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WHY I LEFT HARRY'S ALL NIGHT HAMBURGERS [Hardcover]

Sheila Williams
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 1 1990
Twelve stories taken from the pages of the popular science fiction magazine introduce the aliens who meet nightly at a Virginia hamburger joint and aliens live in the Yorkshire moors, keeping local superstitions alive. Reprint. SLJ.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 8-11-- A strong, well-balanced short-story collection featuring a sophisticated, artfully arranged blend of science fiction and fantasy. The stories vary in plot and writing style, yet their vitality and versatility are excellent. Especially memorable are Somtow Sucharitkul's "The Web Dancer," a beautifully written tale of a young girl's obsession with performing a triple somersault on an overhead rope; in contrast is Edward D. Hoch's hilarious science-fiction mystery, "The Homesick Chicken," which answers the proverbial question as to why the chicken crossed the road. An enchanting tale of hobgoblins that begs to be read aloud is Judith Moffett's "The Hob." And don't overlook Asimov's thought-provoking work about a future education system, "Profession." Great for reading aloud or for individual enjoyment. --Pam Spencer, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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2.0 out of 5 stars Why I Didn't Like Harry's All-Night Hamburgers May 22 2004
Format:Hardcover
The cover and title of this anthology would lead readers to believe it will contain some off-the-wall SF stories in similar idiosyncratic style. The opening foreword by Isaac Asimov states that the stories chosen for this anthology mostly take place on Earth and feature young protagonists. All I can say is, the foreword and cover seem to have been created for a different anthology. The Introduction by Charles Ardai is more helpful in warning readers that this collection of stories ranges over a variety of fantastic worlds of all sorts. This anthology contains a veritable hodge-podge of stories from Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Despite my complaints, there are some worthwhile stories included in this anthology. The illustrious Isaac Asimov's Profession-the story that sparked this anthology-is one such inclusion. I also enjoyed And Who Would Pity a Swan? by Connie Willis, even though I was not expecting to find a fairy-tale retelling in this particular anthology and Still Time by James Patrick Kelly was a decent look at one man facing a nuclear war. But the less than inspiring stories are numerous. The Homesick Chicken by Edward D. Hoch is entirely set up for a bad joke. The White Babe by Jane Yolen feels like an incomplete piece. Fans of her Great Alta Saga will recognize the origins of White Jenna here, but the story itself doesn't feel satisfying. Contrary to Asimov's opening foreword, the stories here are from all different worlds-some SF, some fantasy, some a mixture. While I don't necessarily mind this, the overall effect of the packaging is misleading.
If you don't mind a sort of Pot Luck approach to an anthology, you might want to see if your local library has a copy of this to borrow. But I'm not certain it's worth buying.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why I *Did* Like Harry's All-Night Hamburgers July 11 2005
By GMA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
While I agree with the previous reviewer that this collection is uneven and even a 'hodge-podge,' I didn't find that to be such a bad thing. True, it's not a collection of classic sci-fi stories, as the dust jacket may make it seem--but the wide variety of stories makes the collection enjoyably unpredictable, avoiding the repetitiveness that plagues some collections of science fiction. I first read this anthology in elementary school, and found a couple of its stories so entrancing that I have continued to check it out from time to time just to reread those stories.

In my opinion, it's worth tracking down a copy of this book just for the story "The Web Dancer," which is incredibly beautiful and sad and has had an enormous influence on me. The fact that it also contains "And Who Would Pity A Swan?," "The Hob," the title story, and the story about glaciers whose title I don't remember makes it even more worthwhile. Certainly there are a few poorly constructed or just plain bad stories, as pointed out by the other reviewer, but their presence doesn't destroy or dominate the anthology to such an extent as to make it not worth reading.

Besides, someone connected with my high school gave this book a good review. How can I disagree?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why I Didn't Like Harry's All-Night Hamburgers May 22 2004
By Shanshad - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The cover and title of this anthology would lead readers to believe it will contain some off-the-wall SF stories in similar idiosyncratic style. The opening foreword by Isaac Asimov states that the stories chosen for this anthology mostly take place on Earth and feature young protagonists. All I can say is, the foreword and cover seem to have been created for a different anthology. The Introduction by Charles Ardai is more helpful in warning readers that this collection of stories ranges over a variety of fantastic worlds of all sorts. This anthology contains a veritable hodge-podge of stories from Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
Despite my complaints, there are some worthwhile stories included in this anthology. The illustrious Isaac Asimov's Profession-the story that sparked this anthology-is one such inclusion. I also enjoyed And Who Would Pity a Swan? by Connie Willis, even though I was not expecting to find a fairy-tale retelling in this particular anthology and Still Time by James Patrick Kelly was a decent look at one man facing a nuclear war. But the less than inspiring stories are numerous. The Homesick Chicken by Edward D. Hoch is entirely set up for a bad joke. The White Babe by Jane Yolen feels like an incomplete piece. Fans of her Great Alta Saga will recognize the origins of White Jenna here, but the story itself doesn't feel satisfying. Contrary to Asimov's opening foreword, the stories here are from all different worlds-some SF, some fantasy, some a mixture. While I don't necessarily mind this, the overall effect of the packaging is misleading.
If you don't mind a sort of Pot Luck approach to an anthology, you might want to see if your local library has a copy of this to borrow. But I'm not certain it's worth buying. Most of the contributors to this anthology have published far better work in their years at writing. If you're looking for some excellent, quirky SF anthologies, I suggest skipping this one and checking out MICROCOSMIC TALES for a range of short-short classic SF stories, or some volumes of THE YEAR'S BEST SCIENCE FICTION.
Happy Reading! ^_^ Shanshad
4.0 out of 5 stars Read as a kid and still great as an adult Dec 14 2012
By Francisco Delgado - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book back in middle school and had a craving to read it as an adult. I found it here on amazon and loved all the stories in it. A few of course are better than others but the main title story is a great short read that was worth the price of the book itself.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't know about the rest of the stories but... Jan. 19 2011
By Tedley7 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Harry's is one of the best shorts around. Have you ever been to Peru? Why bother - I bet you haven't seen what's down the street. Harry's make's this point most eloquently.
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