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Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales Paperback – April 5, 2005
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Perhaps Ray Bradbury is the latter-day O. Henry. He is most famous for his short stories--and short they are, rarely more than 15 pages. He attracts nonliterary readers in droves, and he has a raconteur's magnetic style. Those are O. Henry's virtues, making it quite possible to read him pleasurably today, even if you read only "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Ransom of Red Chief." Since Bradbury is 50 to 100 years closer to us, just about every one of his stories is a gas, and his selection of 100 of them is something like a lifetime supply of nitrous oxide. No matter how calculated its surprises or how sentimental its denouement, a Bradbury story typically evokes a smile and a tip o' the hat. He acknowledges in the introduction here that he is in love with writing, and it is obvious there and in every story that, what's more, he is in love with life, so that even his eeriest, most mordant stories leave one feeling wonder, not bleakness: case in point, "The Illustrated Man." Even more to that point are his Irish stories, most of them set in and around Heber Finn's pub. Characteristically Celtic compoundings of grue and glee, these are read-aloud, memorize-and-recite gems of pure gab (especially "A Wild Night in Galway"). Ray Olson
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"ALMOST NO ONE CAN IMAGINE A TIME OR A PLACE WITHOUT THE FICTION OF RAY BRADBURY. . . . HIS STORIES AND NOVELS ARE PART OF THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE."
"Ray Bradbury is an old-fashioned romantic who's capable of imagining a dystopic future. He can evoke nostalgia for a mythic, golden past or raise goosebumps with tales of horror."
"Thank the shades of Twain and Melville and the living presence of Pynchon ... that this Poet Laurcate of the Chimerical and Phantasmagoric is still with us, still writing, still freshening our ration of dream dust."
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I don't think I'm old, but some of you may disagree. The last time I read a book by Bradbury was in High School back in roughly 19xx. So, it's been a while and I had forgotten when a great writer he was.
Bradbury stories is very long, almost 1,000 pages, including 100 of his best short stories. The reading is easy, quick and enjoyable. In fact, I have on only a few occasions in my life read a story where I can imagine the voice of the characters. There were several of his stories where I experienced that. If you have never "heard" a character in a story, you have not experienced a feeling that I cannot entirely describe. Suffice it to say that it was beautiful and all consuming.
A listing of all of the stories in the book can be found here:
With 100 stories, I cannot go into specifics. But, the genres of the stories run the gambit from suspense to horror to science fiction to drama, and just about everything in between.
This was a great book. Can't say anything more.