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Becoming Ray Bradbury Hardcover – August 4, 2011
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"Every page is packed with fascinating material about one of this country’s most beloved writers."--The Washington Post, Michael Dirda
"A stunningly good examination of what in Ray's life turned him into the unique, individual writer he became."--Huffington Post
"A very Bradburyian biography."--SFRA Review
"Eller's work is thorough and enlightening on the subject of one of science fiction's greatest minds. Highly recommended not just for Bradbury fans but for all students of science fiction."--Library Journal
About the Author
Jonathan R. Eller is a professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, the senior textual editor of the Institute for American Thought, and the cofounder of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI. He is the coauthor of Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction and the textual editor of The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, Volume 1: 1938-1943.
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Top Customer Reviews
For more on this particular work, see this review: [...]
And for more on Dr. Eller, you might want to visit the Center for Ray Bradbury studies' site:
Eller’s focus in this first volume is on Bradbury’s sources and influences, along with his friendships with Ed Hamilton, Jack Williamson, Leigh Brackett, Henry Kuttner, and Catherine L. Moore, who were his early writing mentors. Since Eller has three volumes to work with (Volume 2 is coming out in August, 2014 and Volume 3 is underway), he can get into details about Bradbury’s reading, education, and mentoring that Sam Weller did not have time for. (Sam Weller, the author of the also excellent *The Bradbury Chronicles*. On the other hand, Weller spent more time describing Bradbury’s family and childhood in the Midwest.)
You might guess that a discussion of favorite authors and sources of inspiration would be dry, but Eller makes it fascinating. He has a lively writing style, and his own long friendship with Bradbury gives him plenty of entertaining stories and refreshing insight. We learn about his inspiration gained by reading well-known authors like Katherine Anne Porter, Hemingway, Steinbeck, and dozens of others. But I also learned about authors I had only vaguely known. One of the biggest influences on *Fahrenheit 451* was the post-WWII novel, *Darkness at Noon* by Arthur Koestler.Read more ›
In this first volume of a projected three volume series, Professor Eller shows us the birth of a writer. We learn of the influences of growing up in Illinois and California and traveling in Mexico on his themes. We see him get involved in writing in high school and make connections in the world of science fiction and publishing. We learn of his success at a young age getting published in the science fiction pulps and his push towards getting his writing in the slicks.
More than this, we learn of Bradbury’s habits as a writer. We see him learn to develop his own style. We watch as he grows into a master of the short story and struggle with developing the skills necessary to a novelist. His propensity towards rewrite and revision—a sign of his perfectionism—often frustrated his plans and his publishers. And, anyone familiar with Bradbury will know that his early “novels” like The Martian Chronicles are mainly collections of previous published stories which he provided with linking narratives. Even Fahrenheit 451, arguably his best and most famous novel started as a short story he ultimately expanded upon.
This volume takes us up to the publication of Fahrenheit 451, when Bradbury will vault into fame. For anyone interested in the world of writing and in Bradbury’s writing in particular, this a book not to be missed. (I count myself among those thus interested. I was fortunate enough to encounter Mr.Read more ›