Thursday, June 7, 2012


I know you've probably already heard the news because, surprisingly (at least to me), it was all over all the media (network news and cable channels and newspapers and Internet etc.). But I still wanted to add my two cents. Bradbury gave me so much reading pleasure when I was young (my first wife, Lee, and I used to read him to each other before we had our kids).

It wasn't the more famous books and stories FAHRENHEIT 451 or THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES that got to me. But the less fantastical DANDELION WINE and stories like THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM SUIT. In my mind he was twinned with Jean Sheperd, another great story teller from the generation before mine. They both maintained a sweetness despite their sometimes ironic or dystopian visions of the future or the past. At heart, they seemed like optimists despite the realities of the worlds they came up in: The Great Depression and World War Two.

I miss Sheperd (I mostly encountered him as a radio storyteller at night in bed in my attic room as a kid—fortunately his voice still lives on the classic holiday movie he narrated from his story it was based on A CHRISTMAS STORY) and will miss Bradbury now. But his voice lives on as well, in his books and stories, some of which remain timeless.

Here's the obit from his hometown (as a teenager and adult anyway, he was born elsewhere) paper (and mine for the seventeen years I lived there as an adult), The L.A. Times.


tom said...

Bradbury and Heinlein were the two writers who turned me into an avid reader. Ray's stories transended the genre. They read as if they could be real and the small town Midwest of many of his stories seemed very familiar.

I first heard Jean Shepard on NPR and read several of his books afterward. The movie "The Christmas Story" is still a favorite. The movie they made later when he is a teenager wasn't as successful.

To get back to Bradbury, we introduced my kids to his stories when they were young. His books are still on their shelves.

Neil Gaiman and many others also have tributes to how he influenced them. Longhouse Birdhouse blog has put up the 2010 interview with him by the Paris Review.

Here is the link to the Paris Review interview.

Lally said...

Thanks for the link Tom.