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The image of drowned circus cages in the trash-filled canals of Venice, California, both haunts and illuminates famed fantasy and science fiction author Ray Bradbury's rare venture into the mystery field. Like filmmaker Federico Fellini, Bradbury is fascinated by the seedy splendor of cheap carnivals and circuses--"a long time before, in the early Twenties, these cages had probably rolled by like bright summer storms with animals prowling them, lions opening their mouths to exhale hot meat breaths. Teams of white horses had dragged their pomp through Venice and across the fields."
But now it's the early 1950s, and foggy, shabby Venice is the last stop on the circus train for scores of old silent-movie stars and young writers trying to keep their art and their bodies alive. As Bradbury's autobiographical hero, a young writer, pounds out his short stories, someone is killing off the older denizens of the tacky city. The writer joins forces with a quirky detective called Elmo Crumley and a faded screen star to investigates the deaths. Their search begins and ends in one of those iconic, waterlogged cages.
Blending hard-boiled detective fiction with beautiful descriptions of this strange Californian town, Death Is a Lonely Business is well worth investigating. --Dick Adler
Dedicated to Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Ross Macdonald, Bradbury's 1985 novel is a paean to the hard-boiled mystery. The plot follows a writer who joins ranks with a detective and an actress to get to the bottom of some strange doings. Bradbury is always worth reading.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This was a great story, and if you love Bradbury as I do, I think you will love this. It is his hard-boiled detective story like Dashiell Hammett, and it ,to me , has vintage... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cincinnati Kid
Well written and a fun read. Interesting extension of Bradbury's earlier works.Published 2 months ago by dan jones
With this book, Ray Bradbury not only returned to writing full-length fiction after a long absence, but returned to the roots of his writing after an even longer absence. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ralph E. Vaughan
This is that greatest of rarities, a true novel by Ray Bradbury. The only other novels he really wrote were Something Wicked, F451, and the two sequels to this, A Graveyard for... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Manly Reading
Bradbury struck a perfect blend of surreal and fantasy with more than just a bit of hard-boiled noir in this, the first of his Crumley Mysteries.
The story is unique. Read more
Ray Bradbury recreates a lost American treasure while spinning a good mystery yarn. Makes you wish for a working time machine.Published 16 months ago by Befuddled
As others stated, its verrry wordy. Lots of descriptives, which confuse rather than enhance. Slow plot.
Great era and location tho. Wish i could go back in time to old venice. Read more
Unusual Bradbury book. I hadn't heard of it before, was browsing Amazon for books. Written in the first person, sounds like parts are based on some of his early experiences as a... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Leonore Proctor
Ray Bradbury takes a 90 degree turn from his usual plotlines to give us this intruiging murder myster. Read morePublished 18 months ago by L. Dusterwald