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Savoy Books 

The Glass Teat

Harlan Ellison


1979

210mm x 148mm

Soft covers

First UK publication

Distributed by New English Library
and David Gold & Son (Holdings) Ltd

224 pp

ISBN 0 86130 005 X

The Glass Teat

  "I am not really talking about TV here. I am talking about dissidence, repression, censorship, the brutality and stupidity of much of our culture, the threat of the Common Man, the dangers of being passive in a time when the individual is merely cannon-fodder."

Outspoken television criticism from the media jouster and all-round fucking rumble merchant. As with Hunter S Thompson, so with Ellison, whose TV criticism and comments on politicians, rock bands, film stars and celebs capture the discordant and hurdy-gurdy flavour of that period with a puckish conscience. The Glass Teat was first published as a series of columns from the Los Angeles Free Press by Ace Books, who released the book version in the US in 1970. Ellison was immediately placed on the then Governor of California Ronald Reagan's 'subversives list' of alleged Communist sympathisers. The 'Freep' offices were bombed. Draw your own conclusions.

Jacket art by Ellison's preferred artists Leo and Diane Dillon.


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Reviews

"Ellison is not only a first-rate novelist and a highly skilled screenwriter, but a man of passion and, consequently, his book...is less journalese than informal literature (the difference, an old newspaper man once told me, is like the difference between bricklaying and architecture). Unlike a lot of quack critics that abound, Ellison can be enthusiastic...he can attack his typewriter with both fists and white anger..."

LOS ANGELES TIMES

 

"The Glass Teat can be called nothing less than a memorable book..."

WALTER CRONKITE

 

"Ellison is an effective gadfly. He presents the anti-Establishment with a flair..."

SAN JOSE MERCURY-NEWS

 

"From 1968 to 1970, Ellison was television critic for the Los Angeles Free Press. His columns have been collected in two volumes, The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat.

Most television critics refuse to take the medium too seriously, thereby blunting the force of their own criticism. Ellison, perhaps influenced by his own experience in the medium (as scriptwriter), fully appreciates the importance of television and its effect on the mass culture. For Ellison, television criticism becomes a no-holds-barred war against mediocrity.

During his two year tenure, Ellison came out in favour of TV violence ("dispensing with violence on TV is tantamount to dropping a Bufferin and thinking it'll cure cancer"), repeatedly supported dissenters, offered some inside info on the hazards of writing for television, and listed the shows providing the best accompaniment for sex on a waterbed. For his efforts, Ellison received the dubious rewards of causing the Free Press building to be bombed and having the original publisher of The Glass Teat back out of doing the sequel.

With an ego that knows no bounds, Ellison constantly intrudes into his writings. The reader learns of his career as a writer, his love life, his hatred of cops, the anti-Semitism he encountered as a small boy in Ohio, his involvement in the civil rights and anti-war movement, and just about anything else one might want to know about him. Like most American writers, Ellison is his own favourite character."

TOM McCARTHY

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