Kessel, John J. “John Collier.” In Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror, 2: A. E. Coppard to Roger Zelazny, edited by Everett Franklin Bleiler. New York: Scribner’s, 1985. A brief introduction to Collier’s fantasy fiction, commenting on selected works of fiction and placing him within a context of fantasy writers.
Lachman, Marvin S. “John Collier.” In British Mystery Writers, 1920-1939. Vol. 77 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1989. Lachman explores Collier’s skill in writing about domestic murder and malice and praises his economical style, his clever turns of speech, and his “small miracles of characterization.”
Milne, Tom. “The Elusive John Collier.” Sight and Sound 45 (Spring, 1976): 104-108. Milne discusses Collier’s career as a film writer and provides a brief analysis of his fiction.
Richardson, Betty. John Collier. Boston: Twayne, 1983. Richardson provides a comprehensive survey of Collier’s life and milieu, poetry, novels, screenplays, and short fiction to argue that Collier was a radical, a craftsman, a visionary, and a clever and iconoclastic social satirist unappreciated in his time but worthy of revaluation today. Born into a world of Victorian values, he was skeptical of twentieth century dogmas and ideologies that he feared restricted human behavior and crippled human aspirations. Richardson concludes that Collier’s “witty, jaunty, honest, and clear-sighted” writing will endure and blames his neglect on his unusual variety of literary forms, changing critical tastes, his publication in popular journals, and his own personal modesty.
Theroux, Paul. Sunrise with Sea Monsters. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985. Theroux praises the heroine of His Monkey Wife, Emily the chimpanzee, as “sensitive, witty, resourceful,” and personable, and he argues that humans pale beside her. He says that Collier attacks “the jaded twenties types” as “true apes” in need of a “simian redeemer.” He finds the misogyny in Collier’s tales “wickedly cheerful” and “irresistible” and Collier himself “one of the great literary unclassifiables another synonym for genius.”
Vanatta, Dennis. The English Short Story: 1945-1980. Boston: Twayne, 1985. Brief discussion of Collier’s fantasies; including discussions of “Evening Primrose,” “Witch’s Money,” and “Three Bears Cottage”; comments on Collier’s precise style that is often marked by excessive cleverness.