Just finished Bradbury Speaks. Here are some quick thoughts:
Terrific stuff, every last essay, even those that haven’t been published. Hard-core, and not-so-hardcore, fans will find some of the themes of essays familiar, some of them mightily familiar, but that’s no bad thing. I especially enjoyed the section “About Life.” My favorite? “The Ardent Blasphemers” for a clear, concise discussion comparing and contrasting Melville with Verne. (I know, sounds like an essay question for a Literature final. Students should take a hint.) And because I’m also a Disney fan, I admired the essays on Disney and the architects who designed The Grand Floridian.
I’ve stated before that I think Bradbury’s strength is actually in his essays. Oh, sure, he made some powerful fiction early in his career but, with a few exceptions, he can’t meet, or top, that early work. (What writer can?) And I’m on the record as being no fan of his poetry. But grab this collection of essays and stand back: Bradbury is speaking with the tongues of angels and his talent really shines.
Bottom line: the Washinton Post review was wrong wrong wrong.
I am hoping that Barnes and Noble still have a copy left. And then again there is Borders I could try and also Million Dollar Books. Sounds like real good reading. I am reading an autobiography by Mickey Rooney--very interesting reading. He is going to appear at our retirement community theatre in February and I am going to write him to see if I can have him autograph my copy at his appearance.
I would bet that Ray and Mickey Rooney have crossed paths somewhere along the line. Both of them have known so many people, it is almost unbelievable.
I got my copy from the libary. My timing was just right; when I reserved it, the copy had just come in and had finished being processed. The Barnes and Nobler I browse on occassion had two copies, so maybe it won't be hard for you.
Interesting observation about Rooney. I suspect with Bradbury it's a lot like that game of seven degrees of separation. He's probably come across most everyone in his long career. Rooney strikes me as another person with an enthusiasm for life. Last time I was in Florida, I saw he was a spokesperson for a retirement community. (Century Village, I think. I'm a former Florida boy and remember when Chuck Zink, "Skipper Chuck," was the spokesman.) Rooney seemed full of zest to me.
Take care, and enjoy your book.
I finished reading Ray's book of essays (see photo with said book in hand a just a couple of weeks ago) and took a bit more time doing so as compared to, say, The Cat's Pajamas. Anyway, I fully enjoyed reading them all and, again, feel that they provide a bit more insight into who Ray Bradbury really is.
His willingness to be so nice to his fans comes from so many famous people being nice to him as he was growing up.
It is hard to believe that it was 39 years ago this month that I first met Ray. I am not sure why, but lately I have had dreams of visiting with Ray (I have been to his home four different times)and last night it was having breakfast with him. Wishful thinking perhaps.
Michael_at_Lauderdale_By_The_Sea.jpg (242 Kb, 18 downloads) Photo
biplane!, What a great picture! Your exuberance shines through your smile. You look like a kid in a candy store. Congratulations on posting this pic, were you able to pull and post it directly from your files? Regarding your dreams of Ray. I think if I were in your position, I would call Ray and tell him you'd enjoy a visit. Why not take your wife and daughter to Disneyland while there? Your never too old for fun!
She stood silently looking out into the great sallow distances of sea bottom, as if recalling something, her yellow eyes soft and moist...
I thought I would mention that a new book, CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GREAT MOVIEMAKERS OF HOLLYWOOD'S GOLDEN AGE AT THE AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE, edited by George Stevens Jr. (son of the great film director, George Stevens) (Knopf, 2006), has a lengthy interview with Ray about his work in film. And while I do not have in front of me the earlier publication, CONVERSATIONS WITH RAY BRADBURY that was published by the University of Mississippi Press, I do not believe the American Film Institute interview appears in that earlier volume. Ironically, in Stevens' book, Ray's interview appears just after one with director John Huston with whom, as most know, Ray had a love/hate relationship due to the way Huston treated him while he wrote the screenplay to the film MOBY DICK.
Just looked this up on the Net. Wow! Looks like a great book.
Ray's experiences with celebrities came in a different age and before the days of bad-boy celebrities and obnoxious fans. Let's just hope he's not the last of a vanishing breed.
Peter, you mentioned Chuck Zink and he just passed away a few weeks ago and his career was highlighted on the news.
Richard, thanks for the tip-off about the Stevens book. I've just looked in CONVERSATIONS WITH RAY BRADBURY, and it doesn't seem to include the AFI interview. Off to Amazon to place an order...
Thanks for the news about Chuck Zink. I take a gander at the Miami Herald online on my Saturday morning Internet prowl so it got by me. (Checking for headlines that mention family members or biplane1. So far you've managed to stay out of the news!) It was probably close to 40 years ago I made the pilgrimage most South Florida youth made to his morning show and I still remember it. Ah, well. Another page of South Florida television history passes. (Do you remember Ralph Rennick? The big newsguy in the 60s. His son Ralphie was a friend of my cousin's and I remember meeting him, too.)
Unfortunately Pete, I have only been here almost five years and pick up a piece here and there about the early television era.
In Minneapolis (I lived in Willmar, 100 miles west of Minneapolis)it was Rodney Roundhouse who passed away shortly before we left. He had a kid's show that was very popular many years ago.
So as far as Ralph Rennick, that is a name that I do not know, perhaps I can Google him later.
Could not locate the exact postings about people Ray Bradbury has known. So excuse me as I add here a few more to that list, wherever that list may be:
Photo includes, Louis L'Amour, from left to right
and Irving Wallace
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You have to admit that Ray was quite the "dapper" guy in his day.
Yeah - in those Matlock suits!
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