the following reviews were placed by readers on the amazon.com web-page, from which these extracts have been taken.
"A reader" (April 15, 1999):
It's a short book, 56 pages. You can read it in an hour. It's a strange,
absurd tale. A simple anthology has somehow turned into a never-ending black
hole, sucking in the work of a generation of science fiction writers.
Christopher Priest delivers the story with drama and dry wit. I enjoyed it a
lot. I'm glad I read it; it gives me some sense of closure.
"R. Plath" ("captainfurry" of Indiana, USA – July 13,
Christopher Priest's The Book on the Edge of Forever makes great
strides forward in explaining what events have taken place concerning this
volume of sf history. Is it an Atlantis that sank into a publisher's ocean, or a
noose holding a weight around Ellison's editorial neck? While this slim volume
cannot adequately explain why the book remains in purgatory, it does chart the
small amount of progress made over the past two decades, proposes ways the book
could be made available (should Ellison make the effort), and gives a better
understanding of what happened to this once profound and influential series of
books. The only thing missing is direct comment from Ellison himself, though
Priest posts letters and comments from Ellison which are damning, to say the
least. It's unlikely that The Last Dangerous Visions will ever see print.
The Book on the Edge of Forever is your only chance to find out about
this lost chapter of sf history.
"moderan" (of Chicago, Illinois – October 6, 2000):
Mr Priest collects enough evidence both of Ellison's mercurial personality
and inconsistency regarding this volume to paint a pretty damning portrait.
"A reader" (March 31, 2001):
... a fascinating account of one of the most famous non-books ever
not-published--indeed, Last Dangerous Visions is the science fiction
genre's equivalent to Truman Capote's notoriously unwritten
"masterpiece," Answered Prayers: the same kind of endless
public promises from the author/editor; the same kind of total, unexplained
non-delivery. (In his late-career megalomania, as well as his tendency to play
fast and loose with facts, Ellison does uncannily resemble Capote – there is
an MA thesis here for some enterprising graduate student.) Christopher Priest
has put together his short (too short) essay masterfully, letting Ellison's
words hoist him on his own petard; no one who reads this book objectively can be
left in any doubt that Ellison has seriously mistreated any number of writers
over this project, and that Last Dangerous Visions has become some sort
of unscaleable Kilimanjaro for him, one that he will never climb but which it
would be too humiliating to publicly abandon. (Priest’s book is) refreshingly
honest and a needed corrective to the fawning versions of Ellison so often found
in fanzines (and in his own self-congratulatory essays). In a strange way, Book
on the Edge of Forever presents the most human Ellison ever seen in
print. For those (few?) who can read it objectively, Priest's essay will be a
MEANSPIRITED JEALOUSY, "A reader" (October 28, 2002):
This isn't a book, it's a character assassination. It was written (as those
who admire Ellison's work know) by a minor English writer whose submission to
Ellison's anthology was rejected. Apparently, the rejection so enraged Priest
that he became obsessed with defaming and humiliating Ellison. For years he
self-published the screed and sold it hand-to-hand like a fishmonger at U.K.
science fiction conventions. Then he joined up with a long-time adversary of
Ellison's, Gary Groth, who was one of the founders of a hate group calling
itself Enemies of Ellison. Now this bitter, meanspirited act of
jealousy-on-paper puts money into the pockets of these two scandalmongers using
Ellison's worldwide reputation as cachet. Anyone buying this chapbook should
know it casts Harlan Ellison in a bad light, and every fact or truth included is
recast to make Ellison look like a liar, hypocrite, or worse. If Ellison's
reputation as an editor of significant achievements – Dangerous Visions,
Medea, and Again, Dangerous Visions – has remained bright for
thirty-five years, it explains the ferocity of the outcast Priest's attack on
him. This is a miserable book. Save your money.