In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury inspired generations of readers to dream, think, and create. A prolific author of hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. An Emmy Award winner for his teleplay The Halloween Tree and an Academy Award nominee, he was the recipient of the 2000 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the 2004 National Medal of Arts, and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, among many honors.
This massive retrospective of self-selected Bradbury stories offers a compendium of his eccentrics, misfits, losers, and small-town dreamers, who typically inhabit an uncanny setting or confront a strange, unsettling situation. Often, it is as if Sherwood Anderson's grotesques suddenly materialized in an Edgar Allan Poe short story. The anthology includes many of Bradbury's Irish anecdotes, village Gothic tales, ironic horror stories, and droll, minimalist sf narratives, frequently set on board his heuristic but obviously inauthentic spaceships or on Mars. While this anthology oddly excludes some of this reviewer's favorites-e.g., "There Will Come Soft Rains" and "The Veldt"-it still represents a generous sampling from his entire career, with several tales taken from his most prized collections, The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man. At times, after one has read tale after tale, Bradbury's raconteur style cloys; the writing can seem stiff with affectation, as if the author were determined to carry through almost any plot idea, however weak or quaint. At other times, he is gently mesmerizing, the story at hand offering a real treat. Recommended for all public libraries and academic libraries where interest warrants.-Roger A. Berger, Everett Community Coll., WA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"ALMOST NO ONE CAN IMAGINE A TIME OR A PLACE WITHOUT THE FICTION OF
RAY BRADBURY. . . . HIS STORIES AND NOVELS ARE PART OF THE AMERICAN
"Ray Bradbury is an old-fashioned romantic who's capable of imagining a dystopic future. He can evoke nostalgia for a mythic, golden past or raise goosebumps with tales of horror."
"Thank the shades of Twain and Melville and the living presence of Pynchon ... that this Poet Laurcate of the Chimerical and Phantasmagoric is still with us, still writing, still freshening our ration of dream dust."