Bradbury Stories : 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales

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  • Edition: Reprint
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  • Copyright: 5/13/2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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For more than sixty years, the imagination of Ray Bradbury has opened doors into remarkable places, ushering us across unexplored territories of the heart and mind while leading us inexorably toward a profound understanding of ourselves and the universe we inhabit. In this landmark volume, America's preeminent storyteller offers us one hundred treasures from a lifetime of words and ideas.

The stories within these pages were chosen by Bradbury himself, and span a career that blossomed in the pulp magazines of the early 1940s and continues to flourish in the new millennium.

Here are representatives of the legendary author's finest works of short fiction, including many that have not been republished for decades, all forever fresh and vital, evocative and immensely entertaining.

Author Biography

The author of more than thirty books, Ray Bradbury is one of the most celebrated fiction writers of our time. Among his best-known works are Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He has written for the theater and the cinema, including the screenplay for John Huston's classic film adaptation of Moby Dick, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television's The Ray Bradbury Theater and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree. In 2000, Bradbury was honored by the National Book Foundation with a medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Among his most recent works are the novels Let's All Kill Constance, From the Dust Returned -- selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times -- and One More for the Road, a new story collection. Bradbury lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Marguerite

Table of Contents

Introduction xi
The Whole Town's Sleeping The Rocket 16(9)
Season of Disbelief 25(8)
And the Rock Cried Out 33(21)
The Drummer Boy of Shiloh 54(5)
The Beggar on O'Connell Bridge 59(14)
The Flying Machine 73(5)
Heavy-Set 78(8)
The First Night of Lent 86(6)
Lafayette, Farewell 92(8)
Remember Sascha? 100(7)
Junior 107(6)
That Woman on the Lawn 113(12)
February 1999: Ylla 125(11)
Banshee 136(12)
One for His Lordship, and One for the Road! 148(8)
The Laurel and Hardy Love Affair 156(7)
Unterderseaboat Doktor 163(11)
Another Fine Mess 174(8)
The Dwarf 182(10)
A Wild Night in Galway 192(5)
The Wind 197(9)
No News, or What Killed the Dog? 206(7)
A Little Journey 213(7)
Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby's Is a Friend of Mine 220(23)
The Garbage Collector 243(5)
The Visitor 248(12)
The Man 260(11)
Henry the Ninth 271(7)
The Messiah 278(9)
Bang! You're Dead! 287(11)
Darling Adolf 298(14)
The Beautiful Shave 312(3)
Colonel Stonesteel's Genuine Home-made Truly Egyptian Mummy 315(13)
I See You Never 328(3)
The Exiles 331(12)
At Midnight, in the Month of June 343(9)
The Witch Door 352(9)
The Watchers 361(14)
2004-05: The Naming of Names 375(1)
Hopscotch 376(7)
The Illustrated Man 383(11)
The Dead Man 394(9)
June 2001: And the Moon Be Still as Bright 403(23)
The Burning Man 426(6)
G.B.S.-Marls V 432(10)
A Blade of Grass 442(7)
The Sound of Summer Running 449(5)
And the Sailor, Home from the Sea 454(7)
The Lonely Ones 461(9)
The Finnegan 470(9)
On the Orient, North 479(11)
The Smiling People 490(8)
The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl 498(10)
Bug 508(7)
Downwind from Gettysburg 515(14)
Time in Thy Flight 529(4)
Changeling 533(6)
The Dragon 539(3)
Let's Play "Poison" 542(5)
The Cold Wind and the Warm 547(15)
The Meadow 562(14)
The Kilimanjaro Device 576(9)
The Man in the Rorschach Shirt 585(10)
Bless Me, Father, for I Have Sinned 595(5)
The Pedestrian 600(4)
Trapdoor 604(9)
The Swan 613(11)
The Sea Shell 624(6)
Once More, Legato 630(9)
June 2003: Way in the Middle of the Air 639(12)
The Wonderful Death of Dudley Stone 651(10)
By the Numbers! 661(7)
April 2005: Usher II 668(14)
The Square Pegs 682(13)
The Trolley 695(3)
The Smile 698(5)
The Miracles of Jamie 703(8)
A Far-away Guitar 711(9)
The Cistern 720(6)
The Machineries of Joy 726(12)
Bright Phoenix 738(7)
The Wish 745(6)
The Lifework of Juan Diaz 751(9)
Time Intervening/Interim 760(5)
Almost the End of the World 765(7)
The Great Collision of Monday Last 772(6)
The Poems 778(11)
April 2026: The Long Years 789(10)
Icarus Montgolfier Wright 799(4)
Death and the Maiden 803(8)
Zero Hour 811(9)
The Toynbee Convector 820(10)
Forever and the Earth 830(15)
The Handler 845(9)
Getting Through Sunday Somehow 854(7)
The Pumpernickel 861(4)
Last Rites 865(8)
The Watchful Poker Chip of H. Matisse 873(8)
All on a Summer's Night 881


Bradbury Stories
100 of His Most Celebrated Tales

The Whole Town's Sleeping

He was trying to drive me insane. It was the only reason I could think of for why he treated me the way he did: one day all beery and friendly, him and Isaac working together on fixing up my room, letting me sit and listen in on their jam session; then the next morning a maniac again, telling me hands off the stereo and his stupid tools, assigning me chapters in some prehistoric cowboy book I'd never heard of, like I'd landed in remedial reading in summer school. I should have just stayed in Dallas and taken my chances. I should have sat down in the middle of the driveway and refused to get in the car with Ma. Nothing could be worse than this. Except, maybe, one thing; now, all of a sudden, Lucy was in on it, too. When she snatched that Pop-Tart out of my hand I just about died. I know she was just trying to keep me from asking about stuff that was none of my business, but still. I felt stabbed, like she'd all of a sudden switched sides and lined herself up with the devil.

I ran out the door with Dad hollering my name, but he didn't keep it up or come after me, which only proved my point, that he cared more about exerting his brand-new parental supremacy than he did about the actual welfare of me, his daughter. I kept on going, across the road and into the woods, the dogs at my heels.

When I was sure no one was following me, I sat down on a stump and listened. I realized I was close enough to the house to hear what was going on. Sure enough, not two minutes after I left, Dad's truck started up and drove away, and about ten minutes later Lucy's Buick did the same. It was the first time I'd been alone since I'd landed in Mooney, almost a whole week before. I got a little chill of excitement. I could do whatever I wanted. I had no money, no car; to tell the truth, I didn't know how to drive. But I was on my own.

It was nice there, in the woods. I slipped off my headphones and put my Walkman in the pocket of my sweatshirt. High over my head the trees made a canopy of sweet-smelling green, and the ground under my feet was soft with crushed pine needles, and after awhile I could make out the sounds of three or four different birds. The dogs had gotten on the scent of something and started running in circles, then all of a sudden dashed deeper into the woods. I decided to go after them.

I lost sight of them pretty quick, but I could hear them moving around in the underbrush, and I kept going until I came out in a little clearing. I poked around and found the remains of an old building: crumbling steps, a couple of blackened cornerstones, the charred-out hulk of a pot-bellied stove. Everything else, it looked like, the woods had reclaimed.

Then, just beyond the ruined foundation, I discovered an old graveyard. It wasn't much more, really, than a patch of ground, set off by a border of broad, flat stones, but the space inside had been neatly cleared, and the markers, though they looked ancient, were upright and mostly legible. I walked slowly among the stones and read the names and the dates out loud. Eustice Washington had died in 1927, at the age of a hundred and two. Alvin Getty, born 1912, had only lived four days. The most recent stone was 1943, two whole generations ago. There was no question it was a place for spirits, but I felt welcome there. They probably didn't get that many visitors; I figured they were glad to see me.

I sat down on the stone border and looked around. It was a pretty place, with a slash of blue sky overhead and the clean scent of pine all around, and I listened to the dogs and the birds and the wind in the trees until I realized that my heart had stopped pounding and I didn't feel like I needed to cry anymore.

Part of my brain, the sensible part, was telling me to go back to the empty house and throw my stuff into my duffel bag and just get the hell away. But I was less than two months from my fifteenth birthday; my heart, most of the time, felt too small for all the things it was trying to hold. The fact was, I was a little bit in love with East Texas, and with my father and Lucy, too. As confused and sad as I felt, this had in some ways been one of the best weeks of my life. I had been in a honky-tonk, a guitar store, a garden full of Buddhist trinkets, a Baptist church, an old country cemetery. I'd gotten my first lipstick—Chanel, to boot -- and learned to two-step. I'd eaten more fried chicken in a week than I had the whole rest of my life. My father had turned out to be a better musician than I could have hoped for. There was more music, I knew, where that came from; somewhere were the songs he'd written for me as a colicky baby. Wasn't that proof, no matter how shabby, that he'd loved me once? How could I leave until I had that in my hand?

The dogs came crashing back through the woods into the clearing, looking depressed. Actually, just Booker looked depressed; Steve Cropper wasn't smart enough, I don't think, to realize they'd been after anything, he'd only been along for the ride ...

Bradbury Stories
100 of His Most Celebrated Tales
. Copyright © by Ray Bradbury. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales by Ray Bradbury
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Customer Reviews

An Outstanding Collection, Indeed August 6, 2011
This is a wonderful collection of Bradbury's tales. It is clear that Bradbury loves his work. His stories have a certain characteristic about them that sets them apart from all other works. I would say it is hard to call Bradbury a science-fiction, drama, horror, or fantasy writer though because in truth he is all of these. For any fans of Bradbury's work I would highly recommend Bradbury Stories. These truly are 100 of his most celebrated tales and will be around for a long long time.
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Bradbury Stories : 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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