A poignant and brilliant sequel to Dandelion Wine from the author of Fahrenheit 451
In Green Town Illinois, Douglas Spaulding is in the midst of a small civil war with the old pitted against the young in this, the second book in Bradbury’s semi-fictionalised account of his childhood. As the school board’s figure of authority Mr Calvin C. Quartermain attempts to outwit the boys at every turn, their antics increase and become ever more daring and mischevious. Once the shadow of winter draws across Green Town, the boys quickly realise that their enemy is not so much the senior members of their own community, but rather time itself which is ever ebbing away, just beyond the reach of their most daring trick yet: a bold attempt to sabotage the town’s clock.
'It is impossible not to admire the vigour of his prose, similes and metaphors constantly cascading from his imagination.” Spectator
"Almost no one can imagine a time or place without the fiction of Ray Bradbury…" The Washington Post
'Bradbury has a remarkable range of intensity and vision' Sunday Times
'The sheer velocity of his words is an apocalyptic torrent which sweeps the reader on' Independent
‘No other writer uses language with greater originality and zest. he seems to be a American Dylan Thomas – with dsicipline’ Sunday Telegraph
About the author
One of the greatest science fiction and fantasy writers of all time, Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920. He moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1934. Since his first story appeared in Weird Tales when he was twenty years old, he published some 500 short stories, novels, plays, scripts and poems. Among his many famous works are Fahrenheit 451, The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles. Ray Bradbury died in 2012 at the age of 91.
This poignant, wise but slight "extension" of the indefatigable Bradbury's semiautobiographical Dandelion Wine picks up the story of 12-year-old Douglas Spaulding in October of 1928, when the warmth of summer still clings to Green Town, Ill. As in his episodic 1957 novel, Bradbury evokes the rhythms of a long-gone smalltown America with short, swift chapters that build to a lyrical meditation on aging and death. Playing at war, the imaginative Douglas and his friends target the town's elderly men, and the outraged 81-year-old bachelor Calvin C. Quartermain attempts to organize a counterattack against the boys' mischief. Rebelling against their elders and the specter of age and death Douglas and his gang steal the old men's chess pieces before deciding that Time, as embodied by the courthouse clock, is their true nemesis. The story turns on a gift of birthday cake that triggers Douglas and Quartermain's mutual recognition: "He had seen himself peer forth from the boy's eyes." Soon thereafter, Douglas's first kiss and new, acute awareness of girls serves as the harbinger of his inevitable adulthood. Bradbury's mature but fresh return to his beloved early writing conveys a depth of feeling. Look for a Q&A with Bradbury in the Aug. 21 issue.