What are your feelings on Dandelion Wine? I don't think it's that popular but its just so brilliant. It has been so influential on my writing but that could be a bad thing, because some may find it boring or not a fitting style for Sci-fi. If you've not read this book it is a very worthy addition to any collection and I think you will see what I mean about how it can affect the way you write. Ray Bradbury certainly earned the respect he holds. I haven’t read the sequel yet have any of you? I guess its just out a week or so. Gee's, why doesn’t someone as brilliant as Bradbury generate as much fuss as Hairy Potter, (which I feel was entirely swiped from Wizard of Earthsea,) I guess that just goes to show what the audience is today.
I've never read it, but if you love it, then by all means let it influence you. If you love it that much, you probably actually couldn't stop it from influencing you if you tried. For every one that finds it not to be a fitting style for SF (which, by the way, you can make any style work), there will be another one who loves it.
Posts: 1069 | Registered: Dec 2003
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Well, the book Dandelion Wine was published eons ago; I read it as a kid and I just hit 50 last month. I remember it was good; I should probably reread as I don't recall the details.
Regarding Dandelion Wine, the wine... my dad made some once. It was kick-ass stuff. A very delicate flavor white wine, distilled from the petals of dandelions (it took forEVER to pluck the flowers, he said), the wine was heady and potent and oh-so-good.
I suspect those were some of the reasons Bradbury named the book as he did.
Couple thoughts: "Dandelion Wine" is somewhat imaginative nostalgic historical fiction. It was NEVER Sci Fi. It is simply filed in that section in all the bookstores, and probably some libraries, so people can come across it among Bradbury's other works.
It's one of my two favorite books IN MY LIFE (of which I've read well over 1,000). The other one is "Mystery of the Witches' Bridge" by Barbee Oliver Carleton. "Dandelion Wine" has at least received many reprintings and some attention, "Witches' Bridge" is simply a sadly neglected classic. The other two books I've read which would even closely compare with "Dandelion Wine" are "To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee, and "The Member of the Wedding," by Carson McCullers. Little, if anything, else comes even remotely close.
The popularity and success of Harry Potter has me absolutely baffled, largely because I have read so many superior works. (I can see if it was the only thing available, but it's NOT--yet kids, and even many adults, read it to rags. Some people are on their dozenth trip through Book 6 already while I am just struggling near the beginning of Book 5. WHY? Sometimes I've been tempted to believe witchcraft is real and either the entire series or most or all of the readers are bewitched--there's an "Emperor's New Clothes" mass hallucination aspect making people think it's better than it is.)
I do have some communication with Bradbury (true--you can check up on me--) and one day was muttering in his ear about Harry Potter and he said, "Harry Potter is wonderful, I am wonderful, and YOU are wonderful!" He also emphasizes writing a story in your own mind and "to hell with what anybody else thinks." I am still struggling hard to stay true to this one. But really, Harry Potter's own author can't have possibly foreseen his success, so you may as well write what you like.
What I meant was that I write Sci-Fi and I am influenced by the writing style in that book. Dandelion wine is really about the prevailing atmosphere and color of Bradbury's youth. While it is fiction, he captures it all so well that you feel you were there and that you understand the people who are now just ghosts in Rays memory.
I've read a lot of Bradbury...but, somehow, this one escaped me. I think I've got a copy...maybe I sampled the beginning and didn't like it...maybe it wasn't SF or Fantasy enough for me back then...I really don't remember.
I'll recommend most of Bradbury's work...some of his horror freaks me out to this day.
If you like Bradbury's writing, then you definitely should check out his essays on writing. "Zen and the Art of Writing" comes immediately to mind.
Posts: 166 | Registered: Jan 2003
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