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Dandelion Wine Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 1, 1999
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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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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
One of the books that made me want to write my own words when I was young, Dandelion Wine is evocative of the passage all of us take from childhood to our adult years, the things... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Magdalena
Haven't read it yet but I'm interested in Ray Bradbury now because of the game Life is Strange.Published 11 days ago by LaKya Cabler
The descriptive detail made it seem like you were in the book, could see the same things as the characters, feel the same thing as the characters, smell the same thing as the... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Ciscobuyer
I am captivated by the stories of Ray Bradbury and have been for a long time. This edition is especially wonderful because the cover evokes so exactly his nostalgia and idealism... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Regina Clarke
That would take an entire page! Absolutely one of my favorite reads. Now reading it again with my adult grandson (who lives in Europe).... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Somehow I skipped reading this book. It is now my favorite travel novel. The language just flows beautifully throughout the story. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I liked the writing, but I found the story to be disjointed. It seemed more like a memoir using many stories than a cohesive overall story.Published 1 month ago by DigitalChick