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Dandelion Wine
by Ray Bradbury

World-renowned fantasist Ray Bradbury has on several occasions stepped outside the arenas of horror, fantasy, and science fiction. An unabashed romantic, his first novel in 1957 was basically a love letter to his childhood. (For those who want to undertake an even more evocative look at the dark side of youth, five years later the author would write the chilling classic Something Wicked This Way Comes.)

Dandelion Wine takes us into the summer of 1928, and to all the wondrous and magical events in the life of a 12-year-old Midwestern boy named Douglas Spaulding. This tender, openly affectionate story of a young man's voyage of discovery is certainly more mainstream than exotic. No walking dead or spaceships to Mars here. Yet those who wish to experience the unique magic of early Bradbury as a prose stylist should find Dandelion Wine most refreshing.
--Stanley Wiater


===============   Note     3              =================

 
To: ALL Date: 02/16 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:30 AM DANDELION WINE by Ray Bradbury It's too bad that Edd couldn't have been here to open up this topic. This was his book nomination. I wish I had scheduled it another time, but maybe it's fitting and we'll think of Edd when we talk about this wonderful book. Each chapter had something to give. I think my favorite was the one in which Great-grandma decided it was time to go, that she had finished her job. It was sad and hopeful and such a hymn of praise to grandmothers. It certainly reminded me of mine. I liked being able to experience what it was like to live in a simpler, dare I say, richer time. I write that, and then I remember the murders. Bradbury didnt omit the under side of humanity, the nightmare that came alive in the form of the murderer. Why do you think that Doug and Tom wanted to keep the image of The Lonely One alive? Was it because little boys like monsters? Was it because it was just too horrible to believe the murderer could have been a man like any other? If one man can be a murderer, maybe any man can be? Maybe *you* could be a murderer. That is a very scary thought. I liked the combination of flights of fantasy and hyper-realism. Such images, such descriptions. I swear I could smell the summer nights, I could hear the insects and feel the humidity. Very powerful stuff. Sherry, home from Phoenix  
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 02/16 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 11:49 AM Sherry: The richness of Bradbury's prose is legendary. His approach to writing is at the opposite end of the spectrum from many people we read -- where the world is just a hazy backdrop for the powerful emotional and psychological events that are taking place among and within the characters. For Bradbury, the manifest world of existence is often the central element of the story. While there are interactions among his characters, at least half of what the reader learns from his characters are the tastes and smells and feels of their world around them. This approach is made easier by the fact that Bradbury often uses children in his stories, so that he can examine the world through their particularly keen and prescient senses. I, too, liked the death of the grandmother (great-grandmother?); such a sweet way to imagine dying after a full and happy life. Too bad that, as with much of Bradbury's vision, it's an unattainable fairy tale -- like the summer of 1928 itself, vividly imagined and completely out of our reach. Unless, of course, you have the book.... Dick =============== Reply 2 of Note 19 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 02/16 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 4:35 PM Or, Dick, if you lived through the summer of 1928 and such a life in a small town in a rural area. I thought of my mother and what her life might have been like that summer. She lived on an Ohio farm with very small villages/towns nearby with her father, mother, older brother and toddler sister and a few miles away on a second farm her mother's mother and father. Her father had a car -- the first around there as they had also had the first phone and the first radio thereabouts. I wonder about that particular summer when she turned eight at the end of July because in October her father died and that set her life into a very different vein. I think I'll have to explore and question on this. Also -- there were summers like this that others may have stored in their memories -- 1940 something or even 1950 something -- not QUITE as far back techologically but close -- more so if still in small town/rural areas. My own husband still recalls the horse-drawn milk delivery wagon as a child in the late 40's/early 50's in a town neighboring my own -- not far from that 1928 farm of my grandparents. I remember as a child being taken out to the fringe of town into what was and remains country in feel to the home of my father's aunt and uncle to see my great-aunt lying in state upon her bed propped with many pillows and with many shawls and covers recieving myriad relatives for most likely their final visit with her. She was ill and close to death but she spoke with and touched us -- the great-grandmother scene brought back this scene so vividly. Aunt Telly had a large family -- had lived a hard-working life -- had known happiness and sorrows -- and I think the great-grandmother's readiness to die -- her knowing it was 'time' is related to just that same having known it all, good and bad, happiness but tempered by and valued more because of troubles. I loved the lushness of the descriptions of nature, of their feelings. I owe my baseball talk friend, Edd, a great debt for this experience for I know I will never be the same and will go back to this book again periodically from here on. Guess you can tell -- I really got hooked by this one. Dottie, looking forward to this 'converstion' a great deal! And honestly, still not quite sure why this grabbed me so emphatically --- some underlying factor that I haven't determined is at least partially involved. =============== Reply 3 of Note 19 =================  
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 02/16 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:32 PM Sherry, I am quite confused. I just posted a note about DW on an earlier thread. I thought that it was the official CR discussion thread. I will post here from now on. Jane who is enjoying DW =============== Reply 4 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/17 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 2:07 AM Jane -- Sorry -- that was my fault as I posted an earlier note but didn't want it to start discussion as it was somewhat early. I just had to burst forth with my enthusiasm for this book. It is such a wonderful read -- I DO agree with your comparison of the young lady's heart racing dash through the ravine reminding one of Scout running from the villain in TKAM. Also -- the sad parts of DW as well as the good parts are what gives it the appeal that it has for me. I remember how it felt at age ten to have my best friend since first grade go clear out to California and to only see her on rare visits. Even after I had moved to CA 22 yrs after, we never really resumed our friendship at the same level though we did manage to see each other a few times and now she is dead too early -- she was my FIRST best friend. I remember our childhood days in a town much like that in DW -- sweet summers of fireflies and sleepovers and all the secrets six year olds can share. Glad to hear you are enjoying this book and looking forward to hearing your furthur comments. Dottie =============== Reply 5 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/17 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:25 AM Jane, don't worry. I wanted to start the "official" thread with the title, so it would could be easily identified. I was a little late because of my trip. What did you all think of the supernatural elements of the story? I agree with you about the running through the ravine section. I was reading on the airplane at that point. I think we could have hit an air pocket (or whatever it is that makes planes dip drastically) and I would have hung on for dear life without losing my place. Sherry =============== Reply 6 of Note 19 =================  
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 02/18 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 0:08 AM This was my 3rd time around with DANDELION WINE, and I found it had developed a few zits while it was ageing in my bookcase. There were times I _almost_ tired of Bradbury's breathless, almost overwrought style, and yes Felix, he never met an adjective he didn't like. That said tho, the whole of the book is such a charmer, such a trip into nostalgia for a world I never knew, such an unabashed tear-jerker (albiet the gentle kind) that I really can't badmouth it. And it's not all cotton candy, no siree bob. This a story about a young fella's discovery of what it is to be alive, and his concomitant discovery of death. And it may be the childhood that we all wish we had, and that nobody ever really had, even back in 1928. The world as it ought to have been. The witch's world, incased in a glass box, ready to tell our fortunes. Ruth =============== Reply 7 of Note 19 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 02/18 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 10:11 AM Ruth, I was wondering how you would react to all those adverbs . I thought his writing was a bit breathless, too, but I forgave him. Douglas discovering that he was "alive" was wonderful. Bradbury didn't dodge the big issues, evil and death and history. I kept comparing this fictional childhood to my own. I suppose we all did that. The characters who inhabited my childhood spoke a rougher, more everyday language. They were very judgmental and nosy and controlling of children. I came away from my childhood disliking small community life. But I always thought that if I had lived in town instead of on a farm it would have been different. I expect I romanticized the possiblities. Sherry =============== Reply 8 of Note 19 =================  
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 02/18 From: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Time: 12:18 PM Sherry, et. al. Bradbury is clearly taken with the concept that the young writer is formed and shaped by the kinds of events that presumably happened one summer in his own life. What a delightful idea, this keeping of two lists, one the routine summer events and one the one-of-a-kind events. And this youth relishes the events from both lists. For example, the story around the purchase of the new sneakers was priceless. Here's an interesting Bradbury side-bar: Last year, a local 5th grade class read FARENHEIT 451, and wrote to Bradbury. He wrote back to the class with wonderful words of encouragement about reading and writing. This man still has the young person's zest for living that he displayed in DW, and wants to encourage it in others. This is a generous writer. MAP =============== Reply 9 of Note 19 =================  
To: FDLX59B MARY ANNE PAPALE Date: 02/18 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:42 PM MAP and all, I want to thank Edd for nominating this book. I would never have picked it up on my own, so again I have discovered a wonderful book because of CR. I think that Bradbury did a marvelous job of capturing the feeling of endless summer that a child has. When he describes the tradition of hanging up the porch swing that Doug shared with his grandfather and Tom, it reminded me of the pure joy I feel on the very first day school is out for the summer. Nowadays, it just goes by much too fast. But, don't you all remember how slowly those summer days passed by when you were ten or twelve. Sherry, I liked the supernatural touches because they seem to be part of the magic of childhood. It is kind of like the section I mentioned in THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS. When seven year old Rahel sees her cousin doing a cartwheel while she is lying dead in her coffin, it seemed like something an imaginative child would "see". Old Mr. Jonas's cure of Doug was a lovely touch. On a hot day this coming summer, I want to reread this section just so I can feel the coolness of the words that Mr. J. used. I hope that Edd is able to tell us what his favorite parts are. Jane, still sending positive thoughts to Edd =============== Reply 10 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/18 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 11:02 PM Jane -- That porch swing and the rituals of the gatherings on the porch were especially involving for me as they brought to mind the wide, deep front porch an our two story house where our own swing was installed and removed with the seasons and the long ell to the left where my sister and I had a single metal seat swing all our own for the more rambunctious swinging we indulged in from time to time -- nearly touching our toes to the porch roof it seems in retrospect though I don't think we could go that high in actuality. Many evenings -- or late at night -- I spent on the front swing nestled between two adults or on someone's lap, often draped in a blanket -- lazily drifting back and forth until someone would carry me up to my bed. I have a very vivid memory of one night on my great-aunt's lap and her swinging me and singing almost inaudibly a soft lullaby to calm me -- at somewhere around age 7 perhaps. Don't know if I'd been scolded or had a nightmare and come downstairs -- but I remember her soft refrain and the moist fog that had begun to set in across the moonlit sky and the smell of the wisteria that lined the entire ell and the right side of the front porch. I know our small town had whisperings, intrigues and scandals but to be very truthful -- I remember very little of those that took place in those years of my childhood when we lived in this house. The life of the town somehow stayed apart from my world during those years. My family and the extended group of families that were like family had bearing on our lives but I was really very unaware of anything else. So much of this book brought back my own memories -- and I wept and laughed as I said in my first (too early) note. I, too, will be anxious to learn of Edd's favorite parts and his thoughts on them. Dottie, still helping out the good vibes and prayers for Edd and Diane =============== Reply 11 of Note 19 =================  
To: UHUB31A D RANDALL Date: 02/19 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:11 AM Dottie, What beautiful memories you describe. My grandmother had a big ole wraparound porch, but she had a glider, not a swing, and lots of rocking chairs and wicker chairs. We left them out all year, since it was the south. One part of the porch was screened-in and one part was opened. I remember when many of my aunts and uncles would come for Sunday dinner and so many cousins would show up. What a time. Sherry =============== Reply 12 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/19 From: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Time: 9:16 AM Jane, I like your idea of the supernatural parts being like the magic in a child's life. Bradbury obviously never abandoned that part of himself that believes in magic. I'm really glad he didn't. I like the metaphor of drinking the days of summer captured in the wine. I bet Edd's favorite chapter is the one with the old man who is a living Time Machine. He has Time in his title. Sherry =============== Reply 13 of Note 19 =================  
To: WSRF10B SHERRY KELLER Date: 02/19 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 5:30 PM Sherry -- EXACTLY. You had that kind of childhood, too. It is a shame that this connectedness to family is part of what got lost as our society started moving around so much. So some of us who are good at it start building 'families' among friends and others who are not so good at it -- they lose out on it. The latter ones are the quieter less gregarious ones of the siblings and cousins who enjoyed the gatherings and soaked it all up but remained basically aloof in some part of themselves even so. As I said, this book really brought up a LOT of memories and for the most part, wonderful ones. Porch rockers -- I was just wishing a few months ago that I had our old family porch rockers! Dottie =============== Reply 14 of Note 19 =================  
To: UHUB31A D RANDALL Date: 02/19 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:49 PM Dottie and Sherry, I loved your "porch" notes. The chapter about grandmother's cooking reminded me of my own grandmother. When my father was a young boy, he said he would stick his head in the kitchen to ask his mother and older sisters if he could help in some way. Their response was always, "OUT!" Grandma never used recipes - just a pinch of this or "use enough to make it feel right when you stir". If you are cooking for 10 to 20 people every day, I guess you don't worry about recipes. I loved it that Doug's grandmother lost her magic touch when Aunt Rose got her "organized". That always happens when I clean my desk at work. When it is a mess, I can find everything, but once I clean it, I am lost. Jane who is waiting to hear from Felix =============== Reply 15 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/20 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 12:40 PM I did NOT have this kind of a childhood. My summers were the beach, the beach and more beach. But the spirit of DW, the idea of the Endless Summer (hmm, wasn't that a movie?) that ends in September, transcends time and place. It's so easy to get lost in all this sweet nostalgia. But there's a hard kernel of truth underneath it all--the awareness of life and the awareness of death. Beginnings and endings. And did you notice how the beginning and ending of this book mirrored each other? If you stop a minute to think, Douglas Spaulding is like a magician, turning it all on for us to see, and then turning it off again when it's over. He stands there in an imaginary top hat pulling aside an imaginary curtain and presenting us, with TA DA! The summer of 1928. When he snaps his fingers it all comes to life. When he snaps his fingers again, the lights go off and we wonder if it's all been a dream. Life and death again. Ruth =============== Reply 16 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/20 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 5:21 PM Jane, this losing her touch when organized made me worry about having asked an elderly cousin to tell (write to me) her homemade noodles. She did and said she actually measured the ingredients sort of for the first time ever. Now I'm worried that she will make the noodles and they won't come out right cause she will be thinking about measuring or not measuring. Her noodles are THE best! Dottie =============== Reply 17 of Note 19 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 02/20 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 5:43 PM 0uth -- yes, I agree that beneath the idyllic childview of summer is the reality of life and it is present to the child as much as is the sweet innocence. It was true that in the small town summers of my own childhood much that went on in the adult society went over my head but there were events within the family and our extended family of families that we knew about -- illnesses, deaths, births. Elderly folks who were ill were generally kept at home and taken care of by the family. One of my much older cousins always came to our house from out in the counttry to spend the last month of her pregnancies (there were lots of them) so she could be sure she'd get to the hospital on time. The cousin who was mentally retarded -- as it was then termed -- lived at home not in a group home. When we went to see that aunt and uncle he was there to be nice or not depending on his mood (when in a bad mood he pinched or twisted arms). Another aunt and uncle had a daughter who had a crippling disease and was always in a wheeled wicker stroller even though she was older than her two siblings and all of us cousins -- we didn't really think about it and we would talk to her or stroke her hands or arms and she would smile at us though she couldn't communicate. The griefs of life were not hidden -- just accepted as the way life was. I also agree with your -- TA DA, Douglas Spaulding gives us the summer of 1928 -- that was exactly how it was. I liked the repetitive and reflective beginning and ending -- in a place with those very defined seasons there were those rituals of beginning and ending the season. I guess one could easily get lost in the sentiment but yet -- sometimes it's nice to wrap up in a little bit of 'warm fuzzy' from our own or a borrowed past and fuel up to face whatever it is we are facing in the way of rough going in our lives. A good read, I still say. Dottie =============== Reply 18 of Note 19 =================  
To: UHUB31A D RANDALL Date: 02/20 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 6:42 PM Just wanted to let you all know that there is another DANDELION WINE reader out here. I'm about half-way through it and now I can't find it. I'm thinking that I was carrying it around so much that I must've left it somewhere. If I don't find it this week-end, I'm off to buy another copy and will join in with you soon. I hate losing books!! Barb =============== Reply 19 of Note 19 =================  
To: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Date: 02/20 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:05 PM Ruth, I also loved those opening and closing scenes where Douglas pretends that he is controling the world. In fact, we learn that he doesn't have much control at all. I think that we all feel that way. We think that we have our lives under control and then something happens to remind us that life is random. For example, two years ago, I was driving along in our new car when a man who was parked on the side of the street made an abrubt turn and slammed into our car. My first reaction was typical of a person who has a fairly calm life. What did I do to deserve this? It was a random happening that I couldn't control, so it was difficult to accept. Douglas felt that way when his old friend died and when his great grandmother died. One has a tendancy to think, "I have been good, so why is this happening?" Jane in sunny CO =============== Reply 20 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/21 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 3:08 AM Jane and Ruth -- the scene that touched me was Douglas and his friends playing Statues and his attempt to use the game to hold onto his friend. In the following vignette Douglas extracts a promise from Tom which is given but is, of course, not a realistic promise given the randomness and the repetitive cycles of life. when Tom says Douglas can depend on him, the response is: "It's not you I worry about,..."It's the way God runs the world." Tom's response is -- "He's all right, Doug, ..."He tries." I found this exchange very moving -- a child's level of acceptance of the joys and sorrows presented by life -- God's responsibility in those same events. Holding both to be of value? Dottie =============== Reply 21 of Note 19 =================  
To: UHUB31A D RANDALL Date: 02/21 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 3:13 AM 0uth???? That's RUTH, of course. I can't even say I was half asleep -- it was the middle of the day -- no excuse for it -- tsk-tsk. Dottie =============== Reply 22 of Note 19 =================  
To: UHUB31A D RANDALL Date: 02/21 From: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Time: 1:33 PM I have enjoyed reading all of your notes. This book describes the kind of childhood I wish I could have had, so it is a different kind of nostalgia for me. Once I got past the (for me) overly descriptive part at the beginning, I really enjoyed this book. One thing that really struck me was how well the kids interacted with old people. It was hard for me to imagine 12 year olds listening quietly to the old man telling his Civil War and buffalo stories, but I think that 12 year olds were a lot less sophisticated then, and maybe kinder. I also really liked the chapter about the old woman who had held onto so many momentos of her past and finally started living only in the present. I think she might have overreacted there, but the relationship between my present self and the self of 20, 30, 40 or even 50 (yipes!) years ago is something that really intrigues me. Sometimes it seems that we are complete strangers, and yet they are part of my identity. One of the strongest parts of this story is when Douglas realizes his own mortality. I remember when my oldest son just started sobbing one day because he had just realized that he would die some day. Coincidentally, he was also 12. I think I had made this distressing discovery at a somewhat younger age. How about the rest of you? Fortunately, this wasn't something my son seemed to brood about after the initial shock. Of course, one of the things that makes Doug such an attractive character is his absolute zest for life -- neat kid. Ann =============== Reply 23 of Note 19 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 02/21 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 10:04 PM Ann, I enjoyed your post. I think my own mortality didn't hit me until I was newly married and in my 20's. I had to go to the hospital and have a biopsy done and I was petrified that I might die. The clincher was when the doctor called Tom N. in to tell him about the procedure and Tom turned so pale that I thought that he was going to pass out. It made me realize that the procedure was serious. Obviously, I survived it!! Jane who is happy to be alive each and every day =============== Reply 24 of Note 19 =================  
To: TQWX67A ANN DAVEY Date: 02/24 From: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Time: 1:23 AM Hi Ann, My great-uncle sent me a book he helped on that was written by high school students about WWII veterans of the 8th Air Force over in England. These were 15 and 16 year olds, but they learned a lot about an era they didn't know about, and developed a big respect for the 'Older Generation'. Book called Silent Heroes Amung Us put out by New Horizon Publishing and was the Winner of the 1997 National Award from Freedoms Foundation. If you think it was hard for 12 year olds to listen, just imagine some mid teen interviewing someone they had never met. Just amazing. Bill =============== Reply 25 of Note 19 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 02/24 From: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Time: 1:42 AM Hi Jane, Mortality, DW does very well touching on the fact and showing a glimpse of what a 12 year old might think about his/her own mortality. What a book! I laughed, I cried, my throat closed up and I couldn't talk(the wife loved it). Now THAT hit me from every direction, again. I read it before about 33 years ago. I grew up in Pa. where my Aunt, 5 years older than me, and I were given pails and we spent the whole day going back and forth across those oceans of yellow flowers pulling the yellow tops off(just watch out for those darn bees). My grandfather had two 20 gallon kegs down in the cellar (the other keg was for Elderberry or blackberry). I miss that! Then there was the grandma. She cooked by the little of this, and a little of that method. I asked my grandmother for a recipe and she sent it to me with 'a pinch of this' and 'add milk till it looks like lumpy soup' and things like that. Still have that recipe. The fear of 'The Lonely One' at midnight in the ravine was tangible. I have gotten out of a scary movie at age 10 at night when I couldn't get in touch with my parents. I ran the 9 blocks home and swear I saw right, left and front all at the same time(didn't need to look back, nothing could possibly have caught me). The one part of the book that did blow me away again was Doug and Tom talking about the trolley leaving: 'It's not you I worry about, it's the way God runs the world' 'He's all right, He tries' ONE GOOD BOOK Oh, I lost my copy of DW and went to a used book store to get another copy. Asked the owner of the store if he had DW and it was his all time favorite book. Spent the next 20 minutes discussing it with him. Just back from a time-share in Arkansas, Bill =============== Reply 26 of Note 19 =================  
To: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Date: 02/24 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 3:01 AM Bill - He tries. quote is the one that hit me, too. I enjoyed hearing from the dandelion gatherer -- do you remember the process that was used once you had the flower heads? Over on the Salon if you backdate a little, you will find a note on DW with two recipes for the wine and the commentary about the flowers being chemically polluted these days. Would be interested in your memory of what steps were used in your grandfather's dandelion wine making. Dottie =============== Reply 27 of Note 19 =================  
To: UHUB31A D RANDALL Date: 02/24 From: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Time: 12:24 PM Hi Dottie, All I remember about the process was that after we dumped our bucket into a big washtub, my mom, another Aunt and my grandmother would take the green off and I'm not too clear as to how they got from the tub to the four big fermenting tubs in the cellar. I do remember my grandfather checking it daily and adding a crushed up peach into each of the tubs. Hey, ten year olds have other worlds to explore, and now I am sorry I didn't pay a lot more attention to what was going on around me. He strained the fermented stuff over about 2 or 3 days before adding it to the Vat. Great tasting stuff when I could sneak a sip. Bill =============== Reply 28 of Note 19 =================  
To: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Date: 02/24 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 1:17 PM Thanks Bill -- interesting snippets, details of process which like many processes we saw performed in our childhoods were not important to us as children. Regrets, yes, but the key is to cherish the memories -- the things we do remember and the things we somehow brought forward and retained in our lives. Dottie, who believes it's all in there somewhere and has influenced us and the world around us =============== Reply 29 of Note 19 =================  
To: FXBS39A WILLIAM BRIGODE Date: 02/24 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:21 PM Bill, I enjoyed all of the sections that you mention. And I felt very nostalgic after I read DW. We are all walking history books when we remember our lives and what our parents and grandparents have told us. Bradbury makes this point when he talks about the old Colonel. My mother has an autographed picture of Buffalo Bill Cody that her mother obtained in Cody, Wyoming. Too bad that her mother died in 1918 in the influenza epidemic. I would have liked to hear about Cody at the turn of the century. Jane who often talks (in her head) to her grandmothers' pictures in the hall =============== Reply 1 of Note 3 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 03/08 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 0:06 AM Checking in late here (once again) to tell you all that I just finished DANDELION WINE and enjoyed it immensely. Reading your notes regarding it was the frosting on the cake. Ruth, I loved your comments about Douglas magically making the summer of '28 begin and end for us. Bradbury/Douglas really does paint a canvas of little vignettes that almost seem to come out of a wand. The writing style is not contemporary and is again one of those that reminds me of the books I read as a child with all those long, lush descriptions. The only times he lost me were when I had trouble believing that Tom, or sometimes Douglas, would express themselves the way they did. But, then I wondered if I've been spoiled by modern depictions of children in novels. I was struck by the fact that Bradbury had so many insights into aging and dying. Since the book was originally published (I think) in 1957, he must've have many relatively young when he was writing it. And, yet the following passage said by Miss Loomis to Bill Forrester shows insight far beyond his own age: It is the privilege of old people to seem to know everything. But it's an act and a mask, like every other act and mask. Between ourselves, we old ones wink at each other and smile, saying, How do you like *my* mask, *my* act, *my certainty*? Isn't life a play? Don't I play it well?" And, many farmhouses in Indiana had wonderful wrap around porches when I was a child. I always promised myself that I'd get a house with one when I grew up but they're pretty hard to find these days. Barb =============== Reply 2 of Note 3 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 03/08 From: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Time: 2:06 AM Checking in late here, with my impressions of DANDELION WINE. I liked it. A lot. A friend on the writing board said of Willa Cather's writing that "every word was a chocolate chip." With that in mind, I decided that Bradbury's chapters are like Godiva Raspberry Truffles. Food of the Goddesses -- to be savored, not gobbled Though I grew up in a very different place and time, I shared many of those experiences. The magic of new shoes, hanging out with the grownups on the porch, losing a best friend. And Bradbury's stunning ability to suspend disbelief made me forget the occasionally overwrought prose. The story that made me smile the hardest came late in the book, when the boys "rescue" Mme Tarot from the arcade. The grand tale Douglas creates explaining her origins is exactly the kind of thing my best friend and I did during long summers on the lake, concocting extrordinary origins for ordinary things. I wanted the witch to be freed every bit as much as those boys did. I've also hung on to the old man who would call Mexico just to hear the street sounds. Such a simple thing. Thank you for the wonderful book, Edd. It had languished too long on my bookshelf. Peggy, who can't believe we had this whole Bradbury discussion without DALE! =============== Reply 3 of Note 3 =================  
To: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Date: 03/08 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 8:57 PM Peggy and Barb, Is it a coincidence that the two of you posted at about the same time on DW? I loved your thoughts about this novel/memoir. I do take exception to your description of Bradbury's writing as being overwrought. I love writing like that. It seems that certain kinds of writing go in and out of style, but I think that we should enjoy all kinds. I love the adjectives. I know that Ruth said that she was sick of his adjectives. Not I. Jane in chilly and sunny CO =============== Reply 4 of Note 3 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 03/09 From: UHUB31A D RANDALL Time: 1:21 AM Jane -- I am another who loves adjectives and I truly never seem to run across writing which uses too many of them. I was also glad to find these two new notes on DW and to remember the wonder of experiencing this book -- one of those readings that stands out in one's memory and entices one to return to the book in the future. I gave this one to Jim and told him he had to read it now rather than add it to his stack. He just finished it -- and enjoyed it a lot. One of his first comments was on the scene where the shadows come from under all the trees and rise to fill the sky bringing the darkness of night. Dottie =============== Reply 5 of Note 3 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 03/09 From: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Time: 6:09 PM Jane, Maybe "overwrought" wasn't the best choice of words -- I reread my note, and it sounded far more flip than I intended (much like the real me). A writer like Bradbury can "get away with" far more than the average bear -- one of the standing rules of writing fiction is that the writer can break all the rules he or she wants, so long as the story works. And DANDELION WINE works. I wouldn't change an adverb. I was also a little surprised to see that no one mentioned "magical realism" in this thread (or else I missed it). For me, DW struck the perfect balance between reality and whimsy. I usually find the heavies in the field like Gabriel Garcia Marques and --- ooh, what's that guy's name? the one who wrote A WINTER'S TALE, the book I bounced off the wall, Mark something -- bend the rules too far for my tastes, but Bradbury stuck to small magic, and I never lost my disbelief. Peggy, thinking Dale should REALLY be here =============== Reply 6 of Note 3 =================  
To: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Date: 03/09 From: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Time: 9:42 PM Peggy, I think we did mention the "magical realism" early on in this note. I said that I didn't find it to be magical realism at all but just the magic of childhood. There was a little dash of that in THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS as well. I am in the middle of AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD, and I think that it will be interesting to compare it with DW since they are both about childhood. A friend who is an Annie Dillard fan and who has read all of her works says that AAC is his least favorite of her books. I haven't read any of her other books but would like to. Jane in chilly CO =============== Reply 7 of Note 3 =================  
To: FAVB99B JANE NIEMEIER Date: 03/10 From: KDEX08B RUTH BAVETTA Time: 2:22 AM Peggy and Jane, I loved DW, adjectives, adverbs and all. This was my third read, though, and just a bit of the gloss has worn off. But, hey, even with a few zits showing, this is one hell of a book. And I agree with Jane. It didn't seem like magical realism to me either. I like your take on it Jane, "the magic of childhood." I'll buy that. Ruth =============== Reply 8 of Note 3 =================  
To: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Date: 03/10 From: KEXT98A TONYA PRESLEY Time: 10:18 AM Peggy, Isn't A WINTER'S TALE by Mark Helprin? I've never read it, but I read REFINER'S FIRE when Allen nominated it a while back. Didn't like it much, though. Tonya =============== Reply 9 of Note 3 =================  
To: KEXT98A TONYA PRESLEY Date: 03/10 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 5:17 PM T: I'll butt in and say that Helprin is indeed the author of 'Winter's Tale' -- in my view one of his least successful efforts overall, although the first 250-300 pages is mesmerizing. Helprin is not for every taste, but I liked 'Refiner's Fire' and 'Memoir in an Ant-Proof Case'. The latter particularly coincides with popular reading taste, in the sense that it tells a pretty coherent story in a relatively linear fashion. Helprin is not always guilty of this, however. Dick =============== Reply 10 of Note 3 =================  
To: UPDQ58A PEGGY RAMSEY Date: 03/10 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 6:22 PM I also find it a little amazing that Peggy and I both started our notes, written two hours apart, with "Checking in late here"...maybe it's this crazy Michigan weather lately that's beaming brain waves. I do see DW as having a little bit in common with magical realism. It is filtered through the consciousness of childhood magic. But, it's still a way of writing that requires a suspension of "rational" linear thought. The childhood perception made it easier to accept, I thought. What a pleasure it's been to end a book late and still have people willing to talk about it. And, I agree, we need some of your comments, Dale. Barb

 

 

Ray Bradbury

 
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