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LoraHatesSpam

Lora Hates Spam

My rants and reviews

Currently reading

Tales in Time: The Man Who Walked Home and Other Stories
Peter Crowther, Robert Silverberg, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury, Lewis Padgett, Garry Douglas Kilworth, James Tiptree Jr., Charles de Lint, Spider Robinson, Jack Finney, L. Sprague de Camp, Brian W. Aldiss, H.G. Wells
Progress: 27/284pages
Books of Blood, Vols. 1-3
Clive Barker
Progress: 98/507pages

The Bottle Imp

The Bottle Imp - Robert Louis Stevenson

by Robert Louis Stevenson

 

This is a tale written for a Polynesian audience, set in Hawaii, yes with Christian elements. Keawe is a mariner and decides to see the world beyond the islands. He books passage to San Francisco where he is impressed by all the fine houses. A man in one of the smaller houses invites him inside and offers to sell him a bottle with an imp from Hell inside who will grant all his wishes. What could go wrong?

 

It comes with certain conditions. The imp cannot grant long life and if the owner of the bottle dies while it is in his possession, he suffers the fires of Hell. The way to escape this is to sell the bottle to someone else, but it has to be sold for less than he paid for it. Naturally the price diminishes over time until it looks like Keawe is going to get stuck with the bottle and take the penalty.

 

The story struck me as familiar and I'm sure I read it or heard it in primary school. The fact that it's a classic author makes that likely. I knew how it would come out, but still enjoyed reading the convolutions of the plot and of course it was excellent writing. It also had a satisfying conclusion and possibly some moral lessons along the way.