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Dandelion Wine Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 1, 1999

530 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Greentown Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

World-renowned fantasist Ray Bradbury has on several occasions stepped outside the arenas of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. An unabashed romantic, his first novel in 1957 was basically a love letter to his childhood. (For those who want to undertake an even more evocative look at the dark side of youth, five years later the author would write the chilling classic Something Wicked This Way Comes.)

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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

This 1957 gem is the latest in Avon's ongoing series of Bradbury reprints. This sweet little hardcover features the full text of the novel?the story of one magical summer in the life of 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding?along with an introduction by the author. Without flash or best-sellerdom, Bradbury has emerged as one of this country's great writers, and libraries lacking a quality hardcover of his beloved novel should jump on this.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; Reprint edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380977265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380977260
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (530 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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In a career spanning more than seventy years, Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, 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, teleplays, 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. He wrote the screen play for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. 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.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, "Live forever!" Bradbury later said, "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

281 of 292 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Towsley on July 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
DANDELION WINE is first and foremost the story of a 12 year old boy discovering that he is alive. I was lucky enough to read this gorgeous, perfect novel, wrapped in a library's dandelion yellow hardcover, the summer of my 12th year, in the small town of New Haven, Indiana, probably wearing my own pair of Red Ball Jets or Keds, lying in my living room as usual, curled up in a chair with the screen door open to let in the blustery summer wind and sun, with the lush green Indiana grass blowing in waves just outside.
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.
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104 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Andrew McCaffrey VINE VOICE on December 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Magical. If the word 'magical' didn't exist, we would have to invent it in order to properly describe Ray Bradbury's DANDELION WINE. The premise is absurdly simple: one summer in a small Midwestern town during the late 1920's. On the surface it doesn't look like a lot to hang a novel on, but Bradbury puts so much heart, soul and, yes, love into his words that I defy anyone to call it an empty book. Bradbury has always written superbly for children, and slipping his characters into his own nostalgic childhood succeeds on virtually every level.
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.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 29, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've never been able, when asked, to declare a "favorite" book; depending on mood, weather, politics, this can change in a moment.
Until now.
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.
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