Ray Bradbury's THE OCTOBER COUNTRY, Story by Story


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Aug 21, 2010
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I posted comments on the stories in this classic of macabre fiction. Here is a thread for further commentary from anyone.
Elsewhere Extollager wrote,

Then we come to "The Crowd," an outstanding story in The October Country. As a creeper about the awakening to the alienness of the crowd, it belongs with Leiber's "You're All Alone." My reading of the Leiber, though, is that it's a gnostic fantasy (a thesis I should probably develop in a separate comment one of these days). The Bradbury carries no metaphysical burden. It's economical and haunting.

I'm pleased to finally read this comment, Extollager. The last time I read this story, just before The Weird came out in the U.S. and because I saw it was included, I thought it was Bradbury's Leiber story and wondered if that was intentional or not. There is something about the evocation of the city and of the people that seemed especially Leiberian. (Leiberesque? Leiber-like?) If I connected it to any particular Leiber story, I probably thought of "Smoke Ghost"; I know I didn't connect it to "You're All Alone" though, and that seems a stronger tie.

Randy M.
I guess I'll place here this link

Circus at Sunset

to an article about the Ringling Brothers Circus, since it seems to me that Bradbury was fascinated by the circus as a youth.
I read a couple of these stories on the plane back to NZ last night. I thought The Dwarf was terrific - the use of the mirrors is nicely done - suggesting that the misshapen images from the circus mirrors show (by chance) the beauty or ugliness of the soul, as if there is a yin and yang between physical and moral appeal in the characters of the dwarf, who looks mean and unsavoury and Ralph, who actually is mean and unsavoury. Don't believe simply what you see on the surface, I suppose. A simple message, but told in a very effective way through the circus hall of mirrors device. Highly recommended. I'm also reminded how well Bradbury writes.

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