Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury Is No More!

I just heard from one of my Goodreads groups: Ray Bradbury is gone. He has been a part of my life since my early adulthood. I loved everything of his I read, scary or funny or exciting. I remember reading Something Wicked This Way Comes in an evening and, apart from the wonderful atmosphere of brooding, I loved that the town was saved by the librarian! And that is appropriate, since in recent years he was a great defender of libraries against the idiots who wanted to close them down.

A few years ago, I found a more recent book of his which was set in 1950s Hollywood, with a character who was obviously meant to be Ray Harryhausen, who is a close friend. It started at midnight, in a cemetery, on Halloween, but wasn't a horror story. It was a mystery.

He wrote so much over the years, novels as well as short fiction, but I liked the short fiction best. And among all those atmospheric stories there were the funny ones, such as The Family, which included such characters as Uncle Einar with the green wings, whose wife uses him to fly up and dry the washing.

I loved the way his landscape was a character, adding to the atmosphere and flavour.

Only recently I got a boxed set of Ray Harryhausen movies and among the extras was a bio that included interviews with the two friends, who met when they were in their late teens. They promised each other NEVER to grow up. I guess they kept their promise.

There will be plenty of tributes to him over the next few days and when I get my act together I will add a proper one. Meanwhile, rest well, Ray. We'll miss you.


alberridge said...

You're so right, Sue. It's not just the amount he wrote, but the sheer variety of it - proving that a really great writer isn't confined to any one genre. You love his short fiction best, but for me he'll always be the man who wrote Fahrenheit 451, a book that's right up there with '1984'.

The film based on it ends on the most magical scene, with all the people who've managed to read forbidden books reciting their stories to the newcomers, ensuring that even when they die the books will not be lost and the stories will live on. Ray Bradbury is part of that stream of storytellers, and I think (like theirs) his books will live for ever.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Yes, Fahrenheit 451 was very special, and I loved that too. Interestingly enough, it wasn't so very American as the others, to the extent that the movie could be made with British actors! In some ways it was prophetic. What's happened is even scarier than the book, because no one needed to order all the books burned; people spend their days on games and social media sites. And Bradbury was no fan of the Internet, which may be why I can't find anything of his on iBooks. :(

Sue Bursztynski said...

On the other hand, it would be harder to burn books these days, because even if all the book web sites were blocked or taken down, as long as there were computers books could be passed along on USB sticks... ;-)