What does everyone think of Rays' latest short story collection, "We'll Always Have Paris"? I've read about two-thirds of it so far.
Among the stories that I've read so far, some are great, some don't work at all and most of them fall in between these two extremes. The book as a whole lacks the sense of continuity that most of his short story collections have; it's more of a "mixed bag" of various thoughts and ideas. Of course I'm not complaining, because even an "OK" Ray Bradbury story makes me stop and think about things.
Among my favorites are:
The first story, "Massinello Pietro", which is a celebration of the eccentrics in life, and at the same time a sad commentary on a society that doesn't really know what to do with them. At least this is my interpretation.
"Fly Away Home": Wow! Reading this story was like feeling a breath of fresh, cold air on a hot summer day (sorry, I think I was trying to be like Ray there!). Everything about it made me think back to the first time I read "The Martian Chronicles". It even seems like it was written as part of that book but was later taken out. When one of the characters says, "My God, we're on Mars!" I laughed, and I don't know why. Perhaps it's because only Bradbury can write something so simple-sounding, but make it say so much at the same time.
"Un-Pillow Talk" is one of my favorites. It's about two friends who have sex, and then they realize that they destroyed their friendship, so they try to get it back. The story has the perfect mix of seriousness and lightness.
Another story I really like is about a man who discovers a group of other men who play golf by themselves, at night, on the same golf course. He learns that they are all part of a secret group of people. He's invited to join them, as long as he doesn't say a certain word out loud while he's there. A little sad, a little creepy and lots of atmosphere here.
"The Visit" is full of sadness and tenderness. It's about two strangers who have one very important thing in common.
The title story didn't really work for me, and I didn't really care for the one about the dog in a hospital.
What do you all think?This message has been edited. Last edited by: DavidTVC15,
Ray told me a few weeks ago that this is his favourite story in the book. One of mine too.
I got an email from a screenwriter friend who is currently interested in optioning this to write as a screenplay. Stay tuned.
The Visit was beautiful and touching - so much so that I had to ring a friend and read it to her over the phone. Ma Perkins was bizarre, but wonderful. Pieta Summer is the true story from Ray's childhood about which I am currently filming a documentary.
I am working my way through this. Of course I have some thoughts about the collection as a whole, but I was curious about what others thought.
Unlike many of Ray's other collections, this one seems to have polarized his readers. People either love it or they find that it comes up short.
Only two reviews on the Bradbury boards???
DJ, you're right - discussions of Ray's actual books and stories don't seem to get very far on these boards. There's so much else to discuss, I guess.
If you'd like to know my response to the book, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a spreadsheet in which I made little nutshell comments on every story.
My favourite one is 'If Paths Must Cross Again' -- sad and beautiful.
Most of the stories in the collection are very 'raw' -- pure expression, almost a shout. It's even hard to read them, 'cause they lack of story itself, a plot. Bradbury's method of writing is pure here -- honest, bold, but too pure to me.
However, some of the stories are still good. 'Miss Appletree And I', 'Apple-core, Baltimore', 'The Vistit' -- are still old-good-Bradbury.
I started this thread several months ago, but I just had to add something because I only read about 2/3 of this book at that time. "The Reincarnate" is, in my opinion, among the best stories that Ray has ever written. As I was reading it I couldn't help thinking of "Pillar of Fire", which I first read when I was in grade school (I think it's in "S is for Space").
These two stories have a lot on common, and also some differences. When I re-read "Pillar" recently, I was absolutely blown away his writing style in this story. It's different than usual. It's very straightforward. He uses a few metaphors here and there but not too many. Very short sentences. But he is somehow able to draw you in and establish a mood despite these constraints. "Reincarnate" has a similar story, and a similar style, but it's not quite as dark, and once you learn what the story is really about it becomes very moving and beautiful.
I know that, as Douglas pointed out, people here don't tend to write actual reviews of his books/stories, but I just thought I'd say a few things anyway (I was careful not to say too much about the plots).
Have a great Halloween everyone!
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