mind of the most heinous serial killer she has ever tried to send to the chair, a prospect Rudy looks forward to as much as having ``a skunk spray my pants leg.'' The twisty turnings of the road that eventually lead psychic and psychopath to a confrontation at the electric chair, as well as Ellison's award-winning (World Fantasy, Nebula, Hugo) prose may be too much for some, but it should burn like slow whiskey down the throats of his many hard-bitten fans. Though the ending is predictable--and the language about racial stereotypes brutally candid--the story holds an intense and morbid fascination. The introduction by Frank Miller discussing convicts' ``dead eyes and dead voices'' is also a winner. (Dec.)
Library Journal
The venerable Ellison gives Stephen King and Dean Koontz a run for their money in this unusual love story, his best work in years. The plot concerns narrator Rudy Pairis, who posseses the uncanny ability to ``jaunt in people's landscapes,'' that is, read their minds. ``In a moment of human weakness,'' Pairis reluctantly agrees to jaunt in the landscape of serial killer Henry Lake ``Spanky'' Spanning, a combination of Jack the Ripper, Charlie Manson, and every other wacko ever known rolled into one, as a favor to his best friend, Ally Roche, who after successfully prosecuting Spanning for 29 murders, has fallen in love with him. Before Spanning fries in the chair, she wants to be sure of his actual guilt or innocence. Once Pairis and Spanning meet, the story kicks into high gear, taking the reader on roller coaster maneuvers to arrive safely with the happy yet ironic ending of which Ellison is a master. While this is well worth purchasing, note that a slightly shorter version of the story appeared in the October 1993 issue of Omni magazine. --Michael Rogers, ``Li brary Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780929480312
  • Publisher: Ziesing, Mark V.
  • Publication date: 11/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 91

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