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Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars Paperback – August 15, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (August 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060585692
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060585693
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The grand master's many fans will delight in behind-the-scenes stories about the creation of such science fiction classics as The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes (which began as a film project for Gene Kelly), but that's just one of Bradbury's many facets on display in this collection of 37 essays. We also learn about his encounters with famous men, from Walt Disney to Bertrand Russell; adventures in Hollywood; and even his love for going out in the rain. Some of these stories may be familiar, and some are told twice, but Bradbury's friendly, conversational tone always makes them worth hearing again. (The tale of how he overcame his fear of flying especially benefits from the jocular narration.) Some of the essays haven't been seen in decades, like an introduction to a paperback edition of Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which cleverly juxtaposes captains Nemo and Ahab, and a dozen are being published for the first time. Whether Bradbury is talking about cross-country train trips or manned flight to Mars, his enthusiasm remains as contagious as ever. The intimate connection many readers already feel through Bradbury's fiction will be strengthened by these highly personal reminiscences. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Still productive and in frequent demand for public appearances at 84, Ray Bradbury has achieved a status won by few other science-fiction writers. As Sam Weller's highly praised biography, The Bradbury Chronicles (2005), highlighted, Bradbury's broad influence on the genre and popular culture in general justifies his establishment as an American literary icon. Throughout a career spanning more than 65 years, he has tried his hand at fantasy, sf, poetry, mysteries, screenplays (most notably for Moby Dick), theatrical plays, and even opera libretti. Here, in his latest collection of essays, he weighs in on a medley of topics, including the allure of Paris, his enthusiasm for trains, the genesis of his most popular novels, and his reasons for remaining a die-hard optimist. In one essay, he suggests alternate, and often better, endings to famous films; in another, he pays homage to L. Frank Baum's Oz books. By turns whimsical, insightful, and unabashedly metaphoric, his prose is immediately accessible as well as thought-provoking. Fans and nonfans alike should enjoy. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ray Bradbury (August 22, 1920 - June 5, 2012) published some 500 short stories, novels, plays and poems since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was twenty years old. Among his many famous works are 'Fahrenheit 451,' 'The Illustrated Man,' and 'The Martian Chronicles.'

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Clow on November 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reading these essays, anecdotes, love letters and diatribes is like sitting in the room with Mr. Electrico himself. For Bradbury fans this is a sweet bottle of dandelion wine from the vintner himself. Much less formal than his usual writing, but much more personal because he just shoots from the hip here, and from the heart.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By scarywarhol on August 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This new book was a pleasant surprise; 37 essays by Ray Bradbury, all labours of love, and all very breezy to read through.

Despite the fact that they are essays, they are written in Bradbury's usual poetic, flowery style which some love and some are annoyed by. Those who are annoyed by it probably are the type of people who never look at anything beyond it's face value and can't stand to watch a film that doesn't include constant, unnecessary yapping, but I digress.

The topics Bradbury covers range from the origins of his books, his thoughts on his city (Los Angeles), movies, other writer's books, history, and his friendships (with Walt Disney and Gene Kelley of all people!), and hapiness.

It helps to be a dedicated Bradburian to read this, and dedicated Bradburians are probably the only ones who'd buy it, judging from the Amazon sales rank, but it's engaging no matter who you are.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Yasmine F. Galenorn on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ray Bradbury has perhaps been the most author who has most influenced my own writing. When I saw this book, I had to have it. What a wonderful glimpse into the mind of a man who can turn language into music, who can make prose sing like poetry. From the first time I checked out one of his books at the library--when I was around nine or ten years old--he taught me that it's possible to transcend the the borders between genres. What a wonder to get a glimpse into the years that make up his life. The only reason I put four instead of five stars is that I'd like to see a true autobiography, in his own words, that looks over the eighty-plus years he's walked the earth.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Betty Burks on January 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is filled with fascinating stories of his life, his writings, the towns he loved, Paris & Los Angeles, in a series of short familiar essays "in which the writer draws on personal life experience, ideas and the world around him." The one he wrote in 2004, "Remembrance of Books Past," is especially interesting. It's about a fan letter from the great French Renaissance art historian, B. Berenson, and his novel FAHRENHEIT 451, which connected them fifty years ago into a remarkable friendship.

He wrote THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES in 1944 as a collection of stories. He became intersted in the Red Planet as a ten-year-old in Waukegan, Illinois, out looking at the night stars and the "special red fire burning in the dark" sky. He collected Buck Rogers comics, and his favorite was "Buck & Wilma on the Red Planet." He read Edgar Rice Burrough's THE GODS OF MARS. Then, after finishing school, he got a job working on an astronomical program for the Smithsonian Planetarium. He studied some photos of the mysterious universe taken by Lowell Observatory. The started pondering on the Big Bang Theory and the impossibility of so simple (and complex) a creation for our world.

In 2000, at the age of eighty, he remembers how all this early sky watching adn deep thinking had evolved into his science fiction writing. When he was twelve, he became fascinated with the pterodactyl and Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur ride at the Chicago Century of Progress Fair. The 'Sinclair Oil's frozen-in-place paper-mache prehistoric monsters were on the world's first animatronic display. The moving platform provided a four-minute jaunt back to the Past.

First, he's soared into the future in his imagination toward the cosmos.
Read more ›
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Bradbury Speaks isn't bad...but it's also not that good. Ray Bradbury HAS lived one heck of a life, and in this life, Bradbury has moved through the ages among some of the most interesting and famous people of our time. All the while, he has remained a forward-thinking optimist and a lover of both middle America and the one-time dream city of the 20th century, Los Angeles, where he's lived sans a car for some fifty years. The Bradbury his three-dozen essays introduce is variously Ray Bradbury the cantankerous old coot, Bradbury the surprisingly lusty young buck, Bradbury the opinionated idealist and Bradbury the name-dropper. What was missing from this collection was Bradbury, master of the written word. There just wasn't much to pin down my attention here. I wanted him to talk more about his books and I wanted him to share what made him tick. In short, I wanted to get to know Ray Bradbury better. I thought I'd enjoy this trail back through Bradbury's nine decades, but in his true tales he failed to reach out with the kind of offerings that have made his fiction the stuff of modern legend. Here we can learn about certain events that inspired a few of his books, and we can be a party to his state of mind at various times. We can find out that Bradbury admires Walt Disney's appreciation of joy, and that Bradbury regards Disneyland as the epitome of that lovely inner-happiness expressed before all the world, but for every truly worthy anecdote, we must read thru half a dozen other lesser drags on the reader's time. This book doesn't take anything away from Bradbury's career achievements but it doesn't do a lot toward adding to them, either. I wanted Bradbury's views and stories from his life that...well...that interested me instead of merely being "okay". And OK is all Bradbury Speaks is.
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