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Ray Bradbury Books, With Brief Reviews

fahrenheit-451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I don’t know if any author has given me as much enjoyment as Ray Bradbury. I suspect I’ll be revisiting his stories, which I first encountered as a 4th grader in Elko, Nevada, for the rest of my life. I hope so.

His stories are generally linear, moving from point A to point B, but he chooses wonderful places to start and often blood-curdling places to end.

This list of Ray Bradbury books is a work in progress. I won’t expand on the short story list much because there is a lot of duplication between the various volumes.

Enjoy!

Ray Bradbury’s Novels

The Martian Chronicles

Every story in Chronicles could stand alone. But together they are better. Together they tell the story of human expeditions  to Mars, and their colonization efforts. It seldom goes as well as they had hoped, which makes for a wonderful almost-novel.

Fahrenheit 451

In this most nightmarish of nightmare futures, reading can get you in a lot of trouble. The main character is a “fireman,” a jerk whose job is essentially to burn books and make trouble for people with ideas. He comes around, though.

Dandelion Wine

Another book of stories that falls somewhere between novel and collection. I look at Dandelion Wine the way I view Hucklberry Finn and Tom Sawyer: an author’s love letter to childhood, and boyhood specifically. This book has the feel of those long summer days when you had nothing to do but explore, play, and worries were few.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

A carnival comes to town, led by the sinister Mr. Dark. The carnival is a perfect setting for scares, and Bradbury knew it. Mr. Dark and his troop of crazies are pitted against a couple of young boys and, of course, a heroic librarian. The movie was actually pretty scary for its time as well.

The Halloween Tree

More young boys in peril here, this time as they travel through time trying to find one of their friends. They also learn about Halloween and meet one of Bradbury’s most vivid creations: their guide, Moundshroud.

Death Is A Lonely Business

Someone is bumping off old people in the small town of Venice, California. A writer in the town composes his stories and becoming increasingly involved, ultimately helping a detective as eccentric (or more so) as Sherlock Holmes work to catch the killer.

A Graveyard For Lunatics: Another Tale of Two Cities

A sequel to Death Is A Lonely Business. If you are a movie fan, and a fan of movie tribute and homages, this is the book for you. Bradbury has written another murder mystery without supernatural elements. This book serves as a history of Hollywood, a mystery that you probably won’t figure out until Bradbury lets you, and has some set pieces that are a lot of fun.

Green Shadow, White Whale

Bradbury’s autobiographical novel about his trip to Ireland reminds me of Twain’s Innocents Abroad. He’s there to write a screenplay for an adaptation of Moby Dick for Director John Huston. But the real stories are about the people he meets, the things he sees, and the strangeness of being in a new country. A touching, often hilarious book.

From The Dust Returned

This is like The Addams’ Family taken up a few notches, and without all the corny sight gags. This is a lovely story about one of the most peculiar family reunions you’ll ever read about. In my opinion, one of Ray Bradbury’s strongest works.

Let’s All Kill Constance

The final adventures of the unnamed writer from Lonely Business and Graveyard For Lunatics. Another case. Another criminal. Another tale that only Bradbury could have written.

Farewell Summer

An extension of Dandelion Wine, 50 years later. Different stories, same feel. It is similar enough that fans of Dandelion won’t be disappointed, but different enough to stand on its own. Not that Bradbury fans will need much convincing.

Ray Bradbury Short Story Collections

There is a lot of overlap between some of these collections. Don’t think you have to read every single volume to read all Bradbury’s shorts. Consider this a list for collectors and/or completists.

Dark Carnival

The Illustrated Man

The Golden Apples Of The Sun

The October Country

A Medicine For Melancholy

The Day It Rained Forever

The Small Assassin

R Is For Rocket

The Machineries of Joy

The Autumn People

The Vintage Bradbury

Tomorrow Midnight

S Is For Space

Twice 22

I Sing The Body Electric

Ray Bradbury

Long After Midnight

The Fog And Other Stories

One Timeless Spring

The Last Circus And The Electrocution

The Stories of Ray Bradbury

Dinosaur Tales

A Memory of Murder

The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone

The Toynbee Convector

Classic Stories 1

Classic Stories 2

The Parrot Who Met Papa

Quicker Than The Eye

Driving Blind

Ray Bradbury Collected Short Stories

The Playground

One More For The Road

Bradbury Stories: 100 Of His Most Celebrated Tales

Is That You, Herb?

The Cat’s Pajamas: Collected Stories

A Sound Of Thunder And Other Stories

The Dragon Who Ate His Tail

Now and Forever: Somewhere A Band Is Playing And Leviathan ’99

Summer Morning, Summer Night

Ray Bradbury Stories Volume 2

We’ll Always Have Paris

Josh

 

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Boris Bachmann July 2, 2011, 4:45 pm

    I have not read enough Ray Bradbury. I have a long way to go before “enough” happens with his stuff.

    • Josh Hanagarne July 2, 2011, 4:51 pm

      Maybe you’ve read exactly enough. I love him because I can recognize him immediately in the first paragraph and page of any book. For me, that’s a good thing, and there’s no waiting for anything to happen, because what I get out of his writing happens immediately.

      On another note: I totally forgot to put his Zen book about writing on here.

      • Elmo loves uu December 15, 2011, 4:54 pm

        Did you read his short graphic novel The Dragon”?

  • Patrick Tracy July 2, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I’ve only read Dandelion Wine and a few of his short stories. I need to read more.

  • Gustavo July 3, 2011, 10:43 am

    I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury. Not so easy to find down here and this list comes very handy. Thanks a lot.

  • John Sifferman July 10, 2011, 7:50 am

    Of his novels, I’ve only read Fahrenheit 451. But I have read several of his short stories. My favorite one is called The Murderer, which I didn’t see listed above.