Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ray Bradbury and Me

Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts about one of his favorite authors:

"There are very few authors I return to again and again.  I believe in variety and like to read books from a multitude of authors.  Yet, some authors are so good, their writing so unique and excellent, that they almost demand a reader to return to their writing again and again.  Ray Bradbury is one of the finest writers I have ever had the pleasure and unforgettable experience of reading.  His books and short stories ought to find a place on every reader's book shelves.

I think the first Bradbury book I ever read, like many people, was Fahrenheit 451, which I was very much affected by.  Deciding to read more of his books was barely a conscious decision.  After reading Something Wicked This Way Comes I have never once hesitated to pick up another Bradbury book or collection of short stories.  His writing has a way of capturing my imagination in a way that other authors have never been able to do.  I will never forget the way that From the Dust Returned tore through my imagination and sent me into the clouds along with Bradbury's characters long after I read the last word of the book.  Even Bradbury's more subtle book, Dandelion Wine, and its domestic and slightly magical tale of yesterday's summers gave me more to ponder and reflect on than the vast majority of books I have read.

It was a total coincidence that I started reading Dandelion Wine the day that Ray Bradbury died.  I remember very vividly hearing the news, and it was the first time I felt a genuine pang of sadness to hear that an author had died.  Bradbury's books were really at the beginning of my reading adventure, and they have continued to entertain and enlighten me as I've continued that adventure.  My hope for my fellow readers is that they will experience Ray Bradbury's wonderful art—for such it is—and not just his most well-known book—Fahrenheit 451—but his other tales of mystery, fantasy, horror, and family.  I plan on going back again, and I look forward to discovering what I'll find."

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