Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine My introduction to the fiction of Ray Bradbury is Dandelion Wine, his much loved ode to small towns, summers and strangeness as only a twelve year old boy could discover it Published in 1957, the book is not a short story collection per se but of the twenty seven vignettes, ten had been published before Season of Disbelief and The Window appeared in Collier s in 1950, A Story About Love in McCall s in 1951, The Lawns of Summer in Nation s Business in 1952, The Swan in Cosmopolitan and The Magical Kitchen in Everywoman s Magazine in 1954, The Trolley in Good Housekeeping in 1955, etc Bradbury s ability to enrapture me is divided between his marvelous curiosities tinkerers, time travel, ghosts, witchcraft, tarot cards, Death and his prose, which is jeweled and beautifully captures the glow of a boy s summer When it comes to a strong narrative or characters I could relate to, the book left me wanting, with most of the chapters or vignettes feeling like what would fill three or four paragraphs of a book as it gears up or takes a break from its central story If there are central characters, they would be Douglas Spaulding, a twelve year old boy and his ten year old brother Tom, who experience the summer of 1928 in their hometown of Green Town, Illinois.From Summer in the Air Well, he felt sorry for boys who lived in California where they wore tennis shoes all year and never knew what it was to get winter off your feet, peel off the iron leather shoes all full of snow and rain and run barefoot for a day and then lace on the first new tennis shoes of the season, which was better than barefoot The magic was always in the new pair of shoes The magic might die by the first of September, but now in late June there was still plenty of magic, and shoes like these could jump you over trees and rivers and houses And if you wanted, they could jump you over fences and sidewalks and dogs.From The Swan It was the face of spring, it was the face of summer, it was the warmness of clover breath Pomegranate glowed in her lips, and the noon sky in her eyes To touch her face was that always new experience of opening your window one December morning, early, and putting out your hand to the first white cool powdering of snow that had come, silently, with no announcement, in the night And all of this, this breath warmness and plum tenderness was held forever in one miracle of photographic chemistry which no clock winds could blow upon to change one hour or one second this fine first cool white snow would never melt, but live a thousand summers.That was the photograph that was the way he knew her.From The Tarot Witch Now Douglas knew why the arcade had drawn him so steadily this week and drew him still tonight For there was a world completely set in place, predictable, certain, sure, with its bright silver slots, its terrible gorilla behind glass forever stabbed by waxen hero to save still waxen heroine, and then the flipping waterfalling chitter of Keystone Kops on eternal photographic spindles set spiraling in darkness by Indian head pennies under naked bulb light The Kops, forever in collision or near collision with train, truck, streetcar, forever gone off piers in oceans which did not drown, because there they rushed to collide again with train, truck, streetcar, dive off old and beautifully familiar pier Worlds within worlds, the penny peek shows which you cranked to repeat old rites and formulas There, when you wished, the Wright Brothers sailed sandy winds at Kittyhawk, Teddy Roosevelt exposed his dazzling teeth, San Francisco was built and burned, burned and built, as long as sweaty coins fed self satisfied machines.From Dinner at Dawn Whoever he was or whatever he was and no matter how different and crazy he seemed, he was not crazy As he himself had often explained gently, he had tired of business in Chicago many years before and looked around for a way to spend the rest of his life Couldn t stand churches, though he appreciated their ideas, and having a tendency toward preaching and decanting knowledge, he bought the horse and the wagon and set out to spend the rest of his life seeing it that one part of town had a chance to pick over what the other part of town had cast off He looked upon himself as a kind of process, like osmosis, that made various cultures within the city limits available to one another He could not stand waste, for he knew that one man s junk is another man s luxury.My favorite vignette in Dandelion Wine is The Swan , in which a young newspaper columnist named Bill Forrester impresses ninety five year old Miss Helen Loomis with the way he orders at an ice cream parlor An unlikely relationship blooms based on an old photo he finds that was taken in 1853, when Helen was twenty The way the old woman makes the younger man feel experienced and worldly and the way the younger man makes her feel energetic and young is told with mesmerizing prose by Bradbury His imagination and facility with language were tailor made for the magazine format and while the book struggles to gel, I did enjoy reading it.Length 78,792 words Some people turn sad awfully young No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world I know, for I m one of them I re read this after a couple of decades and like most works, I appreciate it better now than then A good night sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine It could be that the 40 plus year old is better suited to understand the perspective of the mature writer than the 16 year old reader, or it could just be that this great work speaks on many different levels The first thing you learn in life is you re a fool The last thing you learn in life is you re the same fool Fundamental Bradbury, this work explores many of the themes that are representative of his canon coming of age, spirituality, imagination, and the importance of remaining human amidst an ever increasingly dehumanizing world of technology Sandwich outdoors isn t a sandwich any Tastes different than indoors, notice Got spice Tastes like mint and pinesap Does wonders for the appetite. I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired I mustn t forget, I m alive, I know I m alive, I mustn t forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after thatRay Bradbury, Dandelion WineIngredients1 quart yellow dandelion blossoms, well rinsed 1 gallon boiling water 1.25 ounce package active dry yeast 1 orange, sliced 1 lemon sliceDirectionsPlace dandelion blossoms in the boiling water, and allow to stand for 4 minutes Remove and discard the blossoms, and let the water cool to 90 degrees F 32 degrees C.Stir in the yeast, sugar, orange slices, and lemon slice pour into a plastic fermentor, and attach a fermentation lock Let the wine ferment in a cool area until the bubbles stop, 10 to 14 days Siphon the wine off of the lees, and strain through cheesecloth before bottling in quart sized, sterilized canning jars with lids and rings Age the wine at least a week for best flavor ReviewPeriodically this year I ve been revisiting the great novels of my youth I can t escape Ray Bradbury He was the Michael Chabon of my childhood He taught me to see magic in seasons and find miracles in the ordinary moments in the day This is another Bradbury reread from 30 years ago that has improved with age Add sugar and nostalgia and time Let life ferment you for 30 years Come back to his delicate, nuanced prose Read his sweet notes of youth, of a past infused with both sunshine and magic and see if you don t add a couple stars to your re read Reading this on the Fourth of July was nearly perfect This book, bookended a day filled with family BBQs, fireworks, community festivals, apple pie and icecream The book bottles youth, Summer, Americana, etc It is a love note to being alive, being young, and flirting with the knowledge that life IS fleating, Summer ends, friends move, loved ones die, and there are no machine of happiness Just 93 days, 15 hours, and 38 minutes of Summer in 2017 to be absorbed one day, one smell, one word at a time stolen wholecloth from one Internet receipe machine or another Look for the one that is smoking. Recently while moving bookcases, books and furniture around, I came across my copy of Dandelion Wine I had read it once, years ago, during my own personal Golden Age of Science Fiction, ages 8 to 16 Now was a good time as any to revisit this novel Bradbury had been marked, incorrectly, in my mind as a sci fi writer on the same level as Heinlein or Asimov.He s not a hard core, I, Robot type of sci fi writer, really More like a fantasy writer who touched on sci fi themes.And, he s in his own league There haven t been many authors like Bradbury, heart of a poet, imagination as great as any, and a style that is both comfortable and familiar to the reader and yet is still unique.Dandelion Wine is in my opinion the most poetical of anything I ve read by him.It s a pean to childhood joys and fears, a story of the rite of passage from young child to a aware young man The town, fictional, of Green Town is a nod to Bradbury s real home town of Waukegan, Illinois, as seen from the eyes of Douglas Spaulding, a 12 year old boy learning he is alive and mortal all in one summer.The novel is a series of short stories about the town and its people, told mostly through Douglas or his younger brother, Tom The Happiness Machine, the Green Machine, the old tarot witch, friends moving away, old ways coming to an end, new ways being noticed, and sometimes an old way being restored, death and life, all parade past on the pages of this luminous novel The Summer of 1928 is perfectly bottled and stored in the cellar, just waiting for someone to come down, open the cap, and breathe deep of the golden light, and let the feelings play around like incandescent beetles scattering in the bright summer sun.It is nostalgic without being maudlin or self pitying It is magical without being vulgar and ostentatious It bobs and weaves around the darkness and light of being alive, of being young or old and, always at the center, of being human.Bradbury is a master storyteller He is at the top of his game as he casts a spell about the rite of passage for Douglas as he progresses from a simple child to be a complex and self reflecting young man.I really can t give this book enough praise It s delightful and thought provoking The themes are all known, but they are expressed with such skill and care that they don t feel old Rather like the streets around your home after a spring rain You know them, yes, but they are refreshed and clean.I encourage you to get a copy and read it. Um.ok so I totally hated this book I hope someone out there can tell me why this is a good book It s unique, sure, but it s just a mess of words In reading the introduction, I felt like I got a sense of why that is The author said he forced himself to word dump every single morning just writing as creatively etc as he could Well, I think he just put those creative word dumps together and called it a story It has no story line, no voice, no character development, no point The author just seems to want to hear himself write. This book is a beloved classic dear to lots of people Thus I have to give a warning before I say anything else This time I am going to be that guy everybody hates I did not like it You may call me grumpy old man I probably read it wrong, quite possible right to left bottom to top English language edition If you love the book stop here and proceed no further Pay no attention to the incoherent ramblings of an old man This would be me by the way Usually I give a brief description of plot, at least its initial development This time I have nothing to say there is no plot This book is about a boy s summer, the summer of 1928 The guy and his brother make some small discoveries while some happenings go on around town These happenings feel like stories with no beginning and almost always no end Take the one about the Happiness Machine It felt too obvious to me and too preachy The inventor s wife came out a stereotypical nagging one The inventor himself felt retarded So no plot and no character development kids remain exactly the same no matter what happens to them The book has two things to boast about it is really great at inducing nostalgia this is a compliment and not criticism and it is good at showing a boy s childhood experiences of summer To the first positive part I can reply that I cannot feel any nostalgia for 1928 by definition as even my parents were not born at that time My reply to the second there are plenty of books that do it better and with exciting meaningful plots and character developments too I was bored reading the book A question came to me during the read and it kept bugging me all the time What would happened it a transcript of this book was submitted to a publisher not by an undisputed classic of science fiction Ray Bradbury, but an unknown guy John Smith Would this mess even be published Would a self respecting publisher even look at the manuscript twice We may never know After finishing this book I almost ended up in a dreadful reading slump My salvation was switching quickly to my special anti slump book pile On the other hand I understand that this is a favorite book of quite a few people with some of them classifying it as classic, so I cannot give it one star for the fear of a lynching mob showing up on my doorsteps Let me find something nice to say about it and raise the rating The book has great writing, is a classic, has great writing, and is a classic I am going in circles, am I not Two stars is as high as I can go Yes, I repeat I most probably read it wrong P.S If any of my friends that happened to like this book want to de friend me, I understand Sorry My rating stands no matter what. Sure, it s overly sentimental and largely ignores the social problems of the time depicted, but when you re 12 years old in small town America, there are no social problems There are only problems regarding the new pair of tennis shoes you want, the creepy guy who hangs out in the ravine, the desire to live forever, to be young forever, to build the perfect happiness machine Besides, Bradbury s writing is so rich it practically drips, much like biting into a perfectly ripe peach in August. Magic Realism according to Wikipedia Magical realism, magic realism, or marvelous realism is a genre of narrative fiction and, broadly, art literature, painting, film, theatre, etc that, while encompassing a range of subtly different concepts, expresses a primarily realistic view of the real world while also adding or revealing magical elements It is sometimes called fabulism, in reference to the conventions of fables, myths, and allegory Magical realism , perhaps the most common term, often refers to fiction and literature in particular, with magic or the supernatural presented in an otherwise real world or mundane setting This book is the essence of Magic Realism If you are a fan of other Magic Realism books i.e McCammon s Boy s Life you should definitely check this out The setting is small town America, the main characters are your average young boys, but the things they encounter are far from normal or are they you will question what is real and what is imagination.Nostalgia, young vs old, new ideas vs the status quo are all main themes Learning from past mistakes, respecting the experience of your elders, and history repeating itself all make appearances There is no life or death just sunrises sunsets, new beginnings, strong tradition, and acceptance of your place in all of it.This book is deeply poetic and rightly so A fantastically written story that should be read by anyone that appreciates great literature I am looking forward to the sequel, Something Wicked This Way Comes. The Summer Of Was A Vintage Season For A Growing Boy A Summer Of Green Apple Trees, Mowed Lawns, And New Sneakers Of Half Burnt Firecrackers, Of Gathering Dandelions, Of Grandma S Belly Busting Dinner It Was A Summer Of Sorrows And Marvels And Gold Fuzzed Bees A Magical, Timeless Summer In The Life Of A Twelve Year Old Boy Named Douglas Spaulding Remembered Forever By The Incomparable Ray Bradbury

Ray Douglas Bradbury, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet, was born August 22, 1920 in Waukegan, Illinois He graduated from a Los Angeles high school in 1938 Although his formal education ended there, he became a student of life, selling newspapers on L.A street corners from 1938 to 1942, spending his nights in the public library and his days at

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  • Paperback
  • 239 pages
  • Dandelion Wine
  • Ray Bradbury
  • English
  • 14 August 2018
  • 9780671037703

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