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Author Bradbury's Book
In the summer of 1928, Douglas Spaulding, of fictional Green Town, Illinois, is twelve years old. For the first time, Douglas is fully conscious of every major and minor event of the summer, and with the help of his younger brother Tom he determines to record all the revelations of June, July, and August. The boys help their grandfather make batches of Dandelion Wine, which Douglas thinks of as bottled memories of the summer; they visit "The Time Mac...
This 1997 collection is uneven and at times weak. There is less fantasy or science fiction than in many of Bradbury's earlier works; themes include meeting a familiar face in a distant place ("Remember Me?"), children's storytelling and kissing games ("House Divided"), looking up an old flame ("I Wonder What's Become of Sally?"), and the revenge of the nerd everybody picked on ("The Highest Branch on the Tree"). But the book has some terrific moments: Br...
The main character, Montag is a fireman that lives in a suburban area. Being a fireman is a job that is important to that society. That society says it burns away worries and problems, giving people a carefree life. Books are illegal because reading requires thought and analyzing. This would not be acceptable to the civilization because its purpose is for people to have a carefree life. After Montag watches a woman get burned to death, he begins to...
Green Shadows, White Whale
Loosely based on the period in 1953 when Bradbury lived in Ireland and worked on the screenplay of "Moby Dick" for film director John Huston. A series of terrific set-pieces (for example, "The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place," "The Cold Wind and the Warm," and "The Anthem Sprinters") are strung together with accounts of the writer-narrator's meetings with the director, and incidents of the latter's casual cruelty and unreasonable demands. But the ...
I Sing The Body Electric!
Dating from 1971, this is one of Bradbury's best story collections. Not only does it have tales that could easily have come from _Martian Chronicles_ ("Night Call, Collect" and the melodramatic "The Lost City of Mars"), or from _Dandelion Wine_ ("Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby's Is a Friend of Mine"), but there is also a marvelous homage to and parody of Hemingway ("The Kilimanjaro Device"), an uncharacteristically creepy portrait of an otherworldly los...
Let's All Kill Constance
On a dark and stormy night, an unnamed writer of fantasy and science fiction is visited by a terrified actress friend. She gives him two books - a 1920s telephone book and a personal address book. Most of the people she knows from the 1920s are dead, and many of the names in the address book are circled in red. Her name is among them. The implication is that those whose names are circled are marked for death. The writer goes off on a madcap chase ...
Long After Midnight
This 1976 volume is the last of Bradbury's great short story collections, and my personal favorite. "One Timeless Spring" is a unique coming-of-age tale of a 12-year-old who is convinced his parents are poisoning him; "The Utterly Perfect Murder" details a 48-year-old's revenge on the boy who bullied him when they were 12; "Have I Got a Chocolate Bar for You!" depicts the relationship between a Catholic priest and the rotund young man who periodically co...
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, two almost 14 year olds in small town Illinois of the 1920's become intrigued by Cooger and Dark's carnival and its October arrival. They come to the attention and chase of the sinister Mr. Dark, who is giving people their most secret wishes. Finally, it is up to Will's aging and reticient father to brave the dark carnival and rescue the boys from Mr. Dark and his troupe of grotesques....
The Martian Chronicles
Humans have landed on Mars. Having established outposts and colonies, they now set out to conquer the Martians. This novel, which is full of wonder regarding a largely fantastic (as opposed to scientifically feasible) planet, offers insights into the nature of humanity, especially as invaders. The book consists of a series of short stories that are unified mostly by time and space, all of them taking place on Mars, and show, collectively, the tendenc...
Zen in the Art of Writing
In this delightful set of essays, Bradbury talks about his loves (rockets, dinosaurs, circuses) and what writing means to him. There isn't really much about zen in this book, or even about writing in a technical or practical sense. Instead, Bradbury talks of the intangibles -- love, hate, the passions that drive good writing. There are lots of anecdotes and just plain good spirits. "...I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space trav...
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