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A Graveyard for Lunatics by Ray Bradbury

A Graveyard for Lunatics (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Ray Bradbury (Author)

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7631117,940 (3.34)35
Title:A Graveyard for Lunatics
Authors:Ray Bradbury (Author)
Info:Knopf (1990), Edition: 1st, 285 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Graveyard for Lunatics by Ray Bradbury (1990)



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Chosen at random after hearing about his death. It took a while - almost 1/3 of the book - for me to care about the characters or what was happening. Set in Hollywood in the 50s. Stage lot next to a cemetery. "Once upon a time there were two cities within a city. One was light and one was dark. One moved restlessly all day while the other never stirred. One was warm and filled with ever-changing lights. And when the sun went down each afternoon on Maximus Films, the city of the living, it began to resemble Green Glades cemetery just across the way, which was the city of the dead." ( )
  sraelling | May 6, 2018 |
Having just finished Bradbury's Death Is a Lonely Business as 2017 came to an end, I went straight on to its sequel, A Graveyard for Lunatics, to begin the new year.

In a feat of love as much as verbal skill, Bradbury achieves cinematic magic on the unadorned page--much as his unnamed main character does as a Hollywood screenwriter.

LibraryThing lists this novel as book 2 in the "Crumley Mysteries" series, and I suppose you could call it that. But Crumley's presence is secondary at most. There is a mystery element to this story, all right, and Detective Lieutenant Crumley puts in an encore appearance, although again his role is more about moral support and reality check than it is about crime-solving prowess. Even in the thicket of his strange exotic garden, Elmo Crumley supplies the anchor that reminds us where the shoreline of fantasy stops.

But this novel is first of all a valentine to the movies and especially to the people whose vision and skills transform experience through their craft. It pays special tribute to special-effects man Roy Holdstrom, the fictional counterpart of Bradbury's close friend Ray Harryhausen, who is named in the dedication. Any film buff who dotes on the classics of early cinema should revel in this romp in the shadowlands between the real and the unreal. Although I'm not a true aficionado, with a library of collectibles and an encyclopedic knowledge of film history, I have seen a lot of old movies (some of them even before they were old), and I enjoyed Bradbury's evocation of the world beyond the guarded studio gates.

The tale involves the mysterious reappearance on Halloween night, 1954, of the body of a long-dead movie mogul whose twisted history still haunts the living, from a volatile studio executive to a gifted film editor to a paranoid fan whose only life is his obsession with movie memorabilia. The passion of creators for their creations is personified in the Harryhausen character and displayed across the spectrum of actors, directors, and other ancillary personnel, all of whom seem as touched by madness as the villains of the earliest horror pictures. The main character, who identifies himself as "the Crazy," follows a trail of hints and seeming coincidences to uncover an old secret as dark as any in the old black-and-white spookers of his own youth.

Even though I could see the solution coming, I enjoyed watching it play out against the permanently unreal backdrop of the motion picture world. ( )
2 vote Meredy | Jan 4, 2018 |
After the near perfection of Death is a Lonely Business, I was a bit put off by Graveyard. The story didn’t welcome me, seduce me, like the first one did. It ended much better than it started, but I think it was because of how intensely autobiographical the characters, and especially their interactions, were. It seemed like for every reference or allusion I understood, ten flew by me. Inside joke type things that I’m sure for Bradbury’s friends, were a treat to read. For us outsiders, it made the story very dense and the dialog quite opaque. I found myself rereading sentences, not because they were wonderful as Bradbury’s sentences usually are, but because I couldn’t figure out what he meant with the first pass.

Eventually though, the story found some momentum and intrigue and even though I pegged the big plot reveal way ahead of time, it was still interesting to watch and I have the third in the series, the deliciously titled, Let’s All Kill Constance at the ready. ( )
1 vote Bookmarque | Jan 20, 2015 |
A twisty, looping mystery told in Bradbury's usual beautiful prose. ( )
  Unreachableshelf | Sep 5, 2012 |
Mélange de criminel et de fantastique, ce roman satirique sur la capitale du cinéma reprend son autobiographie imaginaire inaugurée avec ##La solitude est un cercueil de verre## (même éditeur).
  PierreYvesMERCIER | Feb 19, 2012 |
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With love, to the living: SID STEBEL, who showed me how to solve my own mystery, ALEXANDRA, my daughter, who cleaned up after us.  GEORGE BURNS, who told me that I was a writer when I was fourteen.
And to ROY HARRYHAUSEN, for obvious reasons.
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Once upon a time there were two cities within a city.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380812002, Paperback)

Halloween Night, 1954. A young, film-obsessed scriptwriter has just been hired at one of the great studios. An anonymous investigation leads from the giant Maximus Films backlot to an eerie graveyard separated from the studio by a single wall. There he makes a terrifying discovery that thrusts him into a maelstrom of intrigue and mystery—and into the dizzy exhilaration of the movie industry at the height of its glittering power.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:24 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A sci-fi film writer discovers a body frozen in time and poised to climb from the city of the dead to the city of light.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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