Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

Overview: Guy Montag is a fireman. Now, do not confuse his job with today’s fireman. His job is not to put out fires, rather it is to start them. What could be the source of his job?

Story Telling: Mr. Bradbury’s first novel is a science-fiction novel, albeit, a soft science-fiction one.

Dislikes: Okay, this book is spooky, especially in light of today’s news-reports. The old woman’s death really bothered me.

Likes: Mr. Bradbury showed a lot of hope here. Even when all hope seems gone, intelligence, individuality, and creativity will survive. Please don’t think that I’m just talking about book-learning, I’m not. Just plain critical thinking and personal responsibility skills will survive in the long run. Also, my copy came with a few essays about the book, and they added to the atmosphere of the story.

Favorite Character: It would be Clarisse McClellan.

Favorite Quote: “Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”

Favorite Scene: It would be when Montag met up with the other illegals. It was great.

Conclusion: This is a great book. I highly recommend it for at least one reading.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The First Night of Lent

Overview: We get to ride with our unnamed protagonist for two trips during his time in Ireland.. One trip is on the night before Lent. The second is right after Lent begins….

Likes: Oh boy. Let this be a lesson to you on making assumptions. This story had a move to it. Speed, turns, images of road rage. That last one could just be because of my generation. I like the opposition from one night to the next.

Conclusion: This was a fun story. I agree with the protagonist though.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The Beggar on O’Connell Bridge

Overview: Let’s head to Dublin. Our husband and wife protagonists seem to have differing opinions on how to deal with the beggars around the hotel. Then there is the one on O’Connell Bridge. He seems to be different from all the rest….

Likes: Remember Jesus’ sermon on giving? This story illustrates the reasoning behind it. You give and then let the recipient take it up with his/her Maker.

Conclusion: Don’t be like our protagonist’s wife. It will hurt you in the long run.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The Drummer Boy of Shiloh

Overview: It’s 1869, just before the Battle of Owl Creek. Poor Joby, he’s just the drummer boy and scared out of his mind. Lucky for him, the general can’t sleep either. Perhaps a talk will help?

Likes: It may be shocking to hear, but I liked the general’s attitude. He wasn’t arrogant, and he gave Joby the best piece of advice that he could. It’s good to hear that the little people, the enlisted or those who don’t have any real command, that are the heart of the army.

Conclusion: It’s a good story to show how the horror of war starts before the first shot is fired. I enjoyed it.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-And The Rock Cried Out

Overview: This is a story that could almost be ripped from today’s headlines. A couple, traveling out of the country, finds themselves in a place where their color and nationality is despised.

Likes: Oh boy. This one made me think. That’s why the review took so long to get out. Personally, I agree with Mr. Webb. Yeah, the nations got rid of their scapegoat. Who are they going to blame now?

Conclusion: I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be moved by this powerful read. Please be careful out there.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-A Season of Disbelief

Overview: In this edition of Mr. Bradbury’s Stories, we meet Helen Bentley. She has moved into one of her late husband’s rental properties with only her little mementos of happier times. What interesting children that are around this town. Don’t they know that one day, they too will be old?

Likes: Tom was the best of the children here. He treated Mrs. Bentley with respect.

Dislikes: Jane and Alice both have a major problem. They don’t want to get old, but it’s coming. No amount of evidence would ever convince them that Mrs. Bentley was a little girl once. Plus they took her items, before she gave them permission.

Conclusion: While I don’t care for the ending of “A Season of Disbelief”–I don’t believe in encouraging a misconception–this was a pretty good story.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The Rocket

Now it’s time for another story from the Bradbury anthology. This one is called “The Rocket.”

Overview: Fiorello Bodoni has a dream. He wants either himself or his children to ride in a rocket. His neighbor thinks that Bodoni should just forget about it and leave the rockets and the dreams to the rich. One fateful buy gives Bodoni a marvelous idea.

Likes: This science-fiction tale had a terrific idea. Are dreams really just for those with money? I personally agree with Bodoni’s sentiment as well as that of Mr. Bradbury.

Conclusion: This was a beautiful tale. Never let your dreams die. Perhaps it can make your day better.

Ray Bradbury’s Stories-The Whole Town is Sleeping

How’s this for a Christmas gift? 100 short stories from the master of the short story himself, Mr. Ray Bradbury.

Now I am not crazy. There is no way that I am going to write a 10-20 page review for this book. That would be rushing and where’s the fun in that?

So We are going one at a time. Let’s get started with “The Whole Town is Sleeping.”

Overview: Do you remember my review for “At Midnight, in the Month of June”? Well, this is that same story but from Lavina’s point of view. Lavinia and her friends find another victim of a serial Killer. They should be alright, shouldn’t they?

Likes: This is much better than “At Midnight, in the Month of June.” Lavinia is an interesting girl, though a little too headstrong for me.

Conclusion: Let this be a warning to all of those who believe that they are invincible. This was fun, until you remember what happens to Lavinia.

Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing

Overview: Mr. Bradbury has collected eleven of his essays, and additional one for the preface, as well as a collection of poems for our benefit as writers.

Story Telling: Mr. Bradbury has found an entertaining way to pass some important lessons that an aspiring author should focus on.

Likes: What I like the most is the fact that we are listening to the remembrances of an older man, advice that can make our lives easier if we will just pay attention.

Favorite Scene (Essay): My favorite essay here was ‘Zen in the Art of Writing.’ It answered a lot of questions for me.

Conclusion: This book is good for both encouragement as well as a chance to pick up some tips from the Master of the Short Story. I enjoyed this book.

Ray Bradbury’s The Toynbee Convector

It has been a long time since I last considered trying Mr. Bradbury. Suppose it’s time to give him a try. So, without further ado, let’s get started on the stories.

“The Toynbee Convector” I liked this story. The old man may disagree with me, but I’d say the machine was true. He saw the future, and made it a fact.

“Trapdoor.” Man, this one was spooky. My vote, the house needs to be condemned, and razed to the ground. I liked it.

“On the Orient, North.” Ready for a ghost story? Minerva Halliday has to take care of a very special patient. I did like this one.

“One Night in Your Life.” A story that reminds the reader to never give up your dreams. And that you just have to recognize the moment when it happens. A charming tale.

“West of October.” A family of special individuals. It didn’t seem to go anywhere. I didn’t like it.

“The Last Circus.” A story about the end of innocence. Kind of sad, but sweet.

“The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair.” A special story of love and loss. I kind of liked it.

“I Suppose You are Wondering Why We are Here?” Who really wouldn’t want to spend one last dinner with the parents. I liked this one.

“Lafayette, Farewell.” What a way to warn all involved what war does to a man. Excellent.

“Banshee.” Another ghost story. This time a more vengeful one. It was pretty good.

“Promises, Promises.” Oh, boy. This story was a doozy. Sad as it was, I didn’t feel much for Laura. I liked it.

“The Love Affair.” I’m not so sure about this one. It seemed so incomplete.

“One for His Lordship, and One for the Road.” Well, here’s a good one. It was funny and the problem was well thought out, and believable.

“At Midnight in the Month of June.” I didn’t like this one very much. There was something wrong with it. Or maybe it was whose point-of-view the story was from.

“Bless Me Father, for I Have Sinned.” Kind of sweet for a confessional story, in the Catholic sense. Weird in a way, but sweet.

“By the Numbers!” This is a sad story. The Dad was totally to blame.

“A Touch of Petulance.” What a weird story. One of those time-travel paradox stories. I didn’t really like it.

“Long Division” What a sad story. The pain that divorce brings. Maybe we just need to hear this more often, perhaps we wouldn’t give up so hastily.

“Come, and Bring Constance.” I felt so sorry for the husband here. And Junoff needs to hang up his hat. This a crazy one. But all I can really say is ‘what a secretary.

“Junior.” Sick. That’s all I have to say about it. Oh, if you read aloud, don’t do so in mixed company. Never mind, just read it alone. Or not at all. Not at all is the best way to handle this one.

“The Tombstone.” Another creepy story. Leota and her superstitions, with a twist. I liked it.

“The Thing at the Top of the Stairs.” Oh. Monster story time. I liked this one.

“Colonel Stonesteel’s Genuine Home-made Truly Egyptian Mummy.” This was my favorite story of the whole bunch. It was about the friendship between an older man, and young boy.

This was a good collection. I enjoyed it.