Behka’s Discussion of Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury, noted author of many science fiction and suspense novels and stories, has been reported dead at the age of 91. I thought I’d take a second to talk about my favorite Bradbury reads, or at least what was important to me.
For me, I remember reading Fahrenheit 451 in high school. It was one of those books that was on the required list, and we had to write a report on it. I know it’s one of his more famous works, but… it’s not my favorite.
My favorite was one of his other books, a sort of mystery novel, called Death Is A Lonely Business.
It’s a mystery novel, but the main character never identifies himself by name. He’s got a nice girlfriend in Mexico City, and he’s trying to figure out all these strange murders of very eccentric people in this smallish town in the late forties. It’s a very moody, particular piece, and very evocative of the time period. It made me interested in other period pieces about the late forties and earlier, and actually, through a strange set of events, led me to Dashiell Hammett, and many of his detective stories of that period.
As a kid who did more reading than sports or slumber parties or anything else, I strangely identified with our unnamed protagonist and his friend Elmo. I read the follow up sequel, A Graveyard for Lunatics (it came out a few years before I read the first book), but I never did pick up the last book, Let’s All Kill Constance, which didn’t come out til 2002.
What do you think? What’s your favorite Bradbury short story, compilation, or novel? Do you prefer the fantasy stuff, the horror stories, the science fiction, or the mystery?