Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ray Bradbury and the Chills

Like a few 'retiring' readers f my generation I suspect, much of my horror genre education came from a hefty reading of Stephen King's Danse Macabre, a great introduction to the genre. As a big hero of King's, Ray Bradbury features a lot as I recall. From that reading I sought out Something Wicked This Way Comes. It was, it turned out, a very good choice. I was completely enveloped in Bradbury's world of twilight fairgrounds, lightning rod salesmen and boys in the threshhold of adulthood, yet not fully escaping the mysteries of childhood. A few years later the Disney adaptation was put on TV, and i was pretty good, too: Despite that, my exposure to Bradbury's fiction is really limited. I read A Sound of Thunder at school (though after a few years of 2000AD's Time Twisters its effect was somwhat diminished - still a great story though), and watched ray Bradbury Theater (they weren't his stories though, were they?) and that's it. Weird. That's not to say his writing and my cultural pursuits didn't cease to intersect, however. I may not have read ray Bradbury widely, but Martin Phillipps did, and so Bradbury's work ends up in a couple of the songs from their debut album Brave Words. here's Dan Destiny and the Silver Dawn: Something of a favourite in the Monkeyhouse, that one. dark carnival, from the same album, shares its title with Bradbury's short story collection, but in doing so shares less of a specific connection. Still a cool song, though. I have Fahrenheit 451 on an audio file, so that will start me off. There's plenty more to come. Any recommendations?

1 comment:

  1. Something Wicked This Way comes was a brilliant choice - and I still re-read my battered little paperback copy every few years. Dandelion Wine is also excellent and sometimes regarded as a prequel to 'Something Wicked' by way of location (Farewell Summer, the 'pseudo-sequel' is next on my reading list).
    Another great pair of connected novels are Death is a lonely Business and A Graveyard for Lunatics, which echo his friendship with Ray Harryhausen and experiences working in film. There is a third novel in this series, which I haven't read, called Let's All kill Constance.

    The Halloween Tree is a children's story, but pure undiluted Bradbury and why it hasn't been filmed by Tim Burton yet I just don't know.

    And the best novel which Bradbury never wrote, but is an undisguised love letter to his style and legacy is Boys Life by Robert R McCammon, incidentally my favourite book of all time.