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Friday, December 02, 2016

Now Reading... The Golden Apples Of The Sun by Ray Bradbury



Can there be anyone who has read Ray Bradbury and doesn't love his stories? They are beautiful and poetic and speak to your soul all at once - and they're entertaining too! I remember reading Something Wicked This Way Comes in one sitting, and being swept into the world of the story, hearing the sounds of that night circus coming into town, feeling the fear of the characters...

The other day, we were talking about short stories at an English faculty meeting. The decision has been made to scrap Year 10's Romeo And Juliet unit yet again, and replace it with short stories. Easier to teach, more time to get through it. So yet again the kids miss out on Shakespeare and most of them will never have the chance again, and will go through life knowing - or believing, anyway - only that some girl called Juliet is asking where a boy called Romeo is, and that will be their only perception of the man who added so many words to the language and whose plays inspired so many of our modern stories and culture... And they were only doing the films anyway, not reading it. Oh, well. 

Anyway, there was some discussion of what the stories might be - still going on. And one of the suggested stories is the famous "Sound Of Thunder" - the one in which some man steps on a butterfly in prehistoric times during a carefully planned dinosaur hunting safari(they only kill dinosaurs that were about to get killed anyway)and completely changes the future. So as I sat around the table I opened my iPad at iBooks and bought The Golden Apples Of The Sun, the Bradbury anthology in which the story resides.  

And what a treasury of classic stories it is! I spotted a couple of his Family stories in there - the Family are a sort of extended Addams Family - and such classics as "The Fog Horn". His stories range from the regional America of his childhood to spaceships of the future, all wonderful stuff! 

And don't forget, he was friends with another amazing Ray, Ray Harryhausen, the wizard of movie special effects.

I was reading the anthology in bed this morning and had to share!

2 comments:

Lexa Cain said...

I'm a Philistine and hated every Shakespeare play I was forced to read in school. The language is really cumbersome for me, and I end up feeling like it's written in code and I have to decipher it, which is too much work for stories that didn't interest me anyway. But I understand that as a teacher, and obviously more appreciative of literary writing and poetry than I am, you'd be disappointed. My fave short stories in school were An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge and The Monkey's Paw. I hope you teach those!

I will say that the updated version of R&J, "West Side Story," is one of my 3 favorite musicals ("Sound of Music" and "My Fair Lady" being the other 2.)

Thanks for dropping by my blog! The cover for Soul Cutter was designed 3 years ago as fan art by a friend who was a professional cover designer and a big fan of my book. She no longer designs and had no time to change the original so the lettering was big enough to see in thumbnail on Amazon, so I bought the images, repeated her design but smaller, and had to do a lot of air-brushing to fill out the sides and top. Here's her original design on my Facebook page from 3 years ago:
https://www.facebook.com/504432766289367/photos/a.783435055055802.1073741829.504432766289367/787470421318932/?type=3&theater

Sue Bursztynski said...

Ah, Lexa, clearly you had the wrong teachers! If it had been taught properly, you would have loved it. My school had a couple of years of visits from the Bell Shakespeare Company(free! It was a program designed for disadvantaged schools) where they got to perform bits of the play they were studying, learn how to do fight scenes, use some of the company's costumes and film. They adored it! Find the TV program "Shakespeare On The Estates" to see what can be done. I still have this memory of Tybalt snarling, "Romeo, you are a wanker!" They got it, completely.
I sneaked in an intro to Shakespeare in my Year 8 class, back when we were allowed to show some initiative, and believe me, they enjoyed it. They sat up very straight when they relished how many words and expressions they used every day which came from Shakespeare - and even straighter when they found out the cheeky Elizabethan meaning behind Much Ado about Nothing. I also let them know that in those days of no films, TV or Internet, the theatre was where everyone went - everyone! - and that the theatre was located in a London suburb much like their own working-class area...