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R Bradbury speaks by Bradbury Ray
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R Bradbury speaks

by Bradbury Ray

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Title:R Bradbury speaks
Authors:Bradbury Ray
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Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars by Ray Bradbury

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Bradbury Speaks:
Too Soon from the Cave,
Too Far from the Stars

Harper Perennial, Paperback, 2006.

8vo. xi+243 pp. Introduction by the author [viii-xi].

First published, 2005.

Contents

Introduction

About Writing
My Demon, Not Afraid of Happiness (undated)
Vin Revivere, or a Vintage Revisited (1991)
How Something Wicked Came (1996)
Lincoln's Doctor's Dog's Butterfly (undated)
The Whale, the Whim, and I (undated)
All's Well That End's Well... or, Unhappily Ever After (2003)
Remembrance of Books Past (2004)

About Science Fiction
Predicting the Past, Remembering the Future (2001)
Mars: Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far from the Stars (2000)
Earthrise and Its Faces (1999)
Falling Upward, or Walking Backward to the Future (1999)
Beyond Giverny (1994)

About People
Mouser (undated)
Lord Russell and the Pipsqueak (undated)
More, Much More, by Corwin (1999)
Because of the Wonderful Things He Does (1999)
A Milestone at Milestone's: Bonderchuk Remembered (undated)
Free Pass at Heaven's Gate (1999)
GBS: Refurbishing the Tin Woodman: Science Fiction with a Heart, a Brain, and the Nerve! (1997)

About Life
The Beautiful Bad Weather (2000)
The Affluence of Despair: America Through the Looking Glass (1998)
The Hunchback, the Phantom, the Mummy, and Me (undated)
Any Friend of Trains is a Friend of Mine (1968)
I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore! (The New Millennium, That Is) (undated)
The Rabbit Hole Lost and Found Book Shoppe (undated)
Beyond 1984 (1979)
The Ardent Blasphemers (1962)
That Future with a Funny Name (1995)
Hysteria, Goddess of Flight, or On Takeoff, Do Not Run Up and Down the Aisles Screaming (1993)
Time to Explore Again: Where Is the Madman Who'll Take Us to Mars? (2004)

About Paris
Paris: Always Destroyed, Always Triumphant (1986)
The Sixty-Minute Louvre: Paris by Stopwatch (1993)

About Los Angeles
Queen of Angels, Not Quite Ready for Her Close-Up (undated)
L.A., How Do I Love Thee? (undated)
L.A., Outta the Way and Let us Happen! (2000)
L.A., We Are the World!: A New-Millennium Revelation (1989)
Disneyland, or Disney's Demon for Happiness (undated).

Essays Sources

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I am the wrong reader for this book. Obviously, it is designed for Bradbury fans. I am not one, and I am not likely to become one. I have read only Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and it certainly didn’t prove good enough to inspire future reading encounters. I am inclined to believe that it has become such a smashing classic mostly because the Nazis made book-burning fashionable in the aftermath of WWII and because a great deal of hype has the unhappy habit to be inherited from one generation to the next.

The Bradbury that emerges from these 37 essays (12 unpublished) spanning 42 years (1962–2004) is a charming, (com)passionate and lovable creature, but not a very interesting, knowledgeable or profound one. I have enjoyed, more or less, his reflections on a visit to Bertrand Russell’s home in 1954 or the adaptation of Moby-Dick for John Huston at the same time, his suggestions for alternative movie endings or his progressive retelling of classics, his eulogy on trains or his comparative analysis of Ahab and Nemo (“The Ardent Blasphemers”). All the same, none of these pieces made me think after the last line, or much before that indeed. None of them stimulated further exploration of works, writers or ideas. These essays are one-offs. On the whole, the writing here is better, less misguidedly poetic or mind-numbingly repetitious, than in Fahrenheit 451, but the style is nothing to rave about. Nor is the substance.

I can well believe Bradbury that all these essays are “familiar”, that is written in the burst of passion and love without the help of anything as dreary as research. Much of them is almost obnoxiously autobiographical, as if Bradbury can’t help talking of his own life and books. I don’t mind writers being self-absorbed; they must be; but a modicum of modesty is an essential quality of the truly great ones. I agree love and passion are the best reasons to write anything, but they mean nothing without reason and knowledge. Nor do I share Bradbury’s disdain for research. I suppose these 37 pieces reflect the man accurately. If so, this is the reason why they resemble chaotic and superficial, if sweet and humorous, effusions rather than genuine essays.

This collection has only confirmed my impression that Bradbury and I do not get along very well. We will not meet again. ( )
1 vote Waldstein | Jun 19, 2016 |
You wouldn't read this if you weren't already a fan. So, ignore this if you're looking for fiction

It's a collection of essays and other unpublished odds and ends but it's pure uninhibited Bradbury. I've attended a couple of his lectures so I have a passing idea of what he's like in person and this is dead-on.

He's very passionate about people with imagination. He roots out the brilliance in all arts like a pig after truffles. Nothing gets in his way of experiencing the best that humanity has to offer and nothing gets in his way of telling you about it.

I'm from a much later age as the author so a lot of his analogies to film and literary figures was lost on me. But the sincerity isn't, and I believe every word he says.

It's good stuff. He appreciates the past heights of our culture but it doesn't sour him that they are so far behind us. His voice still shines with enthusiasm for life. It's upbeat stuff that will send you back out to the mines to try again. The joy is not in the finding. The joy is in the hope that the fantastic is still out there, waiting for you to arrive.

Very inspiring. If you've wished you could face life like Douglas in Dandelion Wine, here's a practical guide. ( )
  mobill76 | Apr 22, 2014 |
Essays about everything - I really liked the ones about SF especially, but most of the others were enjoyable also - Bradbury's writing style is evident even in short form - and man, the guy knows everybody! ( )
  jlparent | Jan 4, 2012 |
I love reading Ray Bradbury. Anything. There was lots of interesting essays here with some things I did not know about this god of the short story. He speaks and I will always listen. ( )
  kpolhuis | May 13, 2010 |
This books has some great moments. The problem is that it has too many repetitive ones. Surf through it, glean the good stuff, skip the senile moments -- and that has nothing to do with Bradbury but the publisher who put it together that way!

2 out of 5 stars. ( )
  Scaryguy | Aug 27, 2008 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
With love to my friends Loren Eisely and Aldous Huxley, whoses essays showed me the way.
First words
Although I suppose I am best known to readers as a fiction writer, I am also a great lover of the essay and have written hundreds of them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060585684, Hardcover)

He is an American treasure, a clear-eyed fantasist without peer, and a literary icon who has created wonder for the better part of seven decades. On subjects as diverse as fiction, the future, film, famous personalities, and more, Ray Bradbury has much to say, as only he can say it.

Collected between these covers are memories, ruminations, opinions, prophecies, and philosophies from one of the most influential and admired writers of our time. As unique, unabashed, and irrepressible as the artist himself, here is an intimate portrait, painted with the master's own words, of the one and only Ray Bradbury far more revealing than any mere memoir, for it opens windows not only into his life and work but also into his mind and heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

He is an American treasure; a clear-eyed fantasist without peer; a literary icon who has created wonder for the better part of seven decades. He has a moon crater named after him and a star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame. He has been honored with prizes galore. He has inspired generations of readers to dream, think, invent, believe, and fly. Collected between these covers are memories, ruminations, opinions, prophecies, and philosophies from one of the most influential and admired writers of our time: boyhood experiences that molded the man, as well as his eye-opening, sometimes hilarious true adventures in the realm of the famous and adored; insightful, piquant reflections on humankind's past and future, and where we stand in the universe today; provocative and deeply affecting musings on the present state of art and the unparalleled glory of creation.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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