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Orbiting Ray Bradbury's Mars: Biographical,…

Orbiting Ray Bradbury's Mars: Biographical, Anthropological, Literary,…

by Gloria Mcmillan

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have not finished this book, but have returned to it repeatedly because of my fondness for Ray Bradbury and the interesting but dense essays in this book. Recommended for avid fans or students, this is a fascinating look into the author's life and craft, and the events and places that helped shape his writing. I could see this book used in a college level English class and admit to skipping around reading the essays out of order. I will keep this book as a reference and hope to finish it soon. ( )
  readaholic12 | Nov 21, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I got this book from the Early Reviewers group and I'm so thrilled with it. The essays and stories from different writers really moved me. Bradbury was a huge influence on me as a child and it's great to see so many other people have been affected by him as well. ( )
  i3ootleg | Jul 8, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed reading the different perspectives behind Ray Bradbury's style. I have been reading Ray Bradbury's works for over 20 years, and this book has prompted me to revisit some old favorites. Having lived in the Southwest, I appreciated the insights into how Ray Bradbury's upbringing influenced his imagining of foreign planets. ( )
  sylviag | Feb 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book through the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.

I was excited when I was notified I would be receiving a copy of this book. I have been a lifelong Ray Bradbury fan and had not previously read any literary analysis of his writings. As I awaited the arrival of the book, I could not stop thinking that maybe this book was not such a good idea. One of the attractions of Bradbury's work is that his messages are always simple and direct. I read an interview with him many years ago where he said he always wanted to make sure the average person got the message of his work. I wondered if literary analysis was indeed reasonable in this case.

When I started reading the book, it was immediately apparent that my apprehensions were justified. While the first couple of essays contained interesting biographical information, they just didn't feel right, like the author was stretching the referenced story a bit. Each successive essay seemed to get a little worse. Despite assurances in the introduction that the essays would look at Bradbury through "different lenses", with a few exceptions I did not find that to be the case. There was much conformity in this collection.

Two essays of note were Prescient Border Crossing by Marleen Barr and Loss in the Language of Tomorrow by Aaron Barlow. First the essay by Barr was so ridiculous as to be beyond parody. If you were to ask the most right wing person you know to compose a parodic essay of a left wing academic, I doubt they would be able to surpass this one. Highly recommended for comedic value. The essay by Barlow on the other hand, got it right. He even starts the essay by giving evidence that Bradbury would not approve of this book, but he excuses it by stating that at least this book was published after his death.

I gave it three stars rather than my strong tendency towards two mainly because there is some value in this volume.

After reading this, I think it would be best to let Bradbury's work stand on its own. It does not need an explanation. ( )
  jhale | Feb 3, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786475765, Paperback)

This essay collection explores the life and work of science fiction doyen Ray Bradbury from a variety of perspectives. Noting the impact of the Southwest on Bradbury, some of the essays analyze Bradbury's southwest metaphors: colonial pollution of a pristine ecology, the impacts of a colonial invasion upon an indigenous population, the meeting of cultures with different values and physical aspects. Other essays view Bradbury via the lens of post-colonialism, drawing parallels between such works as The Martian Chronicles and real-life colonialism and its effects. Another essay views Bradbury sociologically, analyzing border issues in his 1947 New Yorker story "I See You Never," written long before the issue of Mexican deportees appeared on the American literary horizon. From the scientific side, four essays by astronomers document how Bradbury formed the minds of many budding scientists with his vision. On August 22, 2012, the Martian landing site of the "Curiosity" rover in the Gale Crater was named "Bradbury." This honor shows that Bradbury forms a significant link between the worlds of fiction and planetary science.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:31 -0400)

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