After Hemingway, Ray Bradbury may be the most influential writer of the 20th Century. He is the single finest short story writer in history, a master craftsman and brilliant engineer of metaphor. Though known primarily, and mistakenly, as a science fiction writer, Bradbury’s influence can be seen far outside the bounds of any single genre. He is widely respected and beloved by writers in every genre, in every corner of the world, and more often than not his works compel lifelong devotion.
Bradbury started as a pulp writer, but he quickly outgrew his humble origins. Another self-taught genius, Bradbury aimed high from the beginning, imagining his stories shelved beside his heroes, Poe, Melville, Burroughs, Steinbeck. And from early on, it was clear that Bradbury was indeed distinct, that he was not just one more trivial sci-fi hack, but instead one of the most powerful and insightful voices in our literature.
What one finds in Bradbury is a sharp sense of wonder, an aching nostalgia, a childlike awe for the world. His crafty, beguiling sentences are equally adroit at describing the delight of space travel and the dark horror lurking in the shadows. He remains one of the few writers who can honestly be said to have written masterpieces in multiple genres, and multiple times.
Bradbury is a national treasure.
Ray Bradbury Books to Read:
The October Country, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dandelion Wine, The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man, Farewell Summer, Now and Forever, The Golden Apples of the Sun, The Toynbee Convector, I Sing the Body Electric.
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