Sunday, October 17, 2010

3 (More) Bradbury Stories; My Thoughts On A Movie

The Stories of Ray Bradbury. Introduction by Christopher Buckley. 2010. April 2010. Knopf, Doubleday. 1112 pages. [I've read 407/1112] 

I haven't read many short stories this week. But. What I have read, I've really enjoyed! See my first two posts on this short story collection: first twelve and next twenty-six.

The Great Wide World Over There

It was a day to be out of bed, to pull curtains and fling open windows.
My thoughts: Cora, the heroine, is fixated on the trivial matter of receiving mail--"real" letters in a "real" mailbox. Since she can't read or write, and since she doesn't know anyone--near or far--who can read or write, this dream seems out of touch with reality. (Not that you could convince her of that, mind you!) One summer, she has a nephew, Benjy, visit her and her husband. He can read and write. Is this the opportunity that she's been waiting for all these years?
This story is sad because Cora never realizes the true purpose of letters, of mail, to communicate. Cora misses out on connecting with those around her--her husband, her nephew, her neighbors--because she is too busy dreaming these silly dreams.

The Playground
A thousand times before and after his wife's death Mr. Charles Underhill ignored the Playground on his way to and from his commuters' limited train. He neither liked nor disliked the Playground; he hardly knew it existed.
My thoughts: Childhood is anything idyllic in Ray Bradbury's The Playground. This is a haunting story of a man who will do anything to save his young son from enduring the horrors, the hardships, common to childhood. In this case, the scrapes, bruises, and taunts which abound on the local playground.
Is our hero, Charles Underhill, imagining these horrors? Judge for yourself!

Skeleton
It was past time for him to see the doctor again.
My thoughts: Has Mr. Harris lost it? Or has Mr. Munigant played a foul trick on him? As Mr. Harris imagines his skeleton is out to get him, his life spirals out of control. Very creepy!

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you have a favorite Ray Bradbury story?

This past week I watched the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451. It is different from the book--very different. As a movie--all on its own--I think it worked fairly well. However, it is not timeless like the book. The movie is obviously dated. And some scenes don't work well--like the "jet pack" chase scene. But it wasn't painful--for me--to watch.

One of the ways the movie differs from the book is in the importance of Clarisse. In the book, she is a catalyst for Montag. She makes him question his life--his happiness. But their acquaintance is brief. Just a conversation or two. And then she dies. An accident?! Maybe, maybe not. In the movie, they make her several years older. They make her more of a rebel, a threat. They have her as a teacher whose job is threatened. Because of this change, viewers get a glimpse into the educational philosophy of such a society. She takes the additional role of Faber. It is Clarisse who tells Montag about the community of "books" living outside the city. It is where she is planning on going now that she is "wanted" by authorities. The fact that she lives and is able to be reunited with Montag didn't quite work for me.

I would have loved to see Faber in the film. I thought the conversations these two had in the book were so well done. Their dialogue was so important--so crucial--to the heart of the book. And it's something that can't be easily replaced by Montag's lighter-hearted conversations with a beautiful young woman.

In the book, Montag saves a Bible. He "becomes" the book of Ecclesiastes. In the movie, that changes. You'd almost expect it to change, wouldn't you? I think it is unfortunate. In the movie, he becomes a book that he had never even read before: Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe. I would have preferred him to become David Copperfield. Because at least he read and loved that book. It is featured in at least two earlier scenes of the movie.

I liked seeing the "book" community. Like the brothers "Pride" and "Prejudice." But because the war--or the threat of war--was eliminated from the movie--for the most part. It doesn't have quite the same feel as the book. Yes, the society was bad. But it didn't seem so dark and hopeless. Mindless, yes, of course, given over to pleasure and happiness instead of thinking and learning. But hopeless? Not really. So I preferred the book to the movie.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Kailana 10:15 PM  

I really need to experience some Bradbury. Even though it is passed the RIP challenge, I should still try to.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP