Review by Booklist Review
This assemblage of 25 more of Bradbury's short pieces constitutes a worthwhile addition to most sf and fantasy collections, even if it doesn't include a complete publication history of the pieces. For the record, the short-short "Smiles as Wide as Summer" dates from as far back as 1961. Among the most noteworthy entries are "The Dragon Danced at Midnight," a sublime satire of monster movies; "In Memoriam," about a father mourning a son who died in Vietnam; "Tete aTete," in which the love of an elderly Jewish couple finds its way across many barriers, including death; and "The Laurel and Hardy Alpha Centauri Farewell Tour." "One-Woman Show," "First Day," and "Heart Transplant" are all good examples of Bradbury's continuing gift for graceful, vivid prose and unusual, sometimes alarming insights into human foibles. Bradbury is justly considered a master of the short story. --Roland Green
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
"You do not build a Time Machine unless you know where you are going.... But I built my Time Machine, all unknowingly, with no destination in mind," explains a bemused time traveler in Bradbury's latest collection. Bradbury, who has taken readers on so many marvelous trips, has a similar approach to navigation. In this new volume of stories (17 of the 24 have never been published before), he maintains his unflinching dedication to the magic of everyday life. Relaxing into his favorite themes memory, loneliness, childhood, love and time he is not afraid to wax sentimental, but the sharp edge of his prose keeps the tales from cloying. Haunted settings are common: the ghost town in "Where All Is Emptiness There Is Room to Move"; the Parisian cemetery Pre Lachaise in "Diane de Fort"; and the L.A. streets of 1939 in "Tangerine," in which Bradbury tells the story of a tragically cool man who'd rather be dead than 30. The writer is at his best when he chronicles the child self he has never lost touch with. In "Autumn Afternoon," Miss Elizabeth Simmons cleans out her attic and discovers calendars she kept as a girl, checking off dates that were once important but are now mysterious. Bradbury, on the other hand, seems to remember everything because at 81, he is still 18 at heart. In "With Smiles as Wide as Summer," a virtual prose poem about being a boy on perpetual vacation, he notes, "Circling, they knocked the echoes with their voices, plunged, rolled over, spun, jigged, shook themselves, raced off, hurtled back, leapt high, mad with summerlight and heat, unable to stop just being alive." The pure joy of earthly existence is something Bradbury has never forgotten. Southern California regional author tour; Harper Audio. (Apr. 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
A collection of 25 new stories and catch the afterword by the author. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
Science fiction grandmaster Bradbury gathers together 25 stories, some half-baked, most unpublished. Calling the collection a "downpour of images from photos, films, cartoons, encounters that have tracked through life without an umbrella," Bradbury congratulates himself on his long, happy, productive life. Some stories, like "Diane de Foret," about a man's mawkish communion with the spirit of a dead French girl "of timeless mythic beauty," or like the predictable revelation ("One Woman Show") that a good actress is merely that might have gone back for more cooking. Most, though, bubble over with the manic exuberance of a writer who feels himself so blessed that he travels back in time to save the lives of doomed ones ("The F. Scott/Tolstoy/Ahab Accumulator") or to change another's past so he won't become a drunken wreck ("Quid Pro Quo"). Bad tidings-an unexploded WWII bomb in a wheat field ("The Enemy in Wheat"); the McCarthy-era bugging of a Hollywood producer's home ("Cricket on the Hearth")-can be gifts that change lives, while wishes that come true can bring bittersweet results ("Heart Transplant"). Many characters speak in Bradburyese, like the B-movie production assistant in "The Dragon Danced at Midnight" ("Willis Hornbeck drunk was . . . a wildman who blind-wrestled creativity in a snake pit, who fought an inspired alligator in a crystal tank for all to see") or the technologically reconstituted Oliver Hardy describing his resurrection in "The Laurel and Hardy Alpha Centauri Farewell Tour" ("We were rushed to completion, flesh on flesh, nerve ends to neurons, ganglia to ganglia"). The title story describes a publisher who, overwhelmed by the manic word-spray from an untried writer, agrees to publish the longest road novel ever, only to watch his author literally and metaphorically run out of gas. Slight, affecting, voluble, exuberant-by a writer who feels life's even better than he can imagine.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.