Who wrote this book and when?
The stories were written over decades, but this collection was first published in 2004.

Has there been a film version?
No.

Who are the important characters?
Since they’re short stories, there aren’t one or two main characters.

What’s it about?
The stories are as follows:
Introduction: Alive and Kicking and Writing – Bradbury talks about his inspiration and the timing in which he wrote most of the stories
Chrysalis- a young black boy befriends a white boy on the beach
The Island – a family obsessed with safety has their home invaded
Sometime Before Dawn – an unnamed narrator encounters a tragic couple with an unsettling “history”
Hail to the Chief – drunk senators gamble away the United States
We’ll Just Act Natural – an elderly black woman waits for the young man she used to be a maid for when he was a child
Ole, Orozco! Siqueiros, Si! – the story of a non-traditional artist and the fate of his work
The House – a newlywed couple has problems when the husband buys a fixer upper house
The John Wilkes Booth/Warner Brothers/MGM/NBC Funeral Train – a man boards a train filled with sponsorship and dead media moguls
A Careful Man Dies – a hemophiliac realizes someone is trying to kill him
The Cat’s Pajamas – two strangers meet when they both stumble across a stray cat and fight over who gets to keep him
Triangle – a woman has loved a man for years and her sister pushes her to finally speak to him
The Mafioso Cement-Mixing Machine – an F. Scott Fitzgerald fanatic attempts to change history
The Ghosts – a father tries to protect his daughters from ghosts
Where’s My Hat, What’s My Hurry? – a husband realizes he and his wife have wasted time in their trips to Paris
The Transformation – in the South, a white man is discovered to have impregnated a young black woman
Sixty-six – the story of five murders on Route 66
A Matter of Taste – men land on a planet only to find it inhabited by giant, peace loving, intelligent spiders, told from the spiders’ point of view
I Get the Blues When it Rains – a memory of Bradbury’s of one of his favorite nights in his life
All My Enemies are Dead – a man realizes all the people he hates have died and crawls into bed to die
The Completist – a couple meets a man on a cruise who is attempting to complete his library collection…with every book in the world
Epilogue: The R.B., G.K.C., and G.B.S. forever Orient Express – a poem in which Bradbury meets up with his favorite authors

Why is this book a classic/bestseller?
It’s written by a master of horror and science fiction.

Do I recommend you read this book?
If you enjoy Ray Bradbury’s short stories, then yes…of course.

How did this book make my list?
I like Ray Bradbury.

Has it won any awards?
Apparently the National Book Award…

Favorite quotes:
“The man drifted in on soft wild bobcat feet, a tall shadow within a shadow. He was not quite seven feet tall, and the look on his serene face was the look of Eternity; the stare of dead presidents and lost Indian braves now come alive in the precipice face of this new visitor.” – p 49

Anything else?
Nope.

Personal thoughts:
I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury. His novel, “Fahrenheit 451” is one of my favorite books and his short stories never cease to amaze me. The man has incredible talent for thinking outside of reality, for putting things succinctly and expressively at the same time. Not to mention he’s entertaining beyond all get out. Some of these stories were ridiculous, some were funny, some were poignant – but I liked them all. My favorites included “The Careful Man Dies,” and “A Matter of Taste.” These two and a good majority of the others sent a little shiver down my spine or put a morsel to think about in my head. Bradbury uses the supernatural and bewildering to point out human qualities and flaws and forces us to re-examine them – which is why he rocks.

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