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 OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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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."