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Dandelion Wine (Grand Master Editions) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1985
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Dandelion Wine takes us into the summer of 1928, and to all the wondrous and magical events in the life of a 12-year-old Midwestern boy named Douglas Spaulding. This tender, openly affectionate story of a young man's voyage of discovery is certainly more mainstream than exotic. No walking dead or spaceships to Mars here. Yet those who wish to experience the unique magic of early Bradbury as a prose stylist should find Dandelion Wine most refreshing. --Stanley Wiater
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
I understood what Bradbury was saying at age 12, an incredible thing in itself, since the themes here are fairly grown-up. Essentially, this book is about a boy flooded with the sudden realization of his own "aliveness", and never has a child's experience of innocent living been so perfectly, passionately illustrated. Douglas Spaulding lying in the grass, or feeling the keen pleasure and pain of carrying heavy laden buckets of self-picked berries out of the woods while the handles crease the insides of his hands. Douglas Spaulding discovering the wonder of a Number Two pencil, and the joy of rising early in the morning to watch his town come to life with the sunrise. Douglas Spaulding discovering that nothing makes a boy fly weightless through his summer vacation better than slipping his feet into the cool, cloudwrapped heaven of a new pair of tennis shoes.
I found this book, at age 12 and several times since, to be an experience ranking with the most important books about human life that I have ever read. Bradbury sees so much, and conveys the experiences so clearly that one knows what Douglas and Ray know by the end. This is a book about passion and joy and being fully alive from moment to moment.Read more ›
I've always preferred Bradbury's short stories to his full novels, yet here he successfully manages to have his cake and eat it too. Most of the chapters are self-contained little story segments. In fact, I had come across portions of this book in short story collections, and had no idea that they were smaller parts of a larger work. Yet DANDELION WINE is much more than just a collection of stories. The children and adults alike grow and change as the summer days burn and then fade. Just like a real season, some events are disconnected from the rest and can involve seldom seen people, while other proceedings are intrinsically linked to their peers.
The book itself is fairly difficult to sum up; every definition that I've tried coming up with has omitted several major elements. Of course, any summary that tried to include everything would be far too long and would contain none of the magic of the text. Children discover some fundamental and universal truths for the first time. Adults deal with their own fears and their own nightmares. And, of course, there are the usual wonderful collection of Bradbury eccentrics and strangers. Children are filled with awe and recognizably childlike without being annoying or unrealistic.Read more ›
I'm almost ashamed to admit that I'd never read Dandelion Wine, by Ray Bradbury, until this morning. Honestly, I just never got around to it -- mainly because a largely autobiographical tale of growing up in Waukegan didn't seem as likely to thrill me as most of his more "traditional" genre work. Bradbury's one of my favorite writers, though, and I stumbled across a copy of Dandelion Wine for ten cents at an old bookstore, so I gave it a shot.
I think the simple reason behind its appeal to me is this: it's not a sci-fi book. It's not genre fantasy. But it IS fantastic, in the most real and most important way; it's one man's golden and heavily mythologized recollections of the summers of his boyhood, written with such quiet beauty that the mundane is transformed into high fantasy.
Bradbury explicitly addresses this concept with two of his motifs; the dandelion wine itself and Douglas' little notebook of extraordinary thoughts to accompany ordinary rituals embody the greatest strength of the book. Largely because I'm familiar with Bradbury's other work, I found myself constantly expecting a little dash of the mystical, the otherworldly, in the Lonely Man and the magical cooking of his grandmother -- but, of course, the only magic present is the magic that Bradbury can conjure up in memory. And it's enough.
Stephen King, in his best and most powerful work, has Bradbury's gift for making the prosaic into something poetic and eerie. I've always scorned King's forays into general fiction, mainly because it always felt to me like he was desperate for legitimacy, but also because I felt like he was betraying his gift. I'm not sure that's true, anymore. I think THIS is the book that Stephen King someday wants to write.
Heck, it's the book _I_ want to write.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just could not get into it. To much focus on descriptive words, that drowns out the story. I didn't like it, only got into a couple chapters before giving up!Published 1 day ago by Gerry Oborn
If you can get yourself in the mindset of the late 1950s, when this novel was first released, you will discover a wonderful memoir of summer as seen through the eyes of two young... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jeffrey M Bluhm
This book was a great read, almost more poetry than novel. The imagery was incredibly nostalgic. The author has a very unique style. I definitely recommend.Published 6 days ago by kelsey claire richaud
A great telling of a boy's life in the 1920's growing up in middle America.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
I have to say that I was a bit let down by this book, especially after some of the authors other works. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Shell Burger
This copy is beautiful. It made an excellent gift for my nephew.Published 1 month ago by johanna english
This is a beautifully written gorgeous little book. It will put you in a perfe ct place of peace. Just the thing to read in a hammock on a Summer day. Makes you happy.Published 1 month ago by Bertilla Baker
I am late reading this, but glad I did. A series of episodes in the lives of two boys in a small town in Illinois. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bill
Fantastic book with many quotable take aways. Ray Bradbury writes of growing up in a small town but it could be any town, so vibrant are his characters and their stories.Published 2 months ago by suzy soo