A lot of people skip introductions to books which is just as well in the case of this one but the contents really do not need an introduction.
The eleven stories here, first published between 1957 and 1969, can stand up and speak for themselves very well indeed. From the opening shot of the title story to the close with "A boy and his dog" the author delivers a fine selection of his work.
There are no weak stories in this book, every one is a good read. The title story, "Try a Dull Knife", "Santa Claus VS. S.P.I.D.E.R." and "A boy and his dog" are my favourites and they show the range of Ellison's talents from horror to science fiction and also display his characteristic cynical humour.
"A boy and his dog" is the best known story here largely because it has been made into a very controversial film. It also happens to be one of Ellison's finest stories and that is praise indeed. It tells the story of fifteen year old Vic and his telepathic dog Blood in a post apocalypse America. Even though it is a brutish story, Ellison's wit and lucid writing style make it a compelling read.
The stories here will appeal to almost any SF fan though, if you are new to Ellison, the book "The Essential Ellison" is a better first buy. If you like this author and wonder what else you might like to read, I'd suggest short story collections by Bruce Sterling and Eric brown.
Although this book is out of print, it is available together with the anthology "Love ain't nothing but sex misspelled" as volume four of the Edgeworks series. I note though that the contents of the Edgeworks version are not the same as the contents of my copy of this book.