June 8, 2012

Ray Bradbury, Master Storyteller

I was around twelve years old when I first read a story by Ray Bradbury. His work captured the mysteries of both the familiar and the world beyond. The wind blowing through small midwestern towns, the longing whistle of the train in the middle of the night, the oddities of the circus world, the trips to other planets, all rendered in thoughtful prose that did not call attention to itself. Instead, Bradbury used words to paint a picture, snatch an observation, catch an emotion.
Bradbury would have undoubtedly woven a terrific story out of the dusty copies of his works that I rescued from my parents' basement, books that were among the first that I purchased myself--for a quarter each--at a used bookstore later obliterated by urban renewal.
Were his stories fantasy or science fiction? To me, they were reality always taken a step further, asking  questions that should be asked, giving answers that provoked even more mystery.
Ray Bradbury's many works--Dandelion Wine, October Country, Something Wicked This Way Come, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man--stand as testament to a life of words well done.

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