Deal Me In, Week 41 ~ “Goodbye to All That”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“Goodbye to All That” by Harlan Ellison

Card picked: Ten of Spades

From: McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, ed. by Michael Chabon

Thoughts: Coleman is searching for the Core of Unquenchable Perfection. The Intellectual Center of the Universe. The Foci of Conjunctive Simultaneity. In lesser words, Shangri-la. Just when he thinks that he will die during a Himalayan storm, the weather calms and he sees above him

…what appeared to be a golden structure rising from the summit, its shape a reassuring and infinitely calming sweep of dual archlike parabolas.

Before Coleman is the ultimate test. One wrong word and the wisdom of ages will be withheld from him. The custodians also want to know, would Coleman like that super-sized?

“Goodbye to All That” is not a standout piece by Ellison, but it is far from being the least enjoyable story in this anthology. Trivia: Ronald Coleman played the lead in the 1937 film adaptation of The Lost Horizon, the novel which originated Shangri-la.

3 thoughts on “Deal Me In, Week 41 ~ “Goodbye to All That”

  1. Pingback: Deal Me In – Weeks 39-41 Wrap Up | Bibliophilopolis

  2. Jay

    I hadn’t heard of this one. Interesting that the protagonists name is Coleman since, if I’m not mistaken, it was actor Ronald Coleman (maybe Colman?) who was the star who “found” Shangri-La in the film version of Lost Horizons…

    PS The Foci of Conjunctive Simultaneity?!? Wow! 🙂

    1. Katherine Nabity Post author

      I’ve heard Ellison talk about the movie and especially that scene in the past, so the connection is probably on purpose. This is definitely a lesser known of Ellison’s works. The verbiage in it is particularly dizzying. 😉


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