Best of Ray Bradbury?

Christopher Lee

Formerly BluePhoenix711
Aug 9, 2011
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
For those of you who know of him, what are your favorites among his collections?

I've found Dandelion Wine to be a real treat (probably my favorite because of how well he captured the youthful spirit of summer), as well as The Martian Chronicles. I thoroughly enjoyed The October Country as well.

Your thoughts?
I think the first collection I got was The Martian Chronicles and that led me to I Sing the Body Electric, which I don't remember all that negatively but I must not have liked it a lot as it was the last I got for a long time and I eventually got rid of it. Then I finally got The Vintage Bradbury which was okay. So it would seem it's The Martian Chronicles.

The only other Bradbury I've read - which was the first of all and led to the others (because my great English teacher had us read it and I liked it a lot) - was Fahrenheit 451. I'm not a big Bradbury fan but for assigned reading, he was fantastic!
I saw the movie, 'Something wicked this way comes', and then read the short story collections... I'm torn between Dandelion wine and Fahrenheit 451, though, as to a favorite...
I love the descriptions in Dandelion wine that are evocative of a bygone era. You can almost hear the softly chugging engines of the Model A's and taste the Lime Vanilla Icecream. And the story about cutting the lawn with a hand mower? My neighbours thought I was crazy but I used one because of Grandad's speech. It is relaxing to do, as is hanging wash out on a line to dry. Sometimes it just seems you need an excuse to be outside, being too old for recess.
In contrast, Fahrenheit 451 with its book burning raised some deep issues for me about the place of government and censorship within our lives and how much of a duty it is for the common man to safeguard his liberty against all forms of tyranny.
so a very difficult call, for me.
Fahrenheit 451 was another that rang deep inside with me. I read it in middle school and again about a year ago on a whim. Thanks for the replies guys, and I'm interested to hear from other Bradbury readers.
I was introduced to the Martian Chronicles about 50 years ago which made me really appreciate Bradbury's work. The stories were together but they also stood aloneas did the Illustrated Man, R is for Rocket, and S is for Space. I also, years later got a chance to read The Foghorn in a reprint in Playboy magazine where it originally appeared a few years before I was born. I've never been disappoint in any of his storytelling although his style just about turns Science Fiction/Fantasy into fables.
I adore Bradbury's stuff. His use of language and the things he can evoke through them -- just amazing. I love when he writes about childhood especially, he manages to capture so many elements of it so well, in that very nostalgic, long hazy summer way.

Dandelion Wine is definitely one of my favourites. I also like Something Wicked This Way Comes as an excellent, intriguing and at times chilling piece of work. But I have to say that my favourite story of his is The Hallowe'en Tree. Just beautiful.
"The Foghorn" was the first story I recall reading by Bradbury, and remains one of my favorite short stories by him. Because of it, I continued trying his work even after I found I didn't care for Fahrenheit 451 and The Golden Apples of the Sun. (I think if I were to reread them now, I'd find more in them to like.)

When I finally read Something Wicked This Way Comes (which I've since reread 5 or 6 times), The Martian Chronicles and The October Country, and later still Dandelion Wine, I was convinced that Bradbury was a great writer and I was a fan. Underscoring that my appreciation of Bradbury is my love of "Homecoming," which I would nominate as the great 20th century American fantasy short story.

Randy M.
I'm not really sure I can answer this one... at least in even relatively short compass. As I first encountered Bradbury when I was 6 (making it 49 years ago), via S is for Space (with the wonderful "Chrysalis" as an opener, followed by the even more evocative "Pillar of Fire") and have, over the years, collected nearly all of his work, including a copy of his first collection, Dark Carnival (which is certainly one of my favorites)*, Bradbury's effect on me is so pervasive that I'm not sure I can be even approximately objective.

Granted, there are some collections which I find to be not as strong as others, such as The Small Assassin... but in that particular case, I think it is the arrangement rather than the stories themselves. As a whole, it doesn't work for me as well, though the individual pieces are another thing. I love The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man; S is for Space (though I am somewhat less taken with R is for Rocket -- darned if I could say why); unlike J-Sun, I've always been very taken with I Sing the Body Electric, which is a rather eclectic collection really; The Halloween Tree remains a strong favorite; The Golden Apples of the Sun and A Medicine for Melancholy (also published together as Twice 22), and The Machineries of Joy... even some of his collections of plays, particularly The Anthem Sprinters and Pillar of Fire and Other Plays; for that matter, his poetry collections, Where Elephants Last in the Dooryard Bloomed, The Haunted Computer and the Android Pope, and Where Robot Mice and Robot Men Run 'Round in Robot Towns; all are quite good.

Some of his later collections are uneven -- at least what I've read, which hasn't been as much as I'd like -- but even there some of the stories are first rate....

*As is The October Country; though, for those who may have run into the frequently repeated comment that one is a reprint of the other, let me assure you that this is not the case. There is a fair amount shared between the two, but there are also a fair number of differences.
Liked all his novels, even the only one of his several mysteries I read, DEATH IS A LONELY BUSINESS. All top of the line as far as I'm concerned. Three of his many short stories I find truly memorable are "There Will Come Soft Rains", "A Sound Of Thunder" and "The Lost City Of Mars." Not the easiest stuff to turn into film.
I read Fahrenheit 451 about 20 years ago and it confused me because the narrative was high level for a 14 year old. Now in my so called maturity of 34 I relaise I would actually like to read it again to make sense of the story. Is it one of his best? It seems to pop up as one of his masterpieces.

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