Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday Review - Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

In Dandelion Wine,  Ray Bradbury uses his own experience of living in a small town to bring this novel to life. Often it reads as a collection of short stories, but all the people live in the same town. Bradbury introduces us to this creative process in the introduction. He writes, "Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers." That is just one example of how Bradbury uses words to bring his storytelling to life. 

In this story, there is a serial killer, and Bradbury is a master of suspense. He makes your heart pound a little harder and the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I read the Lonely One chapter late at night with my husband out of town and was so creeped out, I had to sleep with the phone and a knife under my pillow. I laugh about it now, but the writing and building of suspense in that chapter is all too real. 

When I think of this novel, I will remember the rows of dandelion wine, Mr. Jonas' kindness and care, Great-grandma up on the roof nailing shingles because she loves to, the mysteries of the ravine, and Grandma cooking well in her helter-skelter kitchen and being unable to create her amazing dishes any other way. I will think about what makes us who we are - the fear of growing old - of death, but also the joy of life and feeling truly alive.

Thanks, Bradbury for sending this one out into the world - it is a masterpiece. 

Is there a book you've read that gave you the heebie jeebies or captured the feel of small town life? Let us know in the comments below. 

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