Over the course of a storied literary career that has spanned more than half a century, Ray Bradbury has taken us to wonderful places: across vast oceans to foreign lands, onto summer porches of small-town America, through dark and dangerous forests where predators wait, into the hypnotic mists of dream, back to a halcyon past to remember, forward into an exhilarating future, and rocketing through outer space.
In “We’ll Always Have Paris”–a new collection of never-before-published stories–the inimitable Bradbury once again does what few writers have ever done as well. He delights us with prose that soars and sings. He surprises and inspires, exposing truths and provoking deep thought. He imagines great things and poignantly observes human foibles and frailties. He enchants us with the magic he mastered decades ago and still performs flawlessly. In these pages, radio voices become indomitable flesh and the dead arise to recapture life. There is joy in an eccentric old man’s dance for the world and wonder over the workings of humankind’s best friend, O Holy Dog. Whether he’s exploring the myriad ways to be reborn, or the circumstances that can make any man a killer, or returning us to Mars, Bradbury opens the world to us and beckons us in.
Get ready to travel far and wide once again with America’s preeminent storyteller. His tales will live forever. We will always have Bradbury–and for that reason, we are eternally blessed.
I picked this collection up on my first walk through a public library after more than twenty years (I usually buy books or have a school library to keep my reading needs satisfied). There was no rhyme or reason as to why I chose this, only that I knew the author, knew the stories would be good, and liked the idea of having multiple stories in my hands than just one.
While the collection as a whole doesn’t mesh well thematically, I loved and enjoyed each and everyone of them. My favorite has to be the very first story (it’s the most vivid in my mind), “Massinello Pietro”. Mr. Pietro’s utter joy of living, living out loud (he literally carries a phonograph that plays his favorite opera with him) with music and a menagerie of animals, broke my heart (he’s on his last warning by the city) and inspired me. The story reminds one to live life fully, to not forget ones childish enthusiasm, and to be kind and generous to others just to be kind and generous without any expectations in return – lessons we know but might forget to live in this fast paced, stress filled world.
Each story is unique. Each story is surprising. Each story leaves one a little baffled. But, each story is utterly enjoyable. And most importantly … each story is re-readable (I’ve re-read the collection three times!). I very much enjoyed this and recommend it.