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The cat's pajamas : stories /

Main Author: Bradbury, Ray, 1920-2012.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Morrow, 2004
Edition: 1st ed.
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Review by Booklist Review

The grand old man of American sf and fantasy proffers one more collection of his characteristically brief stories, consisting of about equal parts recent work and previously uncollected late-1940s and 1950s stuff. Old or new, they are remarkably of a piece. Most resemble theatrical sketches; they are shaped toward definite endings or points. In The House, from 1947, a young woman accustomed to haute bourgeois domestic ease is dismayed by her less-pampered husband's choice of a rundown manse for their home--until a friend of his arrives, enthuses, and pitches into setting the place to rights; then the new wife realizes what building a home is all about. In The Completist, dated 2003-04 but set in 1948, a wealthy bibliophile orates about his mania to his shipboard dinner companions but at last reveals the hole in his life that his collecting may be meant to fill. If the obvious forerunners of stories like those, which preponderate here, are O. Henry's neat concoctions, Bradbury's recent penchants for writing almost entirely in dialogue and for ambiguous and unresolved endings make him very contemporary. On the evidence of previous volumes as well as this one, perhaps it is best to consider Bradbury the foremost fabulist of his time, more Aesop than Cheever or Salinger; that is why, even when there is nothing fantastic or futuristic in his stories, they still feel like fantasy and sf--fiction about ought and might more than is. --Ray Olson Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The 20 brisk, imaginative tales (18 previously unpublished, with many written in the 1940s and '50s and others as recent as 2003) in Bradbury's latest collection show the astonishingly prolific author in lights of varying favor. Bradbury aims for a moral in "Chrysalis" (1946-1947), when a young black man who's tried for years to bleach his skin and a young white boy with a deep tan get the same racist response from a hot dog vendor. Skin color is also the issue in "The Transformation" (1948-1949), a set piece in which a gang of carnival workers enact revenge on a notorious rapist with the help of a tattoo gun. Standouts among the more fantastical stories include tales of civilized giant alien spiders yearning for Earthly integration; a pair of traumatized time travelers disturbing their nervous neighbor; and a U.S. president trying to reclaim the country after 12 drunk senators gambled it away to an Indian chief (a story that, Bradbury notes in the introduction, he wrote in "a few hours"). Several entries rely on personal paradox: a "freeway graffiti stuntman" becomes famous only after his accidental death in "Ole, Orozco! Siqueiros, Si!" and an unknown intruder terrorizes a family of agoraphobes in "The Island." Alternately thoughtful, whimsical, probing and slapdash, these tales are a mixed bag, but a very interesting one. Agent, Don Congdon. (July 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

The subtitle says it all. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-Bradbury's imagination exploits the preposterous with fantasy that offers a window into the human psyche. Stories range from the lighthearted, romantic tug-of-war in the title's namesake to more sinister, stomach-churning fare. Some of the characters are decent, while others are dastardly; they are confused, young, withered, or wily. Each piece has a haunting, Twilight Zone quality. The author's introduction gives readers insight into his thought processes as he reaches into dark recesses, doles out social justice, and bandies about far-out plots like the President of the United States having to win back the country in a card game with American Indians. Unpublished tales from decades ago and those written in the 21st century all carry Bradbury's unmistakable edginess.-Karen Sokol, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Forgotten or mislaid short fictions from a master who's given us better, but also much worse. Bradbury (Let's All Kill Constance, 2002, etc.) says here that after the death of his wife, Maggie, he lost, for the first time in decades, the will or ability to write: a shocking statement from this almost comically prolific writer. Fortunately, the spell passed, and Bradbury continues to pounce on every little germ of an idea he sees. This is a collection like many of Bradbury's recent ones, a hodgepodge of mostly realistic stories that occasionally dabble in magic, though there are more of the everyday kind, with precious little of the highly adventurous and moralistic science fiction that put Bradbury in the literary firmament. Happily, though, while several pieces are new, a good part of the book is made up of long-forgotten and unpublished selections from the author's most fecund period, the late 1940s and early 1950s. Some entries are overwrought racial allegories, like "Chrysalis," where a white boy finds he's discriminated against just as much as his black friend when he gets a serious suntan. A more successful attempt is "The Transformation," about a southern man who's kidnapped in the middle of the night by some circus people out to avenge his complicity in a disgusting crime (hint: one of them is a tattooist). One newer story, a fling of media-addled satire, "The John Wilkes Booth/Warner Brothers/MGM/NBC Funeral Train," makes an earnest leap at the modern world's penchant for regurgitating the past for commercial ends, although it falls apart in a ramshackle fashion. A genuine a work of art, however, is "The Island," a perfect bit of shadowy horror about a paranoid family in a remote house, each member fully armed in his own locked room, and what happens when an intruder enters: truly haunting, lit with a dark insight. Bradbury on autopilot, mostly, mixing dashes of beautiful whimsy with gold-tinged nostalgia and the occasional sharp stab of pain. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.